2018-06-18

Are you “politically correct” or are you “an arsehole”?

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

I used to have this tireless insistence on sticking to my principles and changing for no-one.

If you don’t like me, fuck you! I know who I am and I know what I mean and I’m not responsible for other people’s interpretations. And if you can’t see my point of view, you’re just too dumb, or too sensitive, to understand it.

But the world doesn’t work that way. Your words and actions have real effects on the people around you, especially if you have a large public platform. And you should give a shit about the impact of your words and how you make other people feel even if you don’t agree with their reasoning.

Sam Harris would call this “political correctness”. I call it “not being an arsehole”.

T1J — 12:00-12:37 @….

3 Comments

  • proudfootz
    2018-06-19 08:39:26 UTC - 08:39 | Permalink

    The United States is finding out what it means to have a President who doesn’t let ‘political correctness’ dictate what he says.

    • 2018-06-19 21:54:55 UTC - 21:54 | Permalink

      No, he’s the most politically correct president we’ve ever had. He is thin-skinned. All criticism is called “fake news.” His supporters have hissy fits at any and all criticism. His critics have to watch what they say or the Trump World hordes will descend with their hypocrisy and their hurt feelings and their sudden concern for a sanctity of the “Office of the President” that none of them were concerned about when Trump was the leader of the racist birther conspiracy theorists, a movement devoted to nothing else but insulting the president.

      But it’s not politically correct to call it “political correctness” when conservatives are offended.

  • Tige Gibson
    2018-06-19 22:56:22 UTC - 22:56 | Permalink

    Why do people insist on misconstruing political correctness as tact? The word people should use to mean “not being an ass” is tact.

    Political correctness is an expression applied to in-group (ie, political group) discussion. It does not apply to out-groups, in other words, if someone is not part of my political cadre, they have no reason to abide by our rules or respect our positions, other than tact of course.

    Back in the ’60’s some people came up with the idea that if people stopped using the N-word, this would somehow contribute to the decline of racism. This is political correctness in action. So it effectively stopped almost everyone saying that word, but it had no effect on racism whatsoever. It may have made it worse because it seems that people confuse racism with speech instead of institutional structures.

    Conversely, the “power” of tact is based on an assumption that a person is offending you or causing you other trouble incidentally due to other problems in their lives that have nothing to do with you. Based on this assumption, if you are nice to them, it takes the edge off and makes interaction more smooth. This in fact doesn’t seem to work at all on the internet, at least because it’s very difficult to sense emotion from text or to mistake an emotional context when one does not exist. At least as long as I’ve been on the internet, Christians have always insisted that atheists were strident assholes no matter what we said or how we said it. So tact seems to have little or no use on the internet.

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