You Can’t Defeat an Idea

A lovely old Chestnut by Kate Paulik on the great folly of PC:

political correctness in every incarnation I’ve seen is nothing more than lipstick on the Newspeak pig. PC has never – and can’t engage the root cause it purports to be about. Banning “racist” words does not magically make a bigot less bigoted. The bigot just uses other words in public and more than that, starts to figure that the folks he’s bigoted against must be a bunch of useless wimps because they can’t handle a bit of mockery. If it gets really ridiculous, guess what? The bigot gets more bigoted. I’ve seen it happen. As soon as the bigot figures that nothing he, she, or it can do will be good enough for the authorities, he, she, or it (oh, hell with this. I’m portmanteauing it to s.h.it) figures whoever s.h.it’s bigoted against is in with the authorities to beat s.h.it down. Once we get there, a backlash is guaranteed.

One can respond to this with  Orwell’s thesis that we cannot think thoughts that we don’t have words for, so removing racist words will eventually remove racist thoughts. But PC isn’t as efficient as Newspeak: the old words don’t vanish down the memory hole, they just slide onto the samizdata by which dissidents recognize each other. Creating an Index Expurgatorius doesn’t mean the books on it won’t get read.

Also, when you admit that you’re using Orwellian methodology, you’re supposed to feel bad about that.