Whatever the origins and
alternative historical usages of ‘political correctness’ (PCness) and
‘politically correct’ (PC), only the popular modern sense is discussed here.
The intended phenomena are well known to be especially prevalent in Europe and North America.
As such, the expression ‘PC’ has come to serve a useful role in identifying a
significant strand of so-called *left-wing views. But those who
are called ‘PC’ tend to view the very name as an undeserved pejorative for what
they see as merely the prevention of *offensive *language and unfair
behavior. Consequently, we have a kind of *ideology that denies
its own ideological status and any ascribed name (by contrast with, say, *conservatism, advocates
of which do embrace the name but also usually deny being any kind of ideology).

PCness is ostensibly about enlightened, egalitarian politeness and *fair treatment with
particular, but not exclusive, reference to *race and ethnicity,
sex, sexual orientation and *disability. And thus it is a subset of *egalitarianism,
which would be bad enough. But PCness is in practice more often about *bigoted, anti-dominant-culture
*authoritarianism, *privilege and *persecution. In
more detail, the propounded views include several, mistaken, egalitarian *dogmata: *equality is some
kind of substantive, rather than formal
or procedural, *social ideal; we are all more or less *naturally equal in
our *persons and abilities; all *opinions, *values, and ‘lifestyles’
are equally ‘valid’ (unless anti-PC); and *discrimination between
persons (on anti-PC grounds) is irrational and immoral and ought to be against
the *law. (Of course, these views are severally not restricted to PCness and predate
PCness itself.) However, behind the propounded views we often have the practice
of, in effect, *hypocritically granting *privileges (e.g., *rights to be
employed where one chooses, *tax-*extorted handouts, *state *propaganda and *censorship) to all
groups except, and thereby at the expense of, those from the dominant culture (who
are some combination of being white, male, high-income, heterosexual, *married,
able-bodied, middle-aged, Christian, Westerners; though PC types are themselves
often many of these). And this also entails *persecuting people
(ultimately by fines and prison) for being *‘racists’, *‘sexists’, etc., if
they try to escape the *coerced integration and privileges of PCness.

Those people who pour most scorn on the expression ‘political
correctness’ are invariably among the most extreme advocates of the position; they
prefer to think of themselves as *liberals or progressives. Yet
so pervasive is the PC *meme that even many *libertarians make
concessions to it while at the same time failing to see, or even vehemently
denying, that they are thereby being in any way PC. It is an irony that it is
not acceptable to admit to being PC. For the PC themselves have always used intended
pejoratives—such as ‘racism’, ‘sexism’ and ‘discrimination’—to trump any
disagreement. And now ‘PC’ has similarly been used against them as well. So they
have merely been hoist by their own petard. That said, in recent times a few
of the worst offenders have adopted the line that they are PC and proud of it.

See also *disabilities; *empowerment; *free speech; *freedom of
association; *hate crime; *homosexuality; *marriage; *multiculturalism; *politically-correct rights; *politically-correct speak; *politically-correct
*politically-correct taboo; *politically-correct think; *politically-incorrect thoughtcrime.

A Dictionary of Libertarianism