A Digital Orange
The problem is that politically correct regulations most certainly are not merely expressions of lunacy and decadence of the West, as some people think. No, they just might have definite aims. Homosexual marriages, for instance, incite unstoppable torrent of changes in the legal definitions of relations between sexes, most obvious in tendency for changing the terms “mother” and “father” to “parent A” and “parent B”. This end result of equalizing the marriage with it’s mockery is surprisingly along the lines of technocratic management of society. Something like: “Parent A – parent B, offspring a – offspring b. Save a, delete b.” You don’t believe it? Paranoid? We’ll see.
Phrases such as “to think for oneself“ or “to use one’s own head” are, more often than not, just as empty and shallow as they are popular. The rare occasion when using one’s own head in solitary contemplation does mean something real is a peculiar, fleeting moment when man realizes that he must question everything he formerly thought he knew. It is followed by strange, devastating insight into worthlessness of it all, and the moral punch which inevitably ensues: the realization that one’s virtues were really only more or less profound excuses. However nauseating and painful it may seem, we are in fact hereby provided with the simplest description of what the freedom of spirit really is. At one moment in life, man decides to take sovereignty of his inner borders, his own inner Republic. This is the human right no Constitution guarantees, a gift of freedom each man can give only to himself. However, as social engineering separates right and duty by default, today we can observe how the power of the system continually and precisely strikes at this, only seemingly inalienable, right of individual. In the recent phase of Globalization, it’s weapons of choice can be more or less subsumed under the notion of “Political correctness”.
Political correctness is a product of political decisions and/or positive legal regulations. Hence, although it piggybacks on natural feeling for right and wrong, it is not it’s proper source. This means that all talk about inalienable rights, phrases like “Everybody should …”, “Nobody should …”, “I condemn …”, etc., is morally irrelevant. All this depends on arbitrary will of comities, panels, law givers or simulation thereof through automatic self-differentiating activity of social system. There’s no guarantee which cannot be broken by the same power centre that originally provided it. Conversely, individual cases when “common man” manages to win for himself some right formally ascribed to him by Constitution or some other piece of paper, it is also merely an instance of power play. Individual or group brings dominant social structure in a relative bind where it is opportune for it to give them what they want. However, there is nothing necessarily inalienable or moral about it.
Political correctness relies on people not realizing this fact. It’s judgments appeal to conscience, but they originate in social apparatus. They are spread through media and when they fall on fertile ground, they are codified in legislative. Conscience, traditionally tied to “human nature” or “common sense”, is the only human faculty guaranteeing their acceptance. That’s because, although immoral, politically correct principle can truly become obligatory only if it is accepted wilfully – by certain “yes” man pronounces in his most intimate self – which is in it’s turn possible only on condition it mimics some real fact of conscience. However, precisely there where thought meets the reality, politically correct image tends to slightly shiver, like mirage in the desert. The reason for this is so simple that it is often overlooked. Namely, it is because the conscience and sympathy are affected by their very logical negation.
Political correctness irritates even the politically correct. Yet for all the vague criticism and ridicule, this author has an uneasy feeling that only very small percentage of people has even premonition of what it really is. Ridicule and criticism are natural reaction because one of the peculiar features of PC is that it is intrinsically funny. A good example of this is practice of homosexual marriages and general exaltation of homosexuals as a saintly social group. Of course, when Sir Elton John walks hand in hand with his “wife” it is naturally funny when question arises: is his spouse in fact Lady John? Or are we to master the dilemma by amending the knightly titles of mythical past and speak about lady Galahad or co-King Guinevere? Funny as hell, isn’t it? It is. But we mustn’t forget that something becomes qualified as funny by logical terms. Namely, we laugh at paralogisms, i.e. inferences made in proper logical form but contrary to reality; the stricter the logic, the stronger comical effect. Monty Python’s Flying Circus developed this transcendental principle of joking into an art form dubbed “the absurd humour” – either they intentionally applied principles of proper inference to wildly inappropriate situations or, conversely, imagined situations strictly along the lines of para-logic inference.
