Political Correctness, The End of Free Speech in America?
What is “Political Correctness?” According to the Oxford Dictionaries it is,
the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against.
Although the definition is correct, there is much more to today’s Political Correctness than a simple definition is able to reflect. The roots of Political Correctness run deep and have been in the making for decades. Today, I am going to show the roots of Political Correctness and how and when they were applied to American culture.
Political Correctness was brought about through the refinement of Marxism so to fully understand the roots of Political Correctness you must have a basic understanding of the history of traditional Marxism, its theory and its failure. In the following paragraphs, I will show how Marxism was molded and fit to modern Western Civilization through a group of German Marxists leftists.
Let’s start by identifying Marxism by asking, what is Marxism? Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis, originating from the mid-to-late 19th century works of German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, that analyzes class relations and societal conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and a dialectical view of social transformation. Marxist methodology originally used economic and sociopolitical inquiry to critique the existence of capitalism and the role of class struggle in systemic economic change in order to create, what the founders believed to be, a Utopia on earth otherwise known as Communist Marxism.
In order for Marxism to succeed it needed the working class to revolt in a battle of class warfare. In the early 1900’s, Marxist theory had predicted that if war had come to Europe, the working class in every European country would rise in revolt, known as a Marxist Revolution. This was the vehicle as to which Marxism would take hold. Now that we are clear on what Marxism is, let’s move on to the history that ultimately led to American Marxism seen today through Political Correctness.
In 1914 Marxism had its chance, WWI had begun. Instead of a Marxist Revolution, they found that Europeans willingly and eagerly put on their uniforms and headed to war. In 1917 the Marxist theory had taken hold in Russia, a Marxist revolution had begun but failed to spread to Western Europe as theorist had predicted. Marxism had failed but a question remained to be answered, why had it failed? The direct result of answering this question is known today as Political Correctness.
Marxist theorist came to the conclusion that western civilization was the reason for the failure, further concluding that western culture needed to be destroyed for Marxism to prevail.
In 1923, a Marxist by the name of Felix Weil planned to establish a public policy institute, a think tank for advanced Marxist thought. He financed the “Erste Marxistische Arbeitswoche” (“First Marxist Work Week”), a conference in the German town of Ilmenau. Later, in 1924, Felix and his friend Friedrich Pollock founded the “Institute for Social Research” originally to be named “The Institute for Marxism.” The Institute for Social Research opened its doors on Jun 22nd of 1924 and over time became unofficially known as “The Frankfurt School.” Marxism now had a home.
The Frankfurt School would be the vehicle in which Marxism was translated from economical terms to cultural, giving us what we know today as, Political Correctness. The school mostly worked on conventional Marxist subjects until the 1930’s. In 1930, the Frankfurt School director, Carl Grünberg was replaced with Max Horkheimer, who had very different ideas.
Horkheimer quickly began to us the school to develop a new type of Marxism, very different than the Marxism of the Soviet Union. He recognized and announced that revolution was unlikely to occur in the working class so he needed to find a surrogate. He shifted the schools focus from economical terms to cultural.
In 1932 a Marxisit by the name of Herbert Marcuse joined the Frankfurt school and played a critical role in the development of Political Correctness. Before I get into Marcuse’s Substantial role in today’s Political Correctness I need to point out that the School was about to move.
In 1933 the Frankfurt school fled Germany and the Nazi party. They established new roots in New York, New York with the help of the Columbia University president. With their new school in the heart of New York and their new Columbia University affiliation they shifted their focus from Germany to the US. Horkheimer renamed the schools Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung (“Journal for Social Research”) to “Studies in Philosophy and Social Science” and began marketing their form of Marxism in the US.
In the 1950’s and 60’s, Marcuse would complete the translation of Marxism into cultural terms and inject it into the new left. He was instrumental in the development of “Critical Theory” which played a very important role in the development of today’s Political Correctness.
