Resisting PC culture
George Orwell said, “at any given moment, there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question […] a genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing.”
He published these prophetic words 68 years ago in his bestselling book 1984. Over the decades, his anti-totalitarian and anti-Big Brother themes have cast a cloud over the evolving orthodoxies of popular culture. The book has helped guide the cultural zeitgeist of millions of readers.
Despite Orwell’s dystopian warnings, a new Big Brother has emerged in the minds of people. The new schoolyard bully is political correctness. It’s strong-arm illumination reaches through the storm warnings of 1984.
It promises to fortify our well-loved pluralistic liberalism. However, as civilization becomes less tolerant under Big Brother’s new system of imposed tolerance, we might see the promise as empty.
The dust is flying right now. Unfashionable opinions, left and right, are falling. They suffer from the uppercuts of correct pronouns, correct gender, correct skin colour and correct politics. They’re bloodied from the left hooks of cultural appropriation’s new plagiarism. They’re knocked out by wrong religion, wrong socioeconomic brackets, and wrong ideas.
Thankfully there are lights flashing into the mayhem. It’s an ambulance. Emblazoned on the side are the words “evolving orthodoxy.”
As it pulls up, two paramedics emerge, one male, one female. The woman is called Change. The man is called Love. They load up the casualties of political correctness and head down the Trans-Chaos Highway.
A few years later their wounds are healed. The patients, reinvigorated for new conflict, are discharged from the hospital of life.
Parables aside, we need to find a pathway to peace. There’s a lot of political and ideological fighting happening on Canadian university campuses. The alt-left call it a struggle for liberation. The alt-right call it a battle for truth. What’s the solution? Should we talk?
Instead of exalting dialogue as the pathway to reconciliation, maybe we should remain silent.
If we pause long enough, we might hear the ghost of Martin Luther King.
He’s calling out now.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that,” he says. “Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.”