Anyone who has seriously tried to practise any sort of virtue, however meagre, will know the necessity of making a habit of it – not just “knowing” it theoretically, but engraving it into his very being by constant repetition, so that he becomes what he repeatedly does. Because of this necessity for constant repetition, virtue cannot be left to the “important things” alone, but must permeate the insignificant and trivial ones as well. This is why the Hagakure contains the advice that “small matters should be taken seriously”; and this is perhaps also the reason behind the more arbitrary and petty aspects of religious and traditional codes.

In any case, it is a concept sorely neglected in the present day, as relativism provides the ultimate excuse to force all forms of virtue to bend and flex in the wind of particular circumstances and situations. But someone who cannot practise virtue inflexibly and habitually is very rarely able to practise it at all. Contrary to the belief of almost all of our contemporaries, someone who is accustomed to telling thousands of gentle lies and half-truths in everyday life cannot simply put down his habit of dishonesty to think about “important things” like life, the world, and himself; and this is similar to the truth that, despite much fantasising to the contrary, someone who is accustomed to avoiding confrontation in small matters of honour will rarely be able to draw his courage from its rusty scabbard on an occasion when he really needs it.

Foremost among the offenders against this principle is the modern intellectual, who no doubt thinks the volume, complexity and “objectivity” of his thought to surpass that of all other civilisations – but who is in truth far inferior to the Christian or Buddhist monk, in the sense that the one slowly engraves a few principles into his body and soul, whereas the other knows only to absorb multitudinous facts and ideas into the rather limited space between his ears. The fact that most intellectuals seem to practise their philosophies and ideals only in their heads, while inevitably tending to follow their stomachs in all other things (a tendency that, unfortunately, shows itself in the lives of even the greater modern philosophers like Schopenhauer), is why they are able to juggle a hundred different ideals and theories without ever threatening to subvert the dominant “consensus” of liberalism, democracy, individualism, equality, and omnipotent money.

It is therefore unsurprising that such a society as ours should adopt, as its only universal moral code, that which we know as political correctness.

I hope there shall be no confusion on the point that political correctness, despite the pejoration that still attaches to the term itself, is indeed the sole universal moral code of our time. When a lady by the name of Melissa Mohr published A Brief History of Swearing, the reviewers of this work gleefully took the opportunity to repeat the old taboos relating to fornication, bodily functions and blasphemy; however, they passed over Mohr’s discussion of racial and sex-preference terms like “prissy Victorian matrons” armed with a wealth of priggish euphemisms. To take a weightier example, Tony Blair has been consistently unrepentant on both the founding lies and the horrific results of the Iraq war; however, he was as ready to apologise for Britain’s role in the slave trade as he would have been had he merely been overheard using the wrong slang term for a woman’s genitals. 

The restriction of these examples to the upper stratum of our society need not mislead us into thinking that there are any limits on the universality of political correctness; for it is always privileged and powerful individuals who bear responsibility for both the cultural character and moral ideals of any society, whether that society be ruled on the basis of homage to a king by ritual obeisance, or on the basis of homage to a political class by voting in a general election. Certainly it is the case that political correctness, as a kind of “progressivism in practice,” is imposed with differing levels of effectiveness at all levels of society.

And yet it is not enough to repeat once again the oft-repeated argument that political correctness is a religion like any other, or even that it shows the characteristics of secularised Christianity. It is also necessary to point out that, as moral codes go, it is perhaps the most degenerate and worthless one ever to be imposed on human beings.

First of all, under political correctness, all previous ethical or honour codes which might inculcate habits of virtue are abrogated as “judgemental” and relegated to private choice. In their place is set up a mandatory system whereby moral superiority is conferred for the most part by mere verbalisation: the stating of the “right” opinions, or even the mere filtering of one’s verbalisation through the “right” synonyms and neologisms, as well as the careful avoidance of an ever-changing set of verbal and intellectual taboos. This is absurdly considered to have a real moral effect on society and the world, in the sense that it “avoids giving offence”.

At best, politically-correct moral sanctity is conferred through cheap expressions of “solidarity”: exercising one’s consumer choice in a boycott, turning up at an approved demonstration carrying a placard, or, cheaper still, appending a certain hashtag to one’s silly and narcissistic ramblings on social media. This obsession with a superficial, verbal and merely intellectual moralism – known in former ages as “hypocrisy” – goes hand in hand with a positively aggressive “tolerance” for all of the deeper, more serious forms of personal degeneracy.

Of course, this tree appears all the more rotten when we examine its fruit – and by this I do not merely refer to the notorious sociopaths who have managed to become high-profile preachers of politically-correct “morality,” nor specifically to the kakistocracy of corrupt and lying politicians who are among its most stringent followers. I refer to the fact that the result of political correctness’s imposition at all levels of Western public life has not been the moral enlightenment of the population, but rather the exclusion of the vast majority of them (particularly native Europeans) from respectable discourse – for they can be relied upon nowadays to condemn themselves by their speech, just as surely as would a scullery-maid in a Victorian drawing-room. Conversely, the “ideological caste” in the upper stratum of our society owes its affinity with the ever-changing minutiae of politically-correct platitudes and neologisms not to its moral superiority over poorer people, but to its social inbreeding and educational privilege, as well as its members’ willingness to tell lies and parrot without thinking. In short, political correctness has managed to create a result diametrically opposite to its stated purposes – but what other outcome would one expect from institutionalised hypocrisy?

We on the Right are already doing a fine job of opposing the uncompromised truth to the empty platitudes of political correctness. But we must also learn to live this truth in our bodies, and engrave the virtues derived from it upon our our lives – an aim that is well within our reach, as our ideals are based in reality, whereas those of our enemies are unattainable illusions from which can only come hypocrisy and infamy. This means, of course, that we must go far beyond intellectual concepts and mere verbalisation; however, as far as ethics of speech are concerned, I suggest that we try disarming political correctness with the opposite virtue of radical honesty about our thoughts and opinions. After all: if we could somehow force a privileged, moralistic, politically-correct progressivist to speak with total honesty about what he sees in the world and to align his publicly stated views with his private actions, would he not be mortified to find himself suddenly talking like a “racist”, “sexist”, “elitist” reactionary?

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