Critical Theory is to critique or to criticize society and culture. This theory was ultimately used against Western Civilization through unremitting destructive criticism of every American institution in an attempt to destroy them. Critical theory is the basis for gay studies, women studies, black studies and other minority studies found across American educational institutions today. These study groups or departments are the home base of Political Correctness otherwise known as “Campus Political Correctness.”
The Frankfurt school was careful to not define what Critical Theory was for. Instead the emphasis was applied to what it was against. Critical theory attempts to politicize logic itself. Horkheimer wrote,
“Logic is not independent of content”
or an argument is logical if it forwards the Marxist agenda and illogical if it does not. It terms of the US, if an argument helps destroy Western Civilization then it is logical, if it does not help in the destruction then it is illogical. This is the heart of today’s US Campus Political Correctness.
Not only did the Frankfurt school apply Critical Theory to American Society, they introduced new elements. One such element was the “Studies in Prejudice” introduced in 1950. Theodor W. Adorno’s very influential “The Authoritarian Personality” helped culminate the Studies in Prejudice.
The Authoritarian Personality was based in part on earlier Frankfurt School analyses undertaken in Germany, but with a few key changes. First, their Marxist and radical roots were downplayed. For example, the earlier “authoritarian personality/revolutionary personality” axis was changed to an “authoritarian personality/democratic personality” axis in America. Thus, values and behaviors earlier associated with revolutionary Marxism were now associated with support for democracy. Second, the book abandoned and/or modified traditional Marxist sociological and economic explanations for human behavior in favor of psychological explanations. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalyst works would find a comfortable home in the New Marxism.
Adorno argued that the American people possessed several Fascist traits and that anyone who supported traditional American cutler was physiologically unbalanced. You can see this in today’s campuses. For Example; The labeling of people with different views as fascist, racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. as well as the implementation of “Sensitivity Training” that attempts to fix differences in opinion.
Another element that can be seen today was the integration of the environment through Horkheimer’s and Adorno’s “Dialectic of Enlightenment.” Once again, moving the emphasis away from economic domination. Instead of placing the emphasis on economical or cultural domination they focused on species domination. One good example of this in today’s society would be the labeling and dismissal of anyone that argues against “Climate Change.”
After WWII, Horkheimer and Adorno returned to Germany and reestablished roots while Marcuse stayed in the US and continued the work they started. At this point Marcuse came up with a proper surrogate to replace the working class as the agent for revolution. Hence was born the “Victim Groups” that constitute the “Politically Correct Coalition.”
Marcuse’s injection of the school’s Marxism into the 60’s sexual revolution was successful to say the least. He authored “Eros and Civilization” that successfully married sexual freedom with Marxism. He condemned all restrictions on sexual behavior calling for “Polymorphous Perversity” and the liberation of Non Procreative Eros using sexual repression as a revolutionary means.
Marcuse is also the source of one of today’s most notable political correctness characteristics. Its total intolerance for any viewpoint other than its own. This was accomplished through what he called “Liberating Tolerance.” Where he argues that the ideal of tolerance belongs to a liberal, democratic tradition that has become exhausted.
Marcuse’s “Repressive Tolerance” written in 1965 argues, because the tolerance of different beliefs produced no action at all that all beliefs hold equal weight. A good example of this would be the modern atheist that do not believe in God but demands equal treatment under our freedom of religion.
The effects of The Frankfurt school can be seen today at almost any US campus. In an atmosphere where our future leaders are expected to exchange ideas, this is none other than poison. It is clear that Political Correctness is the vehicle in which the new Marxism is being incorporated into the US.
I titled this article, “Political Correctness, The End of Free Speech in America?” because of Political Correctness’s detrimental affects on the “American Dream“. If you look at today’s Educational Institutions, you will see such acts as segregation, intolerance and the stifling of freedom of speech all in the name of freedom.
The danger is real and being furthered as I write this. Political Correctness will destroy Western Civilization as we know it if it continues on its current course. If we don’t veer this monstrosity away form our educational institutions and continue on the course of indoctrinating our future leaders, we will forever change the face of freedom, that we hold so dear, FOREVER!