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“Political Correctness” in economic terms

 

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Found a nice piece about “political correctness” That I wish to share with the Sandpit’s readers:

PC-brigadiers behave exactly like owners of a positional good who panic because wider availability of that good threatens their social status. The PC brigade has been highly successful in creating new social taboos, but their success is their very problem. Moral superiority is a prime example of a positional good, because we cannot all be morally superior to each other. Once you have successfully exorcised a word or an opinion, how do you differentiate yourself from others now? You need new things to be outraged about, new ways of asserting your imagined moral superiority.

You can do that by insisting that the no real progress has been made, that your issue is as real as ever, and just manifests itself in more subtle ways. Many people may imitate your rhetoric, but they do not really mean it, they are faking it, they are poseurs (here’s a nice example). You can also hugely inflate the definition of an existing offense (plenty of nice examples here.) Or you can move on to discover new things to label ‘offensive’, new victim groups, new patterns of dominance and oppression.

If I am right, then Political Correctness is really just a special form of conspicuous consumption, leading to a zero-sum status race. The fact that PC fans are still constantly outraged, despite the fact that PC has never been so pervasive, would then just be a special form of the Easterlin Paradox.

Keep up the good work, spiked team. But bear in mind that you are up against a powerful economic force.

source

Yes,  I have to admit that Twitter has some virtues 😉

Cheers Comrades

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26 Comments

  1. Paul Murray says:

    Odd that you can complain about students being “uncivil”, and then complain about people complaining about incivility in the very next post.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    The thing is Paul, I don’t see “political correctness” as just being concerned with “complaining about incivility” its much more akin what Orwell characterised as “thought crime” and like the thought police of 1984 its a totalitarian wet dream that should be denounced and resisted at every opportunity.

  3. Jeff G. says:

    No, Paul was right. You either have freedom of speech, action and protest, or you don’t. What is “civility” anyway, just a way of telling someone what they can’t do or say.

    I have no problem with people not being politically correct. Provided they don’t use this as a license for racist / sexist / homophobe bollocks, which unfortunately a lot of them do.

  4. GD says:

    And who gets to decide what are racist/sexist/homophobic bollocks?

  5. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff
    I think that you are confused or that you have just not though this through very thoroughly.

    No, Paul was right. You either have freedom of speech, action and protest, or you don’t. What is “civility” anyway, just a way of telling someone what they can’t do or say.

    Civility is the social grease that makes for a peaceful society that can accept and respect diversity and as such you have the good manners not to loudly interrupt public events with crass sloganeering and heckling.

    I have no problem with people not being politically correct. Provided they don’t use this as a license for racist / sexist / homophobe bollocks, which unfortunately a lot of them do.

    That its totally contradictory mate, and is right up there with “my best friend is gay but….” sort of nonsense. “Political correctness” is the Orwellian concept of thought crime made manifest and those, like yourself who want to make the world a better place by stopping such crimes of the mind are utterly mistaken if you think that you can qualify any notion of free speech, you can’t if you want the speech to be truly free.

  6. richard ryan says:

    “Political Correctness”? the bearded lady wins the Eurovision Song Contest, IMAGINE: GD and the bearded lady on a street corner, would make a fortune,————————- in some Muslim neighbourhood.

  7. richard ryan says:

    Imagine, GD wearing a bra, singing “I LIKE IT BOTH WAYS”—-in front of a mob of Muslims.

  8. Ray Dixon says:

    (you) are utterly mistaken if you think that you can qualify any notion of free speech, you can’t if you want the speech to be truly free.

    Iain, I’m sure there are some things that even you would regard as ‘crossing the line’ from free speech into one of several areas that abuse the principle. Here’s a good definition and explanation of why you don’t have the right to just say anything you like (because by so doing you may infringe the rights of others):

    Freedom of speech is the political right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas using one’s body and property to anyone who is willing to receive them. The term freedom of expression is sometimes used synonymously, but includes any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.

    The right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and is commonly subject to limitations based on the speech implications of the harm principle including libel, slander, obscenity and pornography, sedition, hate speech, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets, non-disclosure agreements.

    The term “offence principle” is also used to expand the range of free speech limitations to prohibit forms of expression where they are considered offensive to society, special interest groups or individuals. For example, freedom of speech is limited in many jurisdictions to widely differing degrees by religious legal systems, religious offense or incitement to ethnic or racial hatred laws.

