Quote of the week #1

09/10/2010

“The starting point of political correctness is a perfectly well-intentioned desire to give previously marginalised groups such as other races and cultures, women and homosexuals what in New Zealand we call a “fair go”.

The problem with political correctness is that this generous impulse is taken over and twisted into something else, something far less healthy.

“While exhorting us to be as ‘inclusive’ as we can,” writes [Roger] Scruton, “political correctness encourages the denigration of what is felt to be most especially ours . . .  Although they involve the deliberate condemnation of people on the grounds of class, race, sex or colour, the purpose is not to include the Other but to condemn Ourselves.

“The gentle advocacy of inclusion masks the far-from-gentle desire to exclude the old excluder: in other words to repudiate the cultural inheritance that defines us as something distinct from the rest.”

This definition is important in many ways because it makes the battle lines between a kind of non-ideological conservatism and the forces of political correctness much more clear.”

                                                                                                                         – Rob Hosking – print edition of the NBR.

He gives an example from the economy of what Scruton calls the culture of repudiation – environmentalists’ attempts to wreck dairying and says:

“It is a target not primarily because of its pollution – dairy farmers now have to be far more careful with their wastes than they did a generation ago – but because it is successful.

P.S.

If you’re interested in reading more from Roger Scruton,  a writer, philosopher and public commenter, he has a blog.


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