The Children of Political Correctness
Not merely the validity of experience, but the very existence of external reality was tacitly denied by their philosophy. The heresy of heresies was common sense.—George Orwell, 1984
The New PC
The term “political correctness” (PC) has gone through several iterations since its emergence in the late 1980s. When the term was first defined by Richard Bernstein in 1990, it was mostly a reference to the multicultural agenda of the campus left, which was then working hard (and successfully) to redefine Western and American history and culture as a power hierarchy dominated at the top by white, (mostly) Christian men.1 Beginning in the 1990s, many thought that PC had gone into remission, but that was just because it attracted little notice. In fact, far from disappearing, it became ubiquitous; everybody knew their lines and almost nobody strayed from them. Now it is again the focus of attention in a form that is often referred to as the “new PC.”2
In perhaps the most influential analysis of...