Last updated on March 9, 2019
By Yvonne Nachtigal
Unity week at Vol State featured an art exhibit about racial inequality, a documentary about civil rights, food from other cultures, an interfaith dialogue, and a training session to better understand different lifestyles. Last semester the school invited special guests like Wulin Hunyan and the Paul Brock Band for a multi-cultural experience. “Diversity” is a prevalent word in colleges today. It means to understand and respect the uniqueness of each individual and our differences, whether they be race, ethnicity, gender, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or others.
We live in complex times, and with the internet, the world is more integrated than at any other point in history. The United States of America has come a long way since the days of Leave it to Beaver, and we need to expand restrictive cultural norms to accommodate. But as we do so, there is a lesser known aspect aspect of the banners of diversity and tolerance that we need to be aware of.
It all sounds nice and good to be tolerant and diverse, and it is certainly good to love and accept people who are different than ourselves. So, we go through life, making the necessary adjustments for the increasing prevalence of these ideologies. But then, one day, we voice our opinion about something simple, like a fad in hair color maybe, and get reprimanded for “judging,” or being “intolerant.” There is a difference between opinion and judgment, of course. We make judgments every day as a normal part of life and simply not liking something does not mean that we would deny someone else’s freedom of expression, religion, or thought. We might consider the possibility that some opinions are simply no longer acceptable, but that seems silly. We may make a judgment that at least one person has just taken the whole idea of tolerance a bit too far. But still, we sense a change in the social climate that has made us feel bad about a personal preference.
What has happened? How has being kind and tolerant of others opened the door for thought repression, or at least the expression of those thoughts? What we have run into is the ideology of “political correctness,” which has a history that is much longer than most people are aware of.
Political correctness is attractively presented as a matter of being “sensitive” to other people, using words like “tolerance” and “diversity.” It asks the question, “Why can’t we all just get along?” It sounds good, right and true, but its history betrays a much different goal than what is presented.
Political correctness finds its roots in cultural Marxism, an ideology with the stated goal of undermining Western Society. Italian Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci said the workers will never see their true class interests, as defined by Marxism, until they are freed from Western Culture. In 1919, Hungarian Marxist theorist Georg Lukacs said that the great obstacle to creating a Marxist paradise was Western civilization itself. The Marxist paradise is Communism.
In the 1920s, a group of Marxists founded the Institute of Social Research (the Frankfurt School), which blended Marx with Freud and added in some linguistics to create “critical theory” and “deconstruction.” These ideas greatly influenced education at the university level and eventually became what we know today as “Political Correctness.”
Marxist ideologies have caused enormous damage to every traditional culture they have come to dominate, bringing fear and ruin in its place.
Contrary to the attractive packaging of tolerant ideas that most of us would agree with, political correctness does not tolerate other points of view. To maintain its ideals, contrary thought must be silenced. The dangers of this can already be seen in the U.S. today, where we are increasingly witnessing the suppression of speech through laws enacted under the banner of “tolerance.” For the first time in our history, Americans are fearful about what they say, write and think.
Freedom of speech is a fundamental right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, an d freedom of the press is vital to democracy.
We should be kind accepting and be good to people who are different from us, but before we jump onto the band wagon and whole-heartedly embrace the ideologies springing from Political Correctness, it would serve well to research their origins, goals and outcome in other countries.