We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Are we witnessing an epidemic of PC bullying? Of course, and the contagion has spread out of academia to the real world. People have become fearful of what and how they talk, as if we were in the old East Germany. Fact is, you can pass yourself off as a victim, you can bully and intimidate all you want.
The argument is that only certain (usually academic) elites can be rational, so it is the job of our moral and intellectual superiors to protect us from bad ideas, bad words, and unhindered speech. Good, concise piece: Yes, Political Correctness Really Exists - Social media gives new muscle to German Marxist Herbert Marcuse's arguments against free discourse.
The(se) tensions in (John Stuart) Mill’s defense of intellectual freedom were recognized in the 19th century. What we now call political correctness was first articulated in the 1960s by the brilliant German-born philosopher Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse’s achievement was to turn Mill’s argument for free discussion, at least in a modern Western society, against its explicit conclusion.
Marcuse undertakes this inversion, worthy a black belt in dialectical reasoning, in the 1965 essay “Repressive Tolerance.” In it, Marcuse argues that the marketplace of ideas can’t function as Mill expected, because the game in rigged in favor of those who are already powerful. Some ideas enjoy underserved appeal due to tradition or the prestige of their advocates. And “consumers” are not really free to chose, given the influence of advertising and the pressures of social and economic need. Thus the outcome of formally free debate is actually predetermined. The ideas that win will generally be those justify the existing order; those that lose will be those that challenge the structure.
There is truth in that notion that the biggest megaphones are loudest, but this concern misunderestimates people - even the benighted hoi polloi like us who believe everything on NPR. As you might expect, here at Maggie's we take some amusement from a world full of loony-tunes and liberal fascists -regardless of the size of their megaphones - because we have faith that good old American common sense and resourcefulness will endure and see through the insanity.
Indeed, I believe the Left would be happy to hinder my free speech. I have no desire to hinder theirs, even though I sometimes feel it is fundamentally malevolent. As we often claim here, the desire to control others is a form of mental illness.
CS Lewis: Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
I keep telling my boys, "free speech means you have the right to be offended. It doesn't mean you have the right to stop someone from offending you through force or force of law."
Want to get rid of the Washington Redskins? Fine. Then get rid of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, because that is offensive to all Irish people.
Or the New York and San Francisco Giants - it offends the tall people.
And so on...
I can handle being offended. I try to avoid offending people, as a matter of being in polite society. But I can, and have, from time to time and I have no intention of stopping just because some douchebag tells me I'm being offensive.
Yes. With an exclamation point. My personal experiences have long passed the level of hilarity, as my lovely bride now reminds me to "check the American Indian box" whenever possible...
My DNA is now somehow created my own Ghost Shirt.
While married in the '70s, I obeyed my college student wife, and quietly stewed that we were growing apart. She was much influenced by the crowd at the university, for which I was paying.
An evening came, where we were arguing, and I just up and said, "iron my shirt, and bake me a pie!"
That did it.
Marcuse was on to something but overestimated the importance of the general cultural weight vs the local popularity of the ideas of the folks one wants to impress. We were rebels against the general culture in the 1970's at college, but very much slaves to the opinions of those immediately around us, among who we sought camaraderie, and status, and mates. That is the driving force, not the Gallup Poll which includes our parents and grandparents.
As to the immense power of advertising - yes, we all used to believe that, didn't we? It kinda works for your first purchase of something, especially when you are a teenager. That's about it.
Assistant Village Idiot
Here's a detailed analysis of "megaphones" in five major radio markets in the US. In each of the five cases, the liberals' megaphone (radio transmitter reach in terms of covered population) was similar to the stations that broadcast Rush Limbaugh.
Guess what? Given the choice of which station to tune to, listeners choose, according to Arbitron, the conservative content over the "progressive" content, sometimes 40+ to one. Even in the Washington DC market, one hardly conservative, the ratings were 5 to one in favor of Limbaugh.