The PC movement, taking a page from Orwell, wants to use language to shape people’s political perceptions and opinions. From Doug Casey at caseyresearch.com:
Chris’ note: As longtime readers know, Doug Casey believes the politically correct (PC) movement is part of the accelerating collapse of Western civilization.
And this trend is getting worse by the day.
For example, San Francisco recently introduced a new “sanitized” language for criminals. You’re not supposed to say “convicted felon,” “delinquent,” or even “drug addict” now.
And that’s not the only example…
Below, Doug tells me why this is happening… who the true enemies are… and where he sees all this going from here…
Chris Reilly, managing editor, Casey Daily Dispatch: Doug, longtime readers know that you think the “politically correct” movement is destroying America. In fact, you’ve said in the past that “PC” culture is just “one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself.”
And things don’t seem to be getting better.
It sounds crazy, but the city board recently “sanitized” a bunch of crime lingo. For instance, it’s getting rid of words such as “offender” and “addict.” Instead of “convicted felon,” you’re now supposed to say “justice-involved person.”
Are you surprised at all that this is happening?
Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research: No, I’m not surprised at all. It’s part of the accelerating collapse of civilization itself. And it’s not just a question of the language evolving, and people just saying things in different ways.
English has evolved, and the meanings of words have been changing since before Beowulf was composed in the 10th century. The language has become more precise as a result. This is different. It’s not an organic change. It’s an attempt by people who see themselves as the ruling class to not just influence the way the proletariat speaks, but the way they think. Or perhaps I should say the way they feel. Thinking is hard work, but even an imbecile can feel.
Political types – absolutely including the “woke” brigade and so-called Social Justice Warriors – specialize in appealing to the emotions, not the intellect. It makes sense when you’re trying to sway the mob. If people actually thought about the notions the wokesters promote, most would realize it was just claptrap to manipulate and swindle them. It’s smarter to sway their emotions. The mob acts on their feelings, which you can excite with a 30-second sound bite, and a picture. They don’t act on even simple intellectual arguments – forget about complex reasoning.
The degradation of language is very important. It’s not a question of just being able to express yourself. Language facilitates your ability to think. If the enemy – and these people are actually enemies of humanity – capture the language they almost automatically win the war.
Chris: One of the reasons San Francisco is doing this is because it wants to change people’s views about those who commit crimes.
Doug: Apparently none of these people have read George Orwell’s 1984. Or, more likely, they have, and took away exactly the wrong message. Orwell intended the book as a warning, not an instruction manual, where things often meant the opposite of what they said. Big Brother and the Party purposefully tried to change the language. If you can control what people say, or don’t say, you’re in effect controlling what people think and feel.
These people share Big Brother’s psychology and way of thinking. They want to use language to control the way people act and feel.
This is happening everywhere, but especially in almost all the universities and colleges. It’s one of the many reasons why I have, for many years, urged people to think twice before spending four years, and a small fortune, going to college. Take a look at an interview I did with Phil Donahue the day before the national elections in 1980. When I did a riff on college it was one of the two times the audience booed me.
It’s one reason why I urge high school students not to go to college. Even back then, almost 40 years ago, it was a misallocation of time and money for most people. It certainly was for me. But today it’s much more serious. Colleges and universities have been totally captured by socialists, collectivists, cultural Marxists – call them what you will. And they’re a corrupting influence.
Somebody who’s 18 years old doesn’t know much, and has little in the way of experience. Then you put them in an environment with authority figures that they’re told to look up to and learn from. As a result they’re totally indoctrinated, and actually corrupted. Both Ignatius Loyola and Lenin observed that if they were able to indoctrinate – or did they use the word “educate,” I forget – someone as a child or a teen that he’d almost certainly be a good Catholic or Communist – or maybe both – for the rest of his life. They were right.
It’s shocking and shameful that kids are expected to spend $250,000 and four years of their life sitting in a classroom absorbing destructive theories. Most higher education today is worse than a misallocation of time and money. It’s worse than just a waste. It’s actively detrimental. I’ll except hard science, technology, engineering, and math from that blanket condemnation. And I hasten to mention that although chasing girls, goofing off, and drinking – where a huge amount of most kids’ college education actually goes – is great fun, it’s even possible to do that better out in the real world.