However, laughter is a reaction and political correctness is a serious political weapon devised precisely to invoke reactions, instead of thought-out actions. It is serious because it appeals to conscience and demands irrevocable acceptance. You can laugh all you like at Lady John, as long as no one catches you. Moreover, notice that your laughter is tad uneasy too. You can be irritated all you like just as long as you don’t pronounce it clearly. Thence most of the criticism of politically correct policies begins with long winded tracts of speaker trying to prevent “a misunderstanding”. Something like: ”Of course I don’t mean to …” or “I don’t question anybodies right to …”, etc. Therefore, most of the criticism of political correctness is in itself politically correct. Reason for this lies there where political correctness ceases to be funny and becomes deadly serious. Namely, this way of speaking shows that speaker’s conscience – his most intimate self – is already being infected. And as the infected conscience is dangerously close to diseased conscience, there is really nothing funny about it.
The problem is that politically correct regulations most certainly are not merely expressions of lunacy and decadence of the West, as some people think. No, they just might have definite aims. Homosexual marriages, for instance, incite unstoppable torrent of changes in the legal definitions of relations between sexes, most obvious in tendency for changing the terms “mother” and “father” to “parent A” and “parent B”. This end result of equalizing the marriage with it’s mockery is a surprisingly along the lines of technocratic management of society. Something like: “Parent A – parent B, offspring a – offspring b. Save a, delete b.” You don’t believe it? Paranoid? We’ll see.
Political correctness is at work everywhere where there is a digital or binary opposition in society. It breeds it and thrives in it. The reaction to homosexual marriages is more often than not utterly predictable and almost the same everywhere in the world. At first, it is usually violent and rarely well thought out; later it’s less violent, because homosexual activists are protected by state apparatus, and still not well thought out. And as such, it is perfectly politically correct. Both proponents and opponents take irreconcilable positions that are mirror images of one another. Now, if anyone should pause and give this a moment’s thought he would soon realize that he is dealing with Monty Python live. That’s because situation is in itself logically impossible. There are, namely, two instance which logic recognizes as it’s limits. Those are tautology and contradiction in absolute sense. Tautology means A always equals A and contradiction means A never equals A. One denotes always true, the other denotes never true and both are meaningless in reality. Well, how come then that political decision about homosexual marriages splits every society with tautological precision exactly into the same contradictory state? The reality doesn’t support absolute contradiction where there cannot be a common ground, even for war, between social groups and it is impossible that every society reacts in precisely the same way. Yet there we have it. The logically impossible happens. To understand this we must note one peculiarity of political correctness. It is first and foremost an attack on language but at the same time it is the utmost exaltation of it’s power. Homosexual marriages are not about changing marriage in itself, which is impossible because conditions of human existence cannot be changed at will, but changing language concerning marriage. Homosexuals now happily married throughout the Western world are not really married. They are only saying and, consequently, thinking they are married. And that’s precisely what politically correct system of legislation intends. The words become reality. In language we are free to create an imaginary reality. Therefore reality is what we imagine it to be. This is also obvious from the fact that contemporary hero or heroine is usually either opinion journalist or someone he or she declares as such. This means that, in the public mind, the ability to articulate right and wrong dethroned the ability to choose between good or evil. Whoever met some champion of social justice knows that they are mostly people of average understanding and fairly petty bourgeois mentality when it comes to their own lives and property. And there is no reason for them not to be, because the morality they espouse to the masses requires only correctness of speech and thought, therefore no real moral act except for the participation in occasional gay-pride or some similar symbolic gesture. It is fascinating that these people continually fail to see just how strong supporters of system they are. They never cease to pronounce themselves rebels. And they project this attitude to the masses.
