A Review of “Political Correctness”: A Short History of an Ideology

Edited by William S. Lind Washington D.C.: Free Congress Foundation-Center for Cultural Conservation 2004. 37 pages.

Reviewed by Glenice Joy D. Jornales Political Science 103 Selected Readings in Political Theory

Professor Darwin J. Manubag Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Iligan City August 5, 2008 The e-book entitled Political Correctness: A Short History of an Ideology would most likely catch the attention of the feminists into criticizing it. It is divided into six
2

chapters, but the first chapter speaks of its core idea as it opens with an imagery of the 1950s American family, and then transports them to the present century, presenting the horrible scenarios that would be experienced by them. The book is actually filled with criticisms on the ideology they call Political Correctness. It tries to provide reasons why this ideology should be defied by those who dare to defy it. William Lind, the editor of the book clearly transmits that PC destroys the American culture and should be confronted by Americans. However, the book contains arguments that are quite questionable, and some assertions are very offensive. In the introduction of the book, Lind asserted that America today had become a Third World nation “overrun by crime, noise, drugs and dirt”, something that is very offensive to the Third World countries. It is not right to say so, especially since in the first place, these problems do not originate from us, and that it is the First World countries that have brought these down to us (visit and

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Shabu.html,

http://www.scaruffi.com/history/,

http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/coc01.htm for further clarification of my point)1. Also, these problems are still more prevalent in the US than most Third World countries. Aside from that, Lind also asserted in this book’s opening chapter that the most important point of conservatism is that it is “against all ideologies”. Isn’t conservatism an ideology? If that is so, then it contradicts itself. This is one major setback of the book, especially since it can be read in the book’s introduction. Also, when the book tried to present the connection of feminism and how feminism destroys the American culture, it fails to present the various feminisms and
1

I preferred to give the exact websites over the webpage owners to stress my point on this statement.

2

focused only on the radical feminism. A question surely arises when we read this chapter: Do all feminisms take their roots from what they say is cultural Marxism in Germany? Or is it just radical feminism? Here, it could be viewed that this can be the actual application of the assertions in the introduction of the book; the suppression of certain reality to solidify an ideology’s argument. What he failed to mention was the strategy of presenting those which would suit their purpose of strengthening their arguments while shunning the reality that contradicts their assertions. Moreover, their argument on their attack of those curriculums that contains subjects on multiculturalism does not suffice. It is very clear that we need to learn about the various cultures of the different people that we have to live with in order to develop tolerance and understanding of these cultures, especially since we are living in the societies with very diverse cultures. Understanding other people’s culture is deemed to be a very important aspect if we want to have peace in this era. More than ever, we’ll have to do this in the present (and more likely in the future) era, to avoid cultural clashes that might escalate into conflicts and eventually into war, especially since war today could mean the destruction of a whole country or more, with the recent innovations on weaponry. The intention of the writers might be good, and that is to present why PC is a threat to the American culture, but it would have been better if they presented the foundations of the ideology and the reason for its emergence first (Does it want anarchy? How bad are its goals and objectives?), then present the weaknesses and the negative sides of it.

2

The book is a candy for those who are anti-feminist, traditionalist, and those who wanted to bring back the America of the 1950’s (with timid women tucked obediently beside their husbands), but it has not clarified its main subject—Political Correctness (PC). Instead of giving a clear definition of the said ideology, it went forward to criticizing the said ideology without establishing and defining first what is PC, thus, giving indistinct ideas on what the book is all about. Also, although some chapters are filled with facts and data relevant to their arguments, most chapters of the book seem to be opinionated essays, backed by feeble facts. It might be that the reason for this is that most arguments of the writers are on the theoretical aspects of the ideology, but the book has not been a historical reference of an ideology, as what I thought it is, but ends up to be more of a collection, a compilation of criticisms by writers who are against Political Correctness ideology. Even those who might have the faintest idea of what PC is all about would be misled by the title. Readers, upon seeing the title, would conclude immediately that it presents a brief history of PC. However, upon reading the early pages, they would learn that the book is in fact a criticism of the said ideology. It may perhaps be good to change the title of the book into a more appropriate one, such as “A Critique on Political Correctness”. This book, which is supposed to be a brief historical reference of an ideology in the US seems more like something written by masochistic men who wants to bring back the days when women have no options but to stay at home and obey their husbands. As Lind wrote, “Ladies should be wives and homemakers…” Clearly, they do not want the woman of today; the woman who dares to wield power and decides over what to do with life n its entirety.
2

If they truly want to change the society back to its 1950s norms, I doubt if they can still change everything to what it once was, especially now that today’s woman have discovered how great it is to have her own career, her own decisions, and her own life. Bibliography IX, SX. 2007. Shabu. Online: Access: August 5, 2008. http://www.stuartxchange.com/Shabu.html, Date of

Piero Scaruffi. 2002. Piero Scaruffi's History of Rock Music. Online: http://www.scaruffi.com/history/, Date of Access: August 5, 2008. Recreational Drug Information Website. 2007. Cocaine. Online: http://www.a1b2c3.com/drugs/coc01.htm, Date of Access: August 5, 2008.

2

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful

Master Your Semester with Scribd & The New York Times

Special offer for students: Only $4.99/month.

Master Your Semester with a Special Offer from Scribd & The New York Times

Cancel anytime.