Let me correct myself in implying the pronoun “him” above. About 60% of all college attendees are female today. If we include all the 40 or 50 different supposed genders I’ll warrant less than 25% of attendees are real males.
Chris: You’re absolutely right about this PC movement making its way into colleges and universities. Did you see what Colorado State University (CSU) put out late last year? They’re calling it an “Inclusive Language Guide.” It’s ridiculous. It’s basically banning a list of 50-plus words and phrases.
Instead of “handicap parking,” the university wants you to say “accessible parking.” Instead of “freshman,” you say “first-year.” “Male” and “female” are also discouraged. Use “man” and “woman” instead. “War” is now “hostile environment.” You get the idea…
Doug: It’s either a comedy sketch or, more likely, evidence that most of the staff at CSU suffer from severe mental aberrations. It’s rather odd, because believe it or not, I have a CSU polo club tee shirt. They once sent their team to play the club I was with in Aspen, and they seemed like perfectly normal guys. CSU was hardly a bastion of PC not so long ago – it’s no Oberlin, or Dartmouth, or Yale. I played polo for 20 years and I wouldn’t have thought, since CSU has polo – horse hockey, a sport suitable for barbarians – that they would have gone into this type of thing. More likely, polo has now been banned at CSU as being un-PC. Racist against horses, perhaps. Maybe chapters of PETA have replaced chapters of Greek letter fraternities on their campus.
It’s not just the colleges though. Kids are indoctrinated from grade school on up now. The media, the entertainment business, the government, and most big corporations are PC through and through. The entire culture has been captured by these people. I wrote an essay on the use and on the misuse and conflation of words. I’ll have to expand it into a pamphlet, or perhaps a book. The situation’s actually pretty hopeless at this point.
Chris: There’s nothing that can be done?
Doug: No, there’s not really much hope. The election of Donald Trump was actually the “last hurrah” for traditional America. As you know, I’m not a fan of Trump. His foreign policies are generally warlike and dangerous. His monetary policy of endorsing ZIRP, more debt, and money printing is idiotic. His fiscal policy of running trillion-dollar deficits is disastrous.
On the bright side, his traditionalism – wanting to see America the way it was at its peak in the days of “Father Knows Best,” “Ozzie and Harriet,” or “Mad Men” for the Millennials who otherwise wouldn’t know what I’m talking about – has a certain charm. Especially now that we’re on the ragged edge of a civil war.
The proverbial average American – someone with a steady job, a family, some savings, some belief in traditional American values – voted for him because he wasn’t a lifelong politician. He wasn’t one of these horrible Deep State creatures like McCain, or Romney, or those other phony non-entities on stage with him. And he wasn’t Hillary, America’s answer to Evita Peron.
Even so, in 2016 it was a very, very close election. This time around there will be a lot more young people voting. And a lot more migrants voting. They’ll all go for the kind of active socialists and sociopaths we’ve seen in the Democratic debates. It doesn’t matter that they’re all authoritarians, totally ignorant of economics and who actually despise personal freedom. It doesn’t matter that some of them appear to be clinically insane.
Fifty years ago was the last time we experienced something like this, a cultural revolution in the US. And coincidentally it happened at the same time in Europe and China. It flowed out of the universities into the streets then. Even though only a small number of people went to university from high school in those days. Now almost everybody goes from high school into at least junior college. Now the virus is not only much more virulent than it was during the ‘60s and ‘70s, but it’s much more widespread and much more ingrained in society. And it doesn’t just start in college. It starts in high school, and even grade school today.
So how do you turn this around at this point? How do you depoliticize a whole society? How do you convince hundreds of millions of people not to be busybodies? To think, not feel? To analyze the actual meaning of what teachers and demagogues say? The answer is: You can’t. The degradation has been going on a long time. You don’t reverse a trend overnight – assuming you can change its direction at all.
I expect that in the next few years, as the economy goes into full collapse, that we’ll see violence in the streets. It’s going to be really ugly.
But let’s end this on a happy note. George Carlin was a stickler for using words, and concepts accurately. Which is to say he was anti-PC, anti-woke and anti-SJW. Get a load of this.
Chris: Great conversation. Thanks for your time, Doug.
Doug: You’re welcome.