[jahsonic.com] - [Next >>]

Political correctness

Related: bias - civil rights - class - feminism - gender - language - racism - representation - sexism - Sapir-Whorf hypothesis - thought - terms of abuse


Political correctness is a term used to advocate broad social, political, and educational change, especially to redress historical injustices in matters such as race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Critics of political correctness perceive the practice as being overconcerned with such change, often to the exclusion of other matters. The terms "politically correct" or "P.C." are also used. Some have suggested that the adherents of these linguistic changes are concerned with, in many cases, their acceptance of some form of linguistic relativism (e.g., the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis), the idea that language influences thought and culture, or even--in some sense--that it constitutes reality itself. However that is, advocates of these language changes are agreed that the proposed changes are designed mainly to treat others with respect by not using terminology that offends them. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness [Jan 2004]

Nineteen Eighty-Four as example of political correctness

George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four holds the best-known fictional example of politically-driven language change. Newspeak, a bowdlerized form of English, is designed to make it impossible to express opposition to the totalitarian Party government. Expressing dissident thoughts, or thoughtcrime, becomes impossible; while the act of making self-contradicting excuses for the ruling powers, or doublethink, is coded into the language itself.

This is representative of the politically correct enforced speech which were utilized, and have helped establish totalitarian governments such as the ones in Germany, Italy, Russia, and China; where any form of deviation from the language standard would be punished with imprisonment and even execution.

Newspeak is Orwell's best-known criticism of political obfuscation, but not his only one. In the essay "Politics and the English Language", Orwell found fault with writers who conceal meaning in long and pompous phrases. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_correctness#Orwell [Jun 2006]

See also: Nineteen Eighty-Four

The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art (2004) Roger Kimball

The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art (2004) Roger Kimball [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

First sentence:
"YOU CAN PROBABLY recall several paintings by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877), the French artist who emerged as the leader of the Realist school of painting in..."

Book Description
Colleges and universities used to teach art history to encourage connoisseurship and acquaint students with the riches of our artistic heritage. But now, as Roger Kimball reveals in this witty and provocative book, the student is less likely to learn about the aesthetics of masterworks than to be told, for instance, that Peter Paul Rubens' great painting Drunken Silenus is an allegory about anal rape. Or that Courbet's famous hunting pictures are psychodramas about "castration anxiety." Or that Gauguin's Manao tupapau is an example of the way repression is "written on the bodies of women." Or that Jan van Eyck's masterful Arnolfini Portrait is about "middle-class deceptions ... and the treatment of women." Or that Mark Rothko's abstract White Band (Number 27) "parallels the pictorial structure of a pieta." Or that Winslow Homer's The Gulf Stream is "a visual encoding of racism." In "The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art," Kimball, a noted art critic himself, shows how academic art history is increasingly held hostage to radical cultural politics--feminism, cultural studies, postcolonial studies, the whole armory of academic antihumanism. To make his point, he describes how eight famous works of art (reprinted here as illustrations) have been made over to fit a radical ideological fantasy. Kimball then performs a series of intellectual rescue operations, explaining how these great works should be understood through a series of illuminating readings in which art, not politics, guides the discussion.

"The Rape of the Masters" exposes the charlatanry that fuels much academic art history and leaks into the art world generally, affecting galleries, museums and catalogues. It also provides an engaging antidote to the tendentious, politically motivated assaults on our treasured sources of culture and civilization.

Roger Kimball (1953-) is a conservative U.S art critic, essayist, and social commentator. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_Kimball [May 2006]

See Kimball's negative review of John Carey's 1992 The Intellectuals and the Masses.

See also: art - art theory - political correctness

your Amazon recommendations - Jahsonic - early adopter products

Managed Hosting by NG Communications