Angelo M. Codevilla has written a brilliant piece, The Rise of Political Correctness. For a few days I have been thinking about how to summarize it and add something to it. I have read it several times and decided I cannot – I cannot summarize it; I cannot add something to it. If the subject of culture and liberty matter to you, it must be read.
Gray North has written an excellent summary; it is still worth reading the original.
Codevilla traces political correctness to its roots – Machiavelli and communism. But it wasn’t Marx’s communism that spawned this evil; it was Antonio Gramsci’s. I have written on this before in the context of libertine-worshipping libertarians; I became aware of the Gramsci connection only because of something I read from Dr. North.
Today’s progressives have gone well beyond Gramsci; Gramsci was only after a replacement. For today’s progressives, having won the cultural war a generation ago isn’t enough; having destroyed traditional western (i.e. Christian) culture isn’t enough. They want more; and after they get more, they will want more.
I keep trying to write something more, cite something from his piece. Each time I try, I fall short. So I will not. I will offer only one cite – an example of the over-reach that Gramsci would not support:
Consider our ruling class’s very latest demand: Americans must agree that someone with a penis can be a woman, while someone else with a vagina can be a man. Complying with such arbitrariness is beyond human capacity.
As Popeye says, “that’s all I can stand, I can’t stands no more.”
OK, one more cite; Codevilla’s, conclusion, not mine (emphasis added):
In short, the P.C. “changes in law and public norms” (to quote Galston again) that the ruling class imposed on the rest of America, rather than having “gradually brought about changes in private attitudes across partisan and ideological lines” as the ruling class imagined (and as Gramsci would have approved) have set off a revolution—of which we can be sure only that it won’t be pretty.