This brings us to role of media. Political correctness requires mass media to work because the alternate reality has to be constructed on mass bases. Symbolical world of politically correct gestures can work only if it is ever present to imagination through TV, papers and Internet. The social media are the most useful mean to accomplish this because they emulate both identity and communication. Facebook avatar is not the real person yet it is certainly understood as one because nowadays we can see whole range of political issues practically settled through online polemics, dividing people in binary opposed camps. When, for instance, Croatia saw the initiative to prevent legalization of homosexual marriages by conducting the referendum for inducing the “definition of traditional marriage” into Constitution, Facebook users started applying “for” or “against” stickers to their profile pictures. As one observer commented, “these stickers are so big, I can’t recognize anyone anymore.” The virtuality of online identity just became a little more virtual and although referendum was passed in reality, it’s real consequence remained an on-line phenomenon. Of course, the very idea of inserting the definition of marriage in Constitution is an invite to change it, because it proclaims the right of man to define or redefine something which cannot be changed in reality. In this sense virtual reality is the real playing field of political correctness and it’s adherents tend to immerse in it as much as they can. The binary divisions are quite possible and normal for avatars and if the society of avatars can be constructed, then we can have an empire of political correctness. Thus, all those on-line petitions for real causes are merely a mean to completely detach political and ethical life from reality. They are meaningful only for avatars in their on-line world. If anyone thinks that his signing an on-line petition against TTIP is going to prevent USA and EU from coming to preconceived agreement, he is not simply an idiot. He is the model citizen of politically correct society. The society of flatus vocis.
Political correctness reduces morality to words by providing them with a status of ultimate reality. The utmost care is taken not to offend, almost to the extent of minding the rights of rocks and trees. It is a comfortable position because it makes being a saint very easy. However, in the process the reality of morality is ditched. Namely, right and wrong cannot apply anymore. Good and evil are not intrinsic to political correctness, they are it’s variables. Therefore, if something is bad this only means it reinforces the good, thus becoming in itself – rather good. Try to imagine the politically correct human being along these lines and judge for yourself whether it is possible or not:
“He/She is healthy, serves his country, chooses the gender, satisfies both the State and the Church, he is as secular as she is religious, therefore she is as profanely religious as he is religiously profane; the science improved him while the religion delivered her; he takes what she wants and does what he’s told to; he thinks what she ought and speaks about it freely.”
Nothing prevents us to heed the call to being imaginative and visualise this creature. But there is already a quite prophetic pop icon embodying it. It was painted by Stanley Kubrick in his A Clockwork Orange. For what is his and Malcom McDowell’s Alex deLarge but a perfect specimen – a symbol – of politically correct overman internalizing and melding together all the contradictions of political correctness? A perfect amalgam of male and female, hetero- and homosexual, chaotic and controlled, technological and ideological, violent and submissive? Doesn’t he/she validate the hidden inference of political correctness saying: “everything is good if it’s not evil”. Of course he/she does. Because it immediately turns into “everything is evil if it’s not good”. But who knows what is one and what is another? Or is another in fact before the one? The answer is obvious: no one. The variable of good and evil is completely arbitrary with a sole condition of bringing about the equality of both sides. When ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are equally valid, then they really have to be one.
A good example of this can be seen through treatment of neo-Nazi forces in Ukrainian army by Western media. While Nazi symbols are anathema in the developed West, their proud display by Ukrainian Azov battalion is not only tolerated – it is all but flashed in our faces. Almost nobody noticed this fact, namely that the media didn’t downplay their importance. It saw no contradiction between them and the ideals of the postmodern West. They are accepted in much the same way the symbols of minorities are accepted. This is the core of political correctness, still hidden from view for many people. Namely, it is not only a caricature of good, it is it’s utter negation. It is, therefore, evil.
Recognizing this fact is by no means easy because political correctness piggybacks on real virtues thus fooling the conscience to accept it. Then politically correct moral principle replaces moral contradiction with illusory identity. Indeed, contradiction is not easy to bear. That fleeting moment when all certitude one has built over the years crumbles and leaves him naked to his own gaze is terrible. But it is the freedom itself: the ability of man to pick himself up from the floor and start again. This moment is maybe best described in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment when Raskolnikov, now a convict who did the crime and suffers the punishment, collapses to the floor to kiss the feet of the desolate woman who loves him despite himself. It is the moment, to paraphrase the final sentence of the novel, when man can commence rebuilding himself. No such thing is possible for politically correct. The identity political correctness provides is absolute, i.e. it dialectically encompasses it’s own contradiction. Azov Batalion and Conchita Wurst are one and the same, only they don’t know it and for all eternity won’t know it. All those Facebook avatars flashing moral decisions are in fact the same because they successfully erase the true identities behind them. And all of them will forever remain blissfully identical.