  9. Jeff G. says:

    I think that you are confused or that you have just not though this through very thoroughly.

    Don’t be patronizing Iain. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m “confused” or I haven’t thought it through. It just means I don’t agree with you.

    Civility is the social grease that makes for a peaceful society that can accept and respect diversity and as such you have the good manners not to loudly interrupt public events with crass sloganeering and heckling.

    No your def is too specific. Civility is a social expectation about standards of speech and behaviour. So is political correctness. Going to the heart of both is the idea that you shouldn’t offend others with what you say or do. Civility suggests you shouldn’t shout, swear or get your little wanger out in public. Political correctness suggests you shouldn’t call black people “niggers” or women “sluts”. From the dictionary:

    “political correctness: the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

    In other words, it is a subset of civility. Be nice to people. This is no more an “Orwellian thought crime” than scratching your nuts.

    Of course when political correctness goes too far, sometimes people (inc. racial minorities) can and have used it to stifle debate. That of course is wrong. But the same can be said of civility. You and GD are getting all heated up about these kids shouting on the ABC for five minutes. Then you tell us that free speech is not free unless its absolutely free. Well you can’t have it both ways.

  10. Jeff G. says:

    And who gets to decide what are racist/sexist/homophobic bollocks?

    Most people can work it out for themselves GD. But when you’re obsessed with brown people and blame all your problems on them, chances are it’s beyond you.

  11. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff

    I think that you are confused or that you have just not though this through very thoroughly.

    Don’t be patronizing Iain. Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m “confused” or I haven’t thought it through. It just means I don’t agree with you.

    Your argument is presented in a confused manner therefore you must be confused QED

    Civility is the social grease that makes for a peaceful society that can accept and respect diversity and as such you have the good manners not to loudly interrupt public events with crass sloganeering and heckling.

    No your def is too specific. Civility is a social expectation about standards of speech and behaviour. So is political correctness.

    Political correctness is much more being about a social expectation of polite behaviour it is an unspoken argument that there is only one way to think about particular issues.

    Going to the heart of both is the idea that you shouldn’t offend others with what you say or do. Civility suggests you shouldn’t shout, swear or get your little wanger out in public. Political correctness suggests you shouldn’t call black people “niggers” or women “sluts”.

    I think that you are completely wrong in your understanding of the purpose of civility, it does not exist to “avoid causing offence”it exists as a way of preventing even the strongest disagreements escalating to violence. Your suggestion that particular words in and of themselves are inherently “offensive” when in the real world context is everything. Thus you ignore the intent of the speaker of such words. For example all you have to do is listen to Rap music and you will hear the word Nigger used as a universal greeting of appellation. Likewise “slut/slutty’ is not necessarily a term of derision either. The “politically correct” are, like the partyin Orwell’s book trying to control thought through their own version of Newspeak

    From the dictionary:

    “political correctness: the avoidance of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.”

    In other words, it is a subset of civility. Be nice to people. This is no more an “Orwellian thought crime” than scratching your nuts.

    Which dictionary was that?

    Of course when political correctness goes too far, sometimes people (inc. racial minorities) can and have used it to stifle debate. That of course is wrong.

    You are being far too modest on behalf of the sanctimonious left Jeff its almost all of those dedicated to “progressive” politics who are dead keen to make thought crime difficult of not impossible. Thus we are not supposed to tell particular types of jokes, certain words are all but forbidden. You say that overly sensitive “minorities” take it too far but in my experience its their would be symnpathisers that are the worst offenders.

    That of course is wrong. But the same can be said of civility. You and GD are getting all heated up about these kids shouting on the ABC for five minutes. Then you tell us that free speech is not free unless its absolutely free. Well you can’t have it both ways

    That is where you are wrong too Jeff, when you collectively heckle and disrupt a show like QandA you are stealing the forum from everyone else who wants to particulate in it under its agreed rules and format. The thing about that organised heckling was that the agenda was not to interact with the guests on the show but instead disrupt and even stop the broadcast for as long as they could. The two representatives of Socialist Alliance had the chance to ask their questions directly of the minister but that expression of their right to free speech was unimpeded they then made it impossible for Christopher Pyne to give an answer thereby restricting his right to speak freely.

  12. Jeff G. says:

    Your argument is presented in a confused manner therefore you must be confused QED

    No my argument is quite clear. If you can’t understand it is you who must be confused, QED.

    Civility is the social grease that makes for a peaceful society that can accept and respect diversity

    You mean like GD does when he talks about Aboriginals eating witchety grubs and Muslims all being on the dole?

