From time to time I hear or see a podcast, blog or television editorial that takes on a subject with the greatest of derision. With both barrels the subject is laid waste by the speaker/author, who issues confusion as to why such a philosophy began in the first place.
This is the error of Attacking without Context.
For the most part this is a common practice, as most speakers or writers are seeking a sense of sensationalism. Rather than passively considering a topic, they attack a situation, without understanding why or how the situation came about in the first place.
Example: Political Correctness
I’ve found politically conservative religious people to be the largest factor in attacking the idea of political correctness and while some of their concerns are valid, there’s often a glaring conclusion that it is evil and vile to be politically correct.
Before attacking the subject (in this example Political Correctness) it’s useful to ask, “what problem did this solve?” In other words, why did people feel there was a need to introduce neutral language and thoughts regarding various subjects and people?
If we don’t understand the context, we might inadvertently lead a change against a topic, that might inadvertently open a pandoras box of issues. This is why it’s important to seek the context and history of the subject we are fighting. It’s perfectly fine to have an opinion, reasoned out in logic, as long as we also know and understand the ramifications of our proposed changes.
What problem did Political Correctness seek to solve?
I can still remember a time when being Politically Correct was NOT a thing. It was a time when people would say and do things in the public eye, that where offensive or hurtful to others. If people complained about the attitudes, they would get a mouthful of, “ease up, it’s just a joke.”
This is the case of the speaker being unable to truly empathize with the victim.
As voting power was getting more equally distributed, more people were being represented. Organized groups started vying for influence in government, and we had a rush of legal entities taking cases before the Supreme Court to insure fairness.
Even without Federal protections in place, changes were coming. As individuals and ethnic groups began winning legal battles for their struggles, corporations, schools and other organizations began to feel the financial brunt.
Consider an example where a boss or manager was making comments about people they hire from India. His comments (perhaps in jest) are negative and received as such from those who report to him. While the comments might be made to a select few, those few are no longer comfortable being seen with their Indian co-workers for fear of the boss thinking negatively about them as well. The Indian co-worker becomes ostracized or openly criticized unfairly.
In order to appear impartial and fair, specific behavior that lead to these lawsuits, was punished through the Human Resources process. It felt unfair to some. To those who were used to making comments to female co-workers, or ethnic jokes about others, or those who were used to using their workplace as a ministry (preaching their faith) these new company mandates felt unfair.
However, from the other side of the situation, people now had a process to file grievances. These changes protected both the corporations and the individual’s rights (at least to some degree better than before.)
Now we come to the modern pundit who is angry and hostile over these issues that cost someone a job for “speaking their mind.” They might blame atheists, Democrats, even Luciferians, whomever appears as an icon of the opposite force of their will, as the reason behind it all.
In truth, political correctness didn’t come about as some nefarious plot of the secret illuminati. This is the natural result of fairness being enforced. Yes, it can get out of control and it can become a burden in itself, yet it must be understood in its context. If a group fights hard enough to remove federal protections, so that political correctness is removed from society, we may invite the same errors that it sought to solve. Racism, bigotry, hostile work environments – such as these may return with even more impact.
Instead of removing the entirely of political correctness, perhaps it could be shaped and modified to suit society in better ways.
Example: Karl Marx
The modernist loves to hate Karl Marx. Marx for many is a representation of dictatorship and totalitarian modalities. It’s quite fascinating as Marx’s theories were quite opposite of the forms of Socialism and Communism that sprouted up around the world. At any rate, when people attack Karl Marx they often forget why Marx presented his form of political systems.
What problem did Karl Marx try and Solve?
Marx was influenced by the events of his day. His family endured many tragedies, a sister who committed suicide after losing hope in society and life in general. He saw the ravaged countryside and the soulless nature of line workers. To Marx, this elimination of humanity from he working class would have a powerful response.
Those who attack Karl Marx seem to think he was about giving out handouts to those who don’t work. Evidently they fuel their philosophy on the more modern approach to socialism, as defined by Eduard Bernstein who postulated ways in which to save Capitalism with social intervention. Unlike Bernstein, Marx believed that Capitalism would push the working class to the brink of oblivion. Even Adam Smith (the father of Capitalism) had doubts as to the plight of the working poor under the system he created. The working poor were a necessity for the machine to work.
In seeing the loss of life, the loss of individuality, the lack of hope in the identity of the worker, Marx postulated that at some point they would revolt. That revolution however, wouldn’t be enough, so as postulated that even a government made up of the workers would become corrupt. Then too, in time, another revolution would happen, but this time to abolish both the notion of personal property as well as centralized government.
How, then, was the Commune organized? “The Commune was formed of the municipal councilors, chosen by universal suffrage in the various wards of the town, responsible and revocable at short terms… The Commune was to be a working, not a parliamentary body, executive and legislative at the same time. Instead of continuing to be the agent of the Central Government, the police was at once stripped of its political attributes, and turned into the responsible and at all times revocable agent of the Commune. So were the officials of all other branches of the administration.”30 The long arm of popular rule extended into the chambers of the judiciary, ending what Marx calls their “sham independence”: “Like the rest of public servants, magistrates and judges were to be elective, responsible and revocable.”31 We also learn that a clear line was drawn between church and state, and that the army, like the police, was disbanded and replaced by the armed people.32
Marx and the Paris Commune as an example of removing Central Government: https://www.nyu.edu/projects/ollman/docs/vision_of_communism.php
The organization of the Paris Commune was to serve as a model not only for the other cities of France, but for small towns and rural districts as well. Marx says, “The rural communes of every district were to administer their common affairs by an assembly of delegates in the central town, and these district assemblies were a again to send deputies to the national Delegation in Paris, each delegate to be at any time revocable and bound by the mandate imperatif (formal instructions) of his constituents. The few but important functions which still would remain for a central government were not to be suppressed, as has been intentionally misstated, but were to be discharged by Communal, and therefore strictly responsible agents…
Now that we see Marx in context we understand why he felt a certain way, perhaps we disagree with his end game, but we see the reasons why he was fighting against Capitalism. If we remove all social safeguards, without understanding why they are in place, we may incur the original problem that was solving various issues.
Without knowing the context by which an idea, or event was seeking to resolve, we may inadvertently open a doorway to older problems long forgotten. When I was younger I was afraid to look for the historic context. As a youth I was married to my ideologies, and that caused me to ignore the reasons behind various events. I believed in X, because people told me too.
Questioning X is vital. Looking at the context of X is equal vital. It’s fair game to question political correctness, or the views of Karl Marx. To do so without the historic context is likely to create further, unforeseen problems.