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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jack (Who is called Jack) PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC! (121* d) RE: PC is NOT a dirty word!Proud to be PC! 27 Sep 99

As an idea, political correctness is OK. And yet the problems with it in application are not insignificant. Perhaps the greatest problem is this, that it creates litmus tests for an artificial boundary between people. It creates a 'code of language' to determine ideological dividing lines instead of fostering ideological dialogs (You used the word 'Indians' instead of Native Americans, ergo YOU are on that side of the line with the other bigots). If you don't think that its being used that way, look at the guy in Washington who almost lost his job because he used the word niggardly.

When something that is designed as an aid to personal, internal moral guidance instead becomes a technique for analyzing and sorting out others into good or bad at an individual level, its always a disaster. It contains an inherent rejection of the individual. You cannot look at people through such a lens and still believe in them as complex, richly textured, intelligent, moral beings on a personal path through a difficult and challenging world. When that happens, sympathy is replaced with patronization, or worse, with contempt.

And yet the seductive power of that view is undeniable. That is why prophets for millenia have warned against it. Jesus' admonition about 'the speck in thy neighbors eye vs. the beam in thine own' is but an example. It is not an idle warning. Again and again history shows what lies at the end of that path.

There is a passage from an author I admire greatly that repeats that warning, in words far more eloquent than mine.

"It is said that science will turn people into numbers, but that is false, tragically false. This is the crematorium at Auschwiz. This is where people were turned into numbers, and that was not done by science, it was not done by gas, it was done by arrogance. When people think they have access to truth with no objective test in reality then this is how they behave. ... We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute power and absolute knowlege. We have to close the distance between the push button order and the human act. We have to touch people." - Jacob Bronowski.

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