    Yes civility might claim to be making a peaceful society. But it is still about imposing standards of speech and behaviour on other people. And like GD himself might say, based on the above, who decides what is civil? What is civil to you might not be civil to me, and so on. Civility is about respecting other people. So is political correctness.

    Political correctness is much more being about a social expectation of polite behaviour it is an unspoken argument that there is only one way to think about particular issues.

    No, it’s an unspoken argument that you shouldn’t use terms that may offend people. That applies to speech, not to thought. Nobody can do a damn thing about the way you think. That is why PC is not a thought crime but a social convention!

    Your suggestion that particular words in and of themselves are inherently “offensive” when in the real world context is everything.

    Of course context is everything. But in most cases those rules will apply. Try going to into a ghetto in Chicago, call out to a black guy “hey nigger”, then explain it as being “in context”. I’m sure he will understand. The point is that it’s the person being called “nigger” or “slut” or “poofter” or “cripple” who gets to decide whether it is offensive, not the person who chooses the use the word.

    The “politically correct” are, like the partyin Orwell’s book trying to control thought through their own version of Newspeak

    No Iain, that theory just exists in your head. Some might use it that way, i.e. to shut down debate. But most people just understand that PC exists to limit people, esp. minorities, from being denigrated and harassed and tormented. It has got nothing to do with Orwell or Big Brother or any other conspiracy theory. If that was really the case then where are all the people on your blog demanding GD be censored, arrested, shot, etc? He has certainly said enough un-PC things here. Civility and PC are both about standards of behaviour. Neither stop you thinking what you want to think and neither will get you arrested.

    Which dictionary was that?

    Merriam-Webster via Google.

    Re: Q&A protestors, I have already said they were disrespectful tools who should grow up. It is there right to be disrepectful tools, even on national TV, as it is my right to call them as such. That’s how freedom of speech really works. I like Mr Obama’s theory, when a racist speaks, let him speak, because it will do his cause no good. This was also true of the ABC protestors.

  13. GD says:

    I like Mr Obama’s theory, when a racist speaks, let him speak, because it will do his cause no good. This was also true of the ABC protestors.

    Jeff, you miss Iain’s point entirely. Two of the protesters were in the audience and were given a chance to ask questions, state their case, as were other chosen audience members.

    Disrupting the forum of supposedly intelligent discussion with guerrilla tactics was an attempt to derail the entire discussion.

    It is not a question of free speech. They had free speech when two of their members were allowed questions.

    Iain is absolutely correct about the difference between civility and freedom of speech.

  14. GD says:

    You mean like GD does when he talks about Aboriginals eating witchery grubs

    Jeff, they did eat witchetty grubs. What’s so wrong about saying that? Are you offended?

    Of course, aboriginal Australians consider witchetty grubs a treat, just as the Maoris of Stewart Island in the far south of New Zealand dine on tītī (muttonbird), the strong, oily flavour of which is seldom appreciated by tourists. Perhaps it’s these culinary encounters that put people off bush tucker. But Australia and New Zealand have some extraordinary native ingredients that deserve to be experienced. Not convinced? Consider this: barramundi, macadamia nuts and manuka honey were once just bush tucker but are now mainstream pleasures.

    Then you reckoned I said:

    and Muslims all being on the dole

    No, I didn’t say that, Jeff, get your facts straight.

  15. Ray Dixon says:

    they did eat witchetty grubs. What’s so wrong about saying that? Are you offended?

    I realise you’re talking to Jeff here, GD, but I’ll answer this too, if you don’t mind. As I pointed out to you at the time, it was the way you used that reference as a form of mockery and put down that aborigines would find offensive. I won’t rehash old ground and go into it again because you were comprehensively outpointed in that particular thread and you lost the argument big time. I’m surprised then that you’d draw attention to it again, but I guess you’re trying to whitewash yourself, so to speak.

  16. Jeff G. says:

    Disrupting the forum of supposedly intelligent discussion with guerrilla tactics was an attempt to derail the entire discussion. It is not a question of free speech. They had free speech when two of their members were allowed questions.

    The whole point of free speech is that you don’t just have to say what you’re “allowed” to say by others. If you and Iain don’t understand that then its you who are missing the point.

    The students have the right to speak, to shout if they right and to demonstrate. We have the right to say they behaved like idiots. The problem with you wing nut is that you are obsessed with PC (probably because a good number of you are inherently racist). To me, “civility” and PC, well they are just two sides of the same coin, i.e. placing restrictions on what people can say.