So, there we have it, it’s all so “… queer … like a digital orange.” But whence does it come from? One vague term is “cultural Marxism”, denoting Frankfurt School and anti-philosophies of Jacques Derrida and his ilk. However, this is very vague and one sided. If we are really to take philosophy to be a cause and not merely a symptom, we might just as well include British analytical philosophy, i.e. all modes of thinking relying on so called “linguistic turn”. One typical boast of it’s adherents was that they reduced all problems of metaphysics to problems of language and it’s meaning, stating implicitly that they reduced them to nothing. But metaphysics is very real and has a tendency to grow in a mutant form when it’s proper form is suppressed. By banishing any notion of logos as a meaningful being outside the inherently meaningless use of language, the moderns and postmoderns simply projected their notion of limits of language to the world as such. World is the language construct, that’s something almost everybody would agree, therefore to rule the language means to rule the world itself. However, the monolith like strictness of political correctness is more akin to language of Vienna circle than to tortured vagueness of Adorno. Bertrand Russell once accused the existentialists of imposing psychology on logic. But now we can see that he and his descendents did the same thing by making their own arbitrary rules of proper use of language and imposing them to the world as such. When, for instance, Richard Dawkins flatly pronounces that he sees nothing morally reprehensible in eating human road kill, he is in fact displaying the appliance of rules of analytical philosophy to reality. He is completely unable to see any meaning in human cadaver outside of that which he can construct himself, so he is obliged to say something which is completely abhorrent to anyone in possession of common sense. The crucial thing, however, is what will follow next. Sooner or later, Dawkins or some of his followers will demand for cannibalism to become legalized. This is the main feature of politically correct mind – for each judgment it pronounces, it must at the same time demand a positive law or legal regulation. Reason for this is it’s unreality. The politically correct individual doesn’t seek it’s own will – it seeks it’s own legal system to be imposed on reality. Political correctness is a system of absolute identity which craves reality but only relation it can have with it is that of imposition. Political correctness is therefore inherently violent. Hence the Ukrainian neo-Nazis are perfectly politically correct, not merely as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. From the viewpoint of politically correct elites and their subjects they are fighting for eradication of opposition to globalization. They are fighting for Conchita Wurst. So no whitewash is really needed.
“Now, now, droogs … not to worry … Holocaust will hallow your swastikas, oh my brothers.”, as Alex D. would say.
Political correctness is a triumph of Law over freedom. It is an arbitrary codification and legalization of intimacy, i.e. of conscience. Politically correct people – and they are already a majority – are unable to decide over good and evil any more. They are seduced into this state first by being forbidden to choose vaguely defined ‘bad’ in the form of bad language towards some designated victim group. However, this will not be the end. There is another side to this coin and Dawkins’ careless remark clearly indicates what it is. Political correctness can, and will, legalize and proscribe evil. It can, and will, proscribe cannibalism just as well as vegetarianism.
“Right … right … right …, oh my brothers? A bit of that ole ultra violence all written in Zakon just for you!”
And all this will come to pass with not a flicker of conscience on behalf of masses. Political correctness provides the identity of the darkness of mind. This darkness cannot be penetrated by outside source of light, so for politically correct fanatics no amount of logic or information can budge anything in their convictions. The only alternative is freedom, recognition of one’s own nothingness. Because this nothingness is an ancient check of human conscience and the only guarantee that it is on the right path. It is a reminder that when you think your conscience is clear you are most probably on the way to lose it. No such thing can happen to politically correct. He is forever at peace and forever insignificant. Only a bit queer … like a digital orange. For if there comes to pass a future which will tell tales of our age, it will be the future that ripped the veil of political correctness to reveal it’s face:
Smile of Mona Lisa under the eyes of a shark.