Justin’s note: As regular Dispatch readers know, every Friday we feature no-filtered insights from Doug Casey. You see, Doug isn’t just a world-class speculator. He’s a rare, independent thinker and a walking encyclopedia. Best of all, he isn’t afraid to speak his mind. It’s no surprise that these interviews have been a favorite among our readers.
Today, Doug and I talk about why the “politically correct” or “PC” movement is destroying America…
Justin Spittler: Doug, I want to ask you about political correctness. Obviously, PC culture’s nothing new, but it kind of seems like it’s spreading like cancer these days. Terms like “gender inclusivity,” “cultural appropriation,” and “white privilege” are everywhere.
A good example is last year’s announcement by the University of Minnesota… saying it was dropping the names “Homecoming King and Queen” in favor of “Royals.” It did this in the name of “gender inclusivity.”
Is PC culture getting totally out of hand, or am I going crazy?
Doug Casey: Parts of the culture are borderline insane. There’ve been news items regarding this on scores of different colleges and universities across the US. What you mentioned at the University of Minnesota was just part of a greater movement. Although I’ve got to say that I find the use of “Royals” objectionable. I dislike the idea of a hereditary aristocracy—kings and queens and royals. They’re basically just successful, silk-clad gangsters. Why the royal family in Britain is looked up to is a mystery to me. They, like all royals in the world, historically are just descendants of successful thugs. 1984 (Signet Classics) Best Price: $1.49 Buy New $3.58 (as of 10:53 EST - Details)
But that’s not the point that the PC people are making. They don’t want to see people identified by their birth sex. They would rather that people “identify” as whatever gender—and I understand there are supposed to be about 40—you feel you belong to. You can say you are whoever you think you are. And oddly enough, I’m somewhat sympathetic to that. I think you should be able to call yourself what you want, do what you want, say what you want, this is all fine. And let people judge you by how you identify yourself. Say that you’re a hermaphrodite dinosaur who was born on Mars, if you want. I don’t care; it’s your problem. But these PC types want to legislate that people have to treat the psychologically aberrated as if they were normal. They want laws and punishments governing what you can and can’t do and say and even feel. They want to force you to respect, and pay for, the fantasies of a minority. And change—overturn actually—the whole social culture of the country. It’s a very disturbing trend. It’s likely to end in violence.
I believe I first heard the term “political correctness” used on a Saturday Night Live show back in about 1980. And I thought it was just a joke—like most of the things on SNL. But it turned out to be a real thing, and it’s been building momentum, for at least the last two generations. Where is it going to end? I’m not sure, but it’s just one more termite eating away at the foundations of Western civilization itself. People that go along with this stuff aren’t just crazy. They’re actually evil. They’re the same types who rallied around Robespierre during the French revolution, Lenin during the Russian Revolution, Hitler in ‘30s Germany, and Mao in China. It’s a certain personality type.
The fact that the average American still puts up with this kind of nonsense and treats it with respect is a bad sign. PC values are continually inculcated into kids that go off to college—which, incidentally, is another idiotic mistake that most people make for both economic and philosophical reasons. It’s a real cause for pessimism.
Justin: I agree 100%, Doug. But here’s something our average reader might not realize.
The PC “movement” is actually happening across the world.
For example, Cardiff Metropolitan University in the U.K. banned words like “mankind,” “homosexual,” “housewife,” “manmade,” and “sportsmanship” in an effort to “promote fairness and equality through raising awareness about potentially discriminatory vocabulary.”
Here are some of the University’s approved alternatives…
Instead of “manpower,” students and faculty should say “human resources.”
Instead of “mankind,” “humanity.”
Instead of “sportsmanship,” “fairness.”
Instead of “polio victim,” “polio survivor.”
So here we have another university trying to legislate what people can and cannot say in the name of fairness and equality.
But I really don’t see how this accomplishes anything. Would you agree?
Doug: Completely. The words you use control the way you think. These people don’t have good intentions, they have bad intentions. Destructive intentions. They’re opposed to all the things that, starting with Ancient Greece, made Western Civilization unique, and better than any other on Earth. They’re opposed to the concepts of individualism, personal freedom, capitalism, economic liberty, free thought, and the like. And it starts with controlling the words you use. George Orwell pointed that out in 1984 where he created “Newspeak,” which was a new version of the English language that used all kinds of different new words in order to change the way people think. And to make it impossible for them to think clearly, because the words were purposely misdefined, often to the opposite of the meanings that they actually have. So, sure, this is part of the continuing corruption of Western civilization itself.