    Jeff, they did eat witchetty grubs. What’s so wrong about saying that? Are you offended?

    Like Iain says above, intent is everything. You said it to mock and denigrate them. Don’t deny that you did. Anyway having a dig at someone for what their ancestors did in the past is ridiculous.

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Jeff

    The whole point of free speech is that you don’t just have to say what you’re “allowed” to say by others. If you and Iain don’t understand that then its you who are missing the point.

    As a society we make a clear distinction between a private and public space and we (as a society)allow peopel to say and do pretty much as they please in our public places thus we respect the protestors in a park a public square or even on the street have a relatively unrestricted right to make their whingey noises as loud as they please. But the inisde of an ABC studio is NOT a public place even when it has been opened up to the public it remains for legal purposes a controlled space where its managers and administrators determine what is an acceptable standard of behaviour. This those Socialists do not have a “right” to do anything other than participate in the show according to its design and format. Frankly I’ve repeatedly met minions of the left that think that they have rights in moderated forums to ride roughshod over the format and wishes of other participants because of a fallacious understanding of just what “free speech” really is.

    The students have the right to speak, to shout if they right and to demonstrate. We have the right to say they behaved like idiots.

    Sure BUT they don’t have a right to hijack a live broadcast to do so.

    The problem with you wing nut is that you are obsessed with PC (probably because a good number of you are inherently racist). To me, “civility” and PC, well they are just two sides of the same coin, i.e. placing restrictions on what people can say.

    Well your understanding of both terms is just inherently wrong as i have explained to you previously.

    Jeff, they did eat witchetty grubs. What’s so wrong about saying that? Are you offended?

    Like Iain says above, intent is everything. You said it to mock and denigrate them. Don’t deny that you did. Anyway having a dig at someone for what their ancestors did in the past is ridiculous.

    Are you privy to the innermost thoughts of either GD or myself Jeff?
    No???
    Well then you are making unfounded assumptions about why GD or I make our arguments. You have this stereotyped caricature of a social conservative in your head and you are clearly determined to shoehorn GD and I into it even though neither of us are that close a match even on our worst days. To be frank the worst kinds of racism comes form those of your leftist persuasion who think that they have to protect, coddle and patronise every minority, oddball, and outsider with faux concern and compassion.

  18. Jeff G. says:

    But the inisde of an ABC studio is NOT a public place even when it has been opened up to the public it remains for legal purposes a controlled space where its managers and administrators determine what is an acceptable standard of behaviour.

    I’m not talking about the rights of property owners or managers, Iain. I am talking about the right to free speech. Since you have tried to move the goalposts on this, it is a clear debating win to me. Of course the ABC had the right to throw them out, which is what they did.

    Freedom of speech is either absolute or it is not. You lot seem to want it only on your terms. You hate PC because you think it stops you criticizing a race. Well actually it doesn’t, you just need to be measured and careful with your criticism, and actually provide some evidence. If Andrew Bolt had got the facts right in his little column, there would not have been an issue with 18c. But he went in boots first without actually getting it right. Likewise GD, who said that 85% of asylum seekers are on welfare. He was right, based on one study, but I actually had to go and find it for him!

    Well your understanding of both terms is just inherently wrong as i have explained to you previously.

    I quoted definitions from Merriam Webster dictionary. Perhaps you should get in touch with them and offer to write them new ones. I’m sure they will fall over with excitement. Or are you going to tell me that their dictionary was written by “minions of the left”??

    Are you privy to the innermost thoughts of either GD or myself Jeff?

    I’m privy to what you write here and there is enough of that to allow me to make up my own mind.

    To be frank the worst kinds of racism comes form those of your leftist persuasion

    Two points. One, just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I am a leftist. You do that constantly and it is the logic of an idiot. Second, I have never written or said anything as derogatory about a race or racial group as your mate GD, who you have defended here.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    Likewise GD, who said that 85% of asylum seekers are on welfare. He was right, based on one study, but I actually had to go and find it for him!

    No, he wasn’t “right”. The one study (that we all knew of before you “found it”) wasn’t a definitive study on refugee welfare per se, it was only indicative of “households”, not individuals, and was never intended to be a definitive guide. It was not an ABS clinical report, it was an immigration study into ‘how can we help them’ type report. I suggest you shouldn’t give GD any credit or justification for his biased lie, You erred there.

