Sunday, January 15, 2017

No Need to Drown in a Sea of PC

It was entirely foreseeable, but unavoidable nevertheless. The Sea of Political Correctness, fed since November 9 by the tears of the self-righteous, is now engulfing its devotees and followers. Vainly casting about for safe spaces where they may continue to breathe air unsullied by what they perceive as the sulfurous emanations of their opponents, they are gasping, choking and sinking as wave after wave of fresh emotional outbursts crashes over their heads.

The sad thing is that it is all a mirage of their own manufacture. Political correctness is the ultimate vanity of the self. The self presumes to judge others as unworthy of it, or as threatening to it, or even as indebted to it -- in other words, political correctness builds up the self at the expense of the other. Ask yourself: just who is it who makes the determination of what is and is not "correct"?

The phenomenon is the prime example of what Elias Canetti described in 1960 in Crowds and Power:
A man stands by himself on a secure and well defined spot, his every gesture asserting his right to keep others at a distance. He stands there like a windmill on an enormous plain, moving expressively; and there is nothing between him and the next mill. All life, so far as he knows it, is laid out in distances — the house in which he shuts himself and his property, the positions he holds, the rank he desires — all these serve to create distances, to confirm and extend them....

These hierarchies … exist everywhere and everywhere gain a decisive hold on men’s minds and determine their behavior to each other. But the satisfaction of being higher in rank than others does not compensate for the loss of freedom of movement. Man petrifies and darkens in the distances he has created. He drags at the burden of them, but cannot move. He forgets that it is self-inflicted, and longs for liberation. But how, alone, can he free himself?
(My emphasis added.) How, indeed? Canetti's insight was that in such individual acts of discrimination, and in the psychological, self-induced fears that they generate, crowds have both their genesis and their reason for existing:
Only together can men free themselves from their burdens of distance; and this, precisely, is what happens in a crowd… Each man is as near the other as he is to himself; and an immense feeling of relief ensues. It is for the sake of this blessed moment, when no-one is greater or better than another, that people become a crowd.
So it is with political correctness. An individual's fear of being viewed as "different", or as a victim, or as inferior, weak or helpless, dissolves when that individual can link up with others of like mind and form a crowd which possesses the collective power of their groupthink: they can express a condemnation of the source of their fears that has the illusion of being well-nigh universal. "Everyone agrees that ...  " "No one would ever be so cruel as to think that ..."

Despite the seeming power of a crowd, it is ephemeral and illusory. So long as it has a defined direction, it can continue to grow. But if it splinters into groups headed in different directions, or meets an insurmountable barrier, it breaks up, dissolves, and loses its apparent collective force.

And that is what we are witnessing in the aftermath of the election. The politically correct crowd was so certain of its ability to name the next President that it shattered on the shoals of the Electoral College. It has been unable since then to re-form under a single, agreed leader. It is instead trying to coalesce under a common hatred of the successful candidate. Hatred, however, like fear, needs a crowd in which to dissolve, and a crowd needs direction -- which is supplied by a leader.

As the successful candidate has demonstrated time and again, the best defense against political correctness is to refuse to play along with its illusory power -- indeed, to do the very opposite of what it "commands" in any given instance. By saying and showing that the emperor has no clothes, the bubble of the illusion is popped, and sober reality steps in.

But it is not enough just to prick the balloon of political correctness. The reality that replaces it has to be a genuine reality, or else it, too, will devolve into just another variety of PC miasma. And to be genuine, that reality has to be experienced as having its own integrity -- as possessing an inherent guiding force that derives from its goals, and from the means employed to achieve them.

Such a reality has been but dimly encapsulated in the campaign slogan "Make America great again." It needs to be fleshed out with concrete programs of proposed legislation and executive actions that are designed once more (as they were at the country's outset) to foster American exceptionalism, in order to allow both Americans and others to be comfortable with a world leader that seeks no one's subjugation, no territorial conquests, and no applications of force save in the defense of America herself, or of her allies.

We are not there yet. Such a program has not yet taken discrete form.

But there is every reason to hope that a beginning has been made -- is being made as I write -- and that, with God's grace, America may truly once more show the way in its humility, in its decency, and in its willingness to serve without expectation of reward.

And in the meantime, it will not hurt to pray for those currently drowning in the sea of their own political correctness: that they may shake off their self-absorption and fear, and emerge onto the firm, dry land of an America that could put them to good purpose as well.


  1. I have had some truly unsettling conversations with people I have known for decades about what is happening. In some cases, prayer is about the only way to engage people so afflicted, as any effort to confront their perception with reality results in responses hostile enough to endanger the friendship.

    1. I am stunned by the opinions of a classmate. We sat within spitting distance in American History classes…an entire semester on the US and State Constitutions…and she thinks the election is "unconstitutional" because Clinton won the popular vote!! I know she passed the class. (Of course this was in 1948)
      What is shocking is her lack of reason…her mind is still sharp on all other subjects. I am also puzzled by friends who have lived their lives (personnel, professional and economic) in very conservative ways, but now have far-left political views.

    2. Ah!!! Tregonsee and Maxine....two of my top five commentators on this hallowed site. The operative word is convenience. Unexpected pregnancy? Thou shalt not...? Mom says she just wants to die....(?)

      Enforce the Beatitudes in your life....I'm too busy....don't you understand????

      We are among the last of the sinners who try and fail, and try and succeed, and try, and try, and try. Success, failure, success, 70 years of age, this humble servant is beginning to understand....not to just know.