And you’re right, it’s not just in American universities. It’s in universities everywhere, because the culture of universities everywhere has been controlled by this whole class of progressives, social justice warriors, cultural Marxists, socialists—they go under a number of names. I don’t know what’s going to be done about it, quite frankly, because the average person doesn’t have A) the backbone and B) the philosophical knowledge to counter these people. So there’s great cause for pessimism, watching this happen and accelerate. It’s not slowing down, it’s accelerating everywhere.
For instance, some years ago I sat on the Board of Trustees of two different universities. The other trustees weren’t academics, but normal, successful middle-class people. And they were completely snowed by these crazy trends. They were of good will, but they’d been brainwashed by their own educations, and the culture around them, into thinking that although perhaps the SJWs and such were going “too far,” they didn’t actively oppose them. I’m afraid the intellectual and psychological battle has been lost.
Justin: Exactly, it seems people across the world are waging a war on their own freedom of speech. Meanwhile, you have the government waging a war on people’s privacy…
Facebook and internet service providers are hawking private browsing data, Google is listening in on our conversations, the CIA is hacking people’s smartphones…
As disturbing as this all is, I can’t say I’m surprised. Are you?
Doug: No, I wasn’t at all surprised by it. But people’s reaction to these horrible things is that, “Well, the CIA should be reined in a bit, they should be brought under control.” But this is the wrong reaction. The CIA—along with the NSA, the DEA, and a bunch of others—should be abolished, because the CIA has become an actual Praetorian guard. It’s become a government within a government. They have their own armed forces, they have their own sources of income. You can go rogue within the CIA, and if you’re powerful enough or clever enough you can basically do what you want because you’re an armed government agent that’s a member of a very powerful group.
These people are completely out of control. And they have a powerful propaganda machine that works around the clock to convince ignorant and paranoid Boobus americanus that they’re actually good guys, working for his interests against the rest of the world. Fahrenheit 451 Best Price: $1.98 Buy New $8.29 (as of 07:00 EST - Details)
The CIA should be abolished because it’s dysfunctional, but also because it serves no useful purpose. It’s never ever predicted, through its so-called “intelligence gathering,” anything of value—ever. The Korean War, the rise of Castro, the fall of the Shah, the rise of Islam, the fact that the Soviet Union was just an empty shell—you know, they thought the Soviet Union was actually competing with the US from an economic point of view. They’re always absolutely wrong on everything. It defies the odds of pure chance. They’re not just useless, but extremely dangerous. All the coups and revolutions they’ve plotted were disasters.
Can you abolish them? Can you get rid of them at this point? No, they’re far too powerful. And anybody that tries is either going to be killed and/or discredited by their black propaganda. At this point the situation’s completely out of control, and we just have to see where it ends. As an individual American, you should try to insulate yourself from these people. Because they’re not going away; they’re going to become even more powerful.
Justin: How can the average American do that? Should they flee to another country? Delete their Facebook? Is this something people can even escape?
Doug: It’s now a very small world, so it’s very hard to escape. But you just mentioned something to consider. I spend two-thirds of the year in South America, and travel a lot. Believe it or not, I don’t personally have a cell phone, because I don’t like to feel tethered to an electronic device. Societies down here aren’t nearly as electronically oriented as they are in the US. Though my internet connection in Cafayate, Argentina is much better than the one I have in Aspen. So, yes, that’s one thing. It’s easier to be out of sight and out of mind of the bad guys if you’re out of the US, which is the epicenter of all of this. I think that’s important. And being physically absent and trying to limit your use of electronic devices and be careful when you do use them. That’s about all you can do at this point.
Or you can be a good little lamb, and never think out of the box. To mix metaphors, you can act like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand, believing you have nothing to hide, because you’re one of the herd who never does anything wrong. Too few people have read Harvey Silverglate’s book where he points out how the average American often commits about three felonies a day.
But that book is surely inaccurate. It’s 10 years old. Now it’s probably like five felonies a day.
Justin: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Doug.
Doug: My pleasure, Justin.
Reprinted with permission from Casey Research.