  20. Jeff G. says:

    Yes I didn’t word that very well. GD reckoned he had read that 85% of asylum seekers were on welfare, which he had. How representative (or reliable) that figure is, is another story.

  21. GD says:

    GD….you’re obsessed with brown people and blame all your problems on them

    Not at all Jeff. Blame all my problems on them? And your proof of that is? Get a grip, Jeff. I have always railed against islamic immigration and ideology, not your so-called ‘brownskins’ migrating here. BTW if I had used the term ‘brownskins’ you probably would have added that to the list of offensive, by your definition, statements I’ve made. This racist nonsense is becoming ridiculous. We are tying ourselves in knots in order to not appear racist. Now any innocent word can be taken as racist by someone, so we tie ourselves in more knots and on it goes.

    Compare the pair:

    An upstanding honest immigrant does the right thing while at work.

    Honesty pays for ‘struggling’ cleaner allowed to keep almost $90,000 he found in a bathroom

    Mr Amarsing said the money was a blessing. He didn’t know how he was going to spend it all, but he would give some to his family, some to disabled people and some to a Buddhist temple in Australia

    Then this:

    Like uncle, like nephew, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

    MOHAMED Elomar, the nephew of a jailed extremist at the centre of Australia’s biggest terror conspiracy, the Pendennis plot, is fighting in Syria, having travelled to the battlefield with a second convicted Pendennis conspirator, Khaled Sharrouf.

    It seems it’s all in the family:

    Another of Mohamed Elomar’s nephews, former boxer Ahmed Elomar, awaits sentencing over his role in the 2012 Hyde Park riots, where Muslims clashed violently with police

    As Australia has limited places for refugees and immigrants, despite what the Greens and Labor falsely claim, perhaps we should be inviting more Buddhists or those of other religions, or no religion, rather than islamists to Australia. Of course the usual suspects on this blog will yell ‘racist’, despite the fact that islam is not a race but an ideology. Yet it is this very ideology that is responsible for the war in Syria, it is this ideology that was responsible for the attempted terrorist attack on Australian soil and it is this ideology that caused the recent violent riots in Sydney.

    The relationship between Sharrouf and Elomar typifies the tight familial and social links among extremist circles in Sydney and Melbourne.

    Why are we inviting people such as this to Australia? What possible good can come out of it?

    the Australian Federal Police’s Deputy Commissioner National Security Peter Drennan told The Australian: “We are concerned about the persistent nature of people having extremist and radical views which manifest themselves in violence.’’

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    As Australia has limited places for refugees and immigrants, despite what the Greens and Labor falsely claim, perhaps we should be inviting more Buddhists or those of other religions, or no religion, rather than islamists to Australia. Of course the usual suspects on this blog will yell ‘racist’, despite the fact that islam is not a race but an ideology.

    Discriminating on the basis of religious belief is much the same thing as discriminating on the basis of race or skin colour. At least you acknowledge you are prejudiced, GD. Btw, we don’t “invite” refugees per se. We don’t get to pick and choose who seeks asylum here, we merely assess each application on its merits. The couple of examples of bad eggs among muslim immigrants/refugees that you constantly point to hardly justifies your call for a blanket ban on all muslims … which IS what you’re calling for.

  23. GD says:

    couple of examples of bad eggs

    yeah, sure. Wake up and smell the roses, they’re not smelling so sweet at the moment, just as they haven’t in England, Norway, Sweden, France, Spain, oh let’s call it all of Europe for a long time. Islam is not a religion so much as it is an ideology and every western nation it has infiltrated is worse off for its incursion.

    Never mind, I’m sure your ‘expensive car’ driving, fully-employed muslims taking holidays at your establishment will keep you occupied while western Sydney and Melbourne rot under this scourge.

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Western Sydney is also “rotting” under the “scourge” of bogans, ain’t it?

  25. GD says:

    Western Sydney is also “rotting” under the “scourge” of bogans, ain’t it?

    Well, no, ‘bogans’ as you label them aren’t doing ever increasing drive-by shootings. That’s a predominantly islamic way of dealing with life.

    So you’re happy to denigrate Aussies who aren’t particularly educated or wealthy, but you can’t bring yourself to criticise muslims.

    What is it with the left and islam?

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    Bogans, bikies not involved in drive by shootings, murders, bashings, drug dealing and a whole range of crimes in your area, GD? You’ve cleaned them up have you?

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