I’m a Mack, and I’m PC

I partly agree with this and partly disagree with it, being more sympathetic to PC than Jeremy is; and I don’t think putting pressure on bigots is automatically “oppressive” in the negative sense, let alone “totalitarian.” (By analogy, defensive violence is not on the same moral level as aggressive violence.) But this is still one of the more thoughtful discussions of the issue I’ve seen.

My sincere apologies for the title of this post.

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3 Responses to I’m a Mack, and I’m PC

  1. Jeremy June 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    Thanks for weighing in on it, Roderick. I was beginning to think all of my allies secretly hated it and were boycotting it. If you ever feel the spirit, I’d love to hear more specific critiques.

    FWIW I don’t think that attacking bigots (for example) is bad because it’s unfair to THEM, and I explicitly said that we should not fail to critique them (although I think PC encourages us to do so in ways that confound our end goals of actually healing, instead of merely rejecting, those behaviors). What I won’t get behind is attacks on un-PC folks that amount to human beings sniping at each other while leaving the systemic features of privilege that largely prop up many of these bigotries intact. I think PC reflects the need to standardize and rationalize social progress to make it safe for GE, in other words.

    It might also help to know that my thinking here stands on the shoulders of Butler Shaffer’s “Calculated Chaos” and tries to articulate a left-wing version of his critiques of institutions.

    • Nathan Byrd July 1, 2012 at 12:04 am #

      Jeremy, I really appreciated your article. It helped to articulate some concerns that I have had and wasn’t able to express so clearly. I think that even in a freed society, you could still have soft tyrannies through peaceful social action, and I haven’t seen that addressed as a serious concern outside of your article.

  2. Rmangum July 3, 2012 at 12:57 am #

    I don’t think putting pressure on bigots is automatically “oppressive” in the negative sense, let alone “totalitarian.”

    I absolutely agree with this statement. However, the problem with PC is that it obliges us to hear no/see no/speak no evil when the bigots in question come from traditionally oppressed groups. PC is hypocrisy, in short.

    I have more thoughts on this here, where I call out one such bigot: Susan Sontag.

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