L. Neil Smith's THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 889, September 11, 2016
Political Correctness—Leftist Ploy or Mental Illness?
by L. Neil Smith
Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise
In its twenty years online, this journal has never made a definitive statement with regard to “political correctness”, although its many individual contributors have left little doubt as to where they stand on the issue. It should never have been necessary. The Libertarian Enterprise is nothing, if not a Bill of Rights publication.
Political correctness is nothing new, believe me. Back in the 1980s, thirty-six years ago, I realized that my writings would never make it past the “Liberal” gate-keepers to win a Hugo, a Nebula, or a John W. Campbell Award. Okay, I learned to live with that. It”s why there”s a Prometheus Award today, for works that make “Progressives” uncomfortable.
However, when, day after day, week after week, month after month, practically minute after minute, we go on hearing about various blatantly anti-Constitutional political atrocities being committed in the name of political correctness—a baker being fined absurdly by a kangaroo judge for refusing to bake a cake for an event he personally and morally opposes; ridiculous and crushing fines being levied for anybody”s failure to employ the politically correct pronoun of the month—it is long past time for all journalists of good conscience, even if they wholeheartedly support gay marriage and freedom to choose one”s own gender designation as we do, to speak up. (Although it does come as something of a shock to some of us to realize that we are, indeed, journalists.)
As individuals—and individualists— we staunchly support the absolute right of anybody to be or do whatever he or she desires: straight, gay, bi, trans, whatever, True, there are some, possibly misguided, individuals out there who are horrified and disgusted at the way others may play with, twist and distort their own sexuality. But these people, too, have every right in the world to be horrified and disgusted if it makes them happy, and, under the First Amendment, which safeguards their absolute freedom of speech (that bit about shouting fire in a crowded theater was merely an offhand wisecrack by a Supreme Court justice and never had any official bearing), to express it freely and without negative sanction.
Tolerance for intolerance is the very hallmark, the very signature, the very quality this civilization is supposed to be built on.
Still others have every right to be amused or completely indifferent or thoroughly sick and tired of the whole damn thing, and to go about their everyday lives as if LGBT issues didn”t exist. No one has any obligation of any kind to make anybody else”s pet cause their own.
Political correctness, however, is more than just a simple matter of sexuality, of putative sexism, or even of race and racism. It is nothing more than a childish demand never to be contradicted. It is the use of one”s pretended vulnerability as a weapon, which is the precise definition of passive-aggressive behavior. As such, its existence on any university campus—supposedly the sanctuary of free speech and freedom of thought—is completely unacceptable.
It has been asserted that enforcement of the Bill of Rights is a purely federal matter. Yet, since the War of Northern Aggression and the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment, states have been equally obliged to respect and enforce the measures mandated by that document.
What”s more, in exchange for the powers and immunities companies expect to accrue by incorporating, those companies—especially colleges and universities—must be required absolutely to protect Constitutional freedoms, as well. Thus, when political correctness raises its ugly head on any campus, if the administration trendily encourages or chicken-heartedly goes along with it, then the president, the provost, and various deans must expect to be dragged from their cushy offices in handcuffs, belly- chains, and ankle-bracelets, taken “downtown” in the “Black Maria”, finger-printed, photographed, cavity- searched, and jailed.
The only “safe space” on a university campus—the only place where your childish notions can”t be examined in microscopic detail and torn to itty-bitty shreds—should be in your own dormitory room, under your little bed. And while you”re down there whimpering amongst the dust-bunnies, try thinking about these items, just for starters:
More than anything, today”s “politically correct” atmosphere reeks of those Red Chinese neighborhood “self- criticism” sessions in decades past, leading me to relabel the current mess “mini-Maoism”. Do you really want to be associated with an ideology that murdered 50,000,000 innocent people?
Furthermore, if it weren”t for the so-called “cultural appropriation” you whine and belly-ache about—the adoption of another society”s cuisine, their clothing, hairstyles, beliefs, and languages—we”d all be sitting around on rocks in front of our caves, grunting and tearing uncooked rabbits apart with our teeth.
Godwin”s so-called Law is merely a rhetorical device to gag the anti-fascists among us and keep us from learning the lesson of history. If something looks like a Nazi, sounds like a Nazi, and acts like a Nazi, even if it calls itself a Bush or an Obama, it”s probably a Nazi.
No living American has ever owned a slave, and cannot, legally or morally, be held responsible for the shortcomings of his or her ancestors, no matter how evil, stupid, or insane. Likewise, no living American has ever been kept as a slave (except, perhaps by the IRS), and nobody owes him or her anything by way of reparations for anything that happened to his ancestors. I am Irish and some of my people were sold into slavery by the British, but that”s irrelevant, now. America is and was always a place of starting over.
Finally (for now), in my experience, “microaggression” only affects the microintelligent.
Get it through your tiny, pointed fascist heads: Milo Yiannopoulos, Pamela Gellar, Michael Savage, and even the Donald himself have a right to speak whenever they”re invited, without being shouted down, physically assaulted, or shouldered off-campus in the name of political correctness. When I was in school, we went to see William F. Buckley, Ayn Rand, and George Lincoln Rockwell. (Look him up—and keep your smelling salts handy.) Anything less than that is an open admission that you have nothing valid of your own to say in response.
Perhaps it”s the only honesty of which you”re capable.
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