      Maxine's notion that it is shocking is well founded. Tregonsee being baffled at irrational lunacy being expressed by people encountering natural law, is well founded.

      We are being offered in the recent publication from the Diocese of West Texas the opportunity to have "input" into the deliberations concerning the elevation of the next Bishop Suffragan of said Diocese. We are invited to provide such "in-put" at Saint Alban's In Harlingen, Texas in the coming days.
      This is after the Diocese published a magazine "REFLECTIONS" which contains numerous articles that (they think) skillfully, gently, and without notice reveal that most of the old, useless, mislead, bigotted people who took up space in the pews of the Sanctuary for the oppressed, migrants, and refused and denied peoples of colour of America....are either dead or dying.

      They point out that it is time to, once and for all, totally endorse the humanist nature of "Christianity" as a philosophy of liberation from constrictions of living the full life that God tried to give to Adam and Eve.
      It is time for the wealthy to re-think the value of their wealth and for the traditional people to rethink the errors of their beliefs. People of good will can certainly understand how to cure poverty, once and for all, if those who have will only share a little of what they have with those who have naught.

      This is Texas....among people who have dedicated their lives to the Catholic the Anglican traditions.....and who have given tonnes of money, time, and effort to the Salvation Army, the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, to private missions for the prisoners, the distaff, prostitutes, child-sex-slaves, Mexican small farmers looking for financing (and being successful!!!).
      One man, one woman who are life-mates married for fifty years....cry out..... and say "Why a magazine that says 'Reflections'? Why a theme about "reconciliation".
      Reconciliation deals with resolving the differences between the various Orthodox Churches. Reconciliation deals with the resolution of arguments between various Protestant and Orthodox Churches of Jesus of Nazareth, Lamb of God (Yahweh) and Saviour of the Euro-America World at the least.

      And here we the Anglican Curmudgeon...a solidly good Episcopalian....but Mon Dieu!! with no place to turn....locked in a dark closet. Please understand...he is I, I am he.....and Tregonsee and Maxine.....We are required to reject our catechisms, we are required to embrace convenience, we are required to accept homosexuality as something superior to any other human condition,right,or position. It is madness.

      Please forgive. But we are well beyond the juncture of reality and where we would rather be. You will find me in the back pews of this or that Roman parish church from now until my burial.

      Thanks for your time. Funnier and meaner, and happier stuff might be found on our site which is also linked with this site which is the site of my moral and religious guide.

    3. Mr. Newton, you wrote, "We are among the last of the sinners who try and fail, and try and succeed, and try, and try, and try. Success, failure, success, failure...". Truth! I remember being struck strongly one day with the words, "The operative word is !try¡".

  2. On Sunday, 15 January 2017 our family read AH's End Times Forum Blogposts instead of our weekly Bible reading and discussion. (BTW: we enoyed reading this well written series and our subsequent discussion!) I mention this fact here only because it seems relevant to a short poem that I'd like to share at the end of my comment. This poem also seemed fitting to share because it highlights the importance of standing firm in the knowledge of our Scriptures no matter the consequences.

    It is certain, however, that we must use wisdom and discernment when sharing and leading others. In light of my past commentaries on AH's blogposts about the media's distortion of reality AND our recent election craziness, God's path is clear for us according to the His Divine Words.

    I hope you enjoy this poem written in August 2016 by our daughter, age 20:

    The fate of flesh to soon senesce
    and world to one day evanesce,
    while souls refresh in paradise
    or pay always their own blood-price,
    should give us pause and pondering
    instead of empty maundering,
    for our great cause is Scripture's call:
    to love the Lord our God with all.

    1. MI, might I inquire as to your daughters' name? I would like to post her poem to my Facebook page if that is okay with you and her. If you would prefer anonymity, I totally understand.

    2. MF, my family and I are grateful for your appreciation of the poem, "Meaning" by our daughter. Please do feel free to re-post it anonymously. Humbly, MI

    3. This is my headline on my page. ""Meaning" by a 20 year old young lady who wishes to remain anonymous. Such is the life and humility and offerings to the Kingdom from the children of God."

    4. MF, thank you for letting us know how you posted the poem. I'm humbled by writing that moves me. I enjoy reading this wonderful blog and the comments to it! Again, many thanks and God Bless You. P.S. I, myself, didn't read this neat little poem until the day before I wanted to share it. But I'm glad that I had a chance to share it with others.

  3. AH, thank you for posting my previous comments on Friday, January 20, 2017.

    I forgot to add to the post that "Meaning" is the title of my daughter's poem. This title was given to it because she was researching some words for her book and then she wrote the poem after thinking about the meaning of those words.

    Our family wishes everyone a joyful 2017!

  4. On a topic related to this post, the public must be ever diligent to understand that performers, actors and actresses are paid to make believe, pretend or lie for a living. Meryl Streep, Madonna, Ice-Cube, Eddie Murphy, Alec Baldwin, George Clooney, Oprah and many other so-called, critically acclaimed celebrities are particularly good at deception because it pays them to be that way. Many are also great at self-deception and star in films as people who are poor, abused and downtrodden. However, in reality, many of these multi-millionaire public figures are clueless about solving the problems of those whom they portray. So they vote, emotionally, rather than thoughtfully.

    AH has pointed out that many of our Congressional leaders do this too, sadly. They often pass laws that sound good without reading the texts of the laws they're passing!

    As you, AH, have rightly pointed out we must pray for ourselves and others because Jesus wants us to do it.

    Remember to do these things daily: Love God firstly, with everything you have, and then love yourself and your neighbors. Also, love your enemies justly and pray for their repentance.