Wednesday, 19 January 2011

The most unselfish people

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I have said that the core ethic of political correctness is unselfishness - which is a reaction against the natural selfishness of humans; and which is (in its ideal expression) operationalized in abstract (usually bureaucratic) systems of altruistically-motivated redistribution of 'worldly goods' (material and social) to people and groups defined as 'deserving'.

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However, the most unselfish people that I know of are Evangelical Christians and Mormons.

The behaviour of these groups is based on divine revelation as encoded in holy books: i.e. The Bible - plus the Book of Mormon and other scriptures and revelations for Mormons).

Both these groups are patriarchal and favour traditional sexual behavior.

And, of course both groups are loathed by the politically correct.

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Why is it that the two groups which best embody in practice the underpinning PC doctrine of unselfishness are such hate figures for PC?

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The answer is that the unselfish behaviour of Evangelicals and Mormons is indeed valued by political correctness, but the fact that the groups are nonetheless disapproved indicates that political correctness is not about behaviour.

The clue is the distinction between in practice and in theory.

Both Evangelicals and Mormons are very practically-oriented groups, in which adherence to relatively strict laws of behaviour is seen as crucial.

(This is not to say that these groups lack spirituality, but that practical adherence to rules is very carefully monitored, compared with prescriptions, and subject to group rewards and sanctions.)

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Political correctness is, of course, a discourse - not a set of behavioural rules.

PC is communicative, not practical (or practical only insofar as practice concerns communications.)

Insofar as there are PC rules of behaviour, these relate to what you say or write or in some fashion depict; and somewhat to manners and lifestyle choices - but not to what you do in a practical ethical sense.

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For PC it is much more (infinitely more) important how you justify your behaviour than how you actually behave.

This is because political correctness is relativistic, nihilistic, denies the reality of the real - so the world of communications is the bottom-line.

For PC there is no essence to humanity, all is socially-constructed and contingent.

If not actually real, then for PC discourse is the real-est thing; because discourse is understood to construct our perception of reality.

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So PC polices discourse, not behaviour.

PC values unselfish discourse (infinitely) more highly than unselfish behaviour: almost any amount or degree of selfish behavior can be excused so long as a person or group sticks by the laws governing discourse; and no degree of unselfish behaviour can compensate and any way for a breach of the laws of PC discourse.

Groups with non-PC discourse are utterly beyond the pale: they are evil, and their actual behaviour is completely irrelevant to this judgment.

Common sense says we should take notice of what people do, not what they say; but in the morally inverted and anti-commonsensical world of political correctness this is reversed: notice is taken only of what people say and not at all of what they do.

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Hence those people (Evangelicals and Mormons) who in their actual lives most fully embody the highest moral ideal of political correctness, are also precisely those people that PC most despises.

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