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June 12th 2017 print

Daryl McCann

Kill Political Correctness or It Kills Us

Here is the dark magic of PC thinking: it subtly inverts the truth, leaving us feeling virtuous while literally and metaphorically disarmed. Hug the person next to you, urged Katy Perry at the Manchester memorial concert. Just hope he's not wearing a suicide vest

jihadi tomahawkIt is easy to be cynical about pop singer Katy Perry’s appeal during the June 4, 2017, One Love Manchester benefit concert for members of the audience to touch the person next to them and say, “I love you”. The all-star performance commemorated victims of the terrorist attack carried out after an Ariana Grande show at Manchester Arena on May 22, resulting in 22 deaths (many of the victims young girls) and 119 people injured. Given that only the day before One Love Manchester, Saturday June 3, another terrorist assault, this time in the vicinity of London Bridge, left eight people dead and 48 injured, the all-star concert assumed additional meaning.

Some with longer memories, of course, might have remembered all the way back March 22 when Islamic State sympathiser, Khalid Masood, drove a vehicle into pedestrians on the south side of Westminster Bridge and Bridge Street wounding 50 people, four of them fatally.

Some construed Perry’s plea as foolish, even delusional: “It’s not easy to always choose love, is it? It can be the most difficult thing to do. But love conquers fear and love conquers hate. And this love that you choose will give you strength, and it is out greatest power.”

I, too, was ready to dismiss her “little exercise of love” as utterly facile, and yet she is halfway to the truth. “Love”, courtesy of our Judeo-Christian origins, really is one of the attributes of Western civilisation. That said, we need to add the caveat that love, in the sense of transcending the tribal and acquiring a universal quality, has a post-Christian flavour today. Still, something Christian remains in our increasingly post-Christian worldview. There are those who would contend that we have, by and large, eschewed the religious dimension of our traditional faith – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” – while maintaining the Golden Rule aspect: “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

katy perry

Unconditional love is in the air and I hope some young Muslims, in the United Kingdom, Australia or anywhere for that matter, were inspired by the good vibrations emanating from One Love Manchester and have elected to shun the homicidal tribalism of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome. We can hope.

But I take issue with Katy Perry’s entreaty on two grounds. First, her claim that it is “not easy to always choose love” does not persuade me. The kind of all-you-need-is-love sentiment expressed by the pop diva at the One Love Manchester does not contravene PC orthodoxy and PC orthodoxy, being the dominant ideology of our brave new world, is always the easiest line to take. Consider, for instance, the admonition dispensed by Stevie Wonder in his pre-taped segment: “I don’t care what ethnicity you are, what religion you are. Love really is the way. So anyone who tries to make anyone think that things of destruction has [sic] anything to do with God or Allah, they’re a liar. Yes, I stand with you Manchester.”

I suggest that if Stevie Wonder, or some other showbiz celebrity, had made the following message it would not have received an airing at the One Love Manchester concert: “Islamic revivalism, in the form of Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood, has been the ruination of many young Muslims in the United Kingdom. So anyone who does not address this developing calamity, they’re an enabler of terrorism. Yes, I stand with Manchester.” Now that would have been impressive. Love – at least in the way the PC brigade frames it – turns out to be very “easy to always choose”. The road not taken is the one without cheery platitudes plastered on every passing billboard.

I would also take issue that “love”, of the unthinking and indeterminate kind, is “our greatest power”. It was the West, Robert Irwin argues in For Lust of Knowing, which invented modernity and our prevailing sense of the universal, and the Islamic world has been alternatively playing catch-up (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s Turkish Republic) or regressing to the seventh century (Hassan al-Banna’s Muslim Brotherhood) or both (the Islamic Republic of Iran’s quest for nuclear-weapons capability) ever since.

Great Western minds (à la the Orientalists) explored and scrutinised for more than 500 years the Greater Middle East not with dull-witted and incurious PC love but a genuine scholar’s passion to know. Now cultural relativism reigns supreme in the academy and Islam, as the 101-year-old Bernard Lewis noted in Reflections of a Middle East Historian, “enjoys a level of immunity from comment or criticism in the Western world that Christianity has lost and Judaism has never had”.

We can sing and dance and touch the person next to us and tell them we love them just as we love our enemies. But to love our enemies does not mean they automatically cease to be monsters wanting to butcher our innocent children. Candidate Trump was excoriated by the PC brigade for his assertion that America (and by inference the West) should “figure out what the hell is going on” in the Islamic world, and yet there was more honesty and truth in that one line than anything the professorial Barack Obama ever said on the subject or ever will.

Salafi jihadists – that is to say violent jihadists – want to exterminate us because we are non-believers or kafirs. I am not convinced that if I were at a Katy Perry performance, seated next to the likes of Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid Masood, Salaman Ramadan Abedi, Khuram Butt, Omar Mateen, Yacqub Khayre, Mohamed Lahouaiej Boulel, Rizwan Farook, Tashfeen Malik, Dzhokhar Tsamaev, Amedy Coulibaly or Saïd Kouachi, that it would be prudent to obey the singer’s directive: “Just touch the next person, touch the person next to you. Make human contact. Tell them ‘I love you’, look in their eyes, say ‘I love you’”. What if the person you touch were adorned in an improvised explosive vest, packed with ball bearings, nails, screws, bolts and other objects to maximise the number of kafir casualties and, worse, their clammy finger was on the detonator?

To be fair, encouragement “to choose love even when it’s difficult” might have had a positive effect on some prospective Islamic State followers, the low-hanging fruit, to paraphrase Tanveer Ahmed, ripe for recruitment by violent-jihadist operatives. Maybe we kafirs should not be squashed like bugs after all. Then again, pop-star idealism might be a case of not just simple naiveté but of self-abasement and dissoluteness in the eyes of nascent jihadists.

What the West requires right now, more likely, is for the political class – along with educators, academics, writers, artists, journalists and, yes, celebrities – to stop hiding behind politically-correct bromides and re-claim some of the tough love of our Orientalist antecedents. Chérif Kouachi, after his arrest for the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, denied he was a criminal: “We are not killers…This isn’t us. We have an honour code in Islam.” Instead of blithely exonerating Islam, the survival of our liberty-loving civilisation depends on us exploring and scrutinising, and making known to the general public, exactly what Chérif Kouachi means by “an honour code in Islam”.

The big lie is not, as Stevie Wonder maintains, that there’s no connection between Allah and violence. The big lie is to claim that there is no connection between Allah and violence. The two previous sentences almost sound the same but actually express totally opposite views. That is the dark magic of PC thinking: it subtly inverts the truth and leaves us feeling virtuous while literally and metaphorically disarming us against our nemesis.

The time has come to say it: either we kill political correctness or political correctness kills us.

Comments [25]

  1. Bill Martin says:

    “Unconditional love is in the air and I hope some young Muslims, in the United Kingdom, Australia or anywhere for that matter, were inspired by the good vibrations emanating from One Love Manchester and have elected to shun the homicidal tribalism of Sudden Jihadi Syndrome. We can hope.” – writes Daryl McCann.

    That might just be acceptable as a passing, wishful thought, but hardly even that. To be a Muslim is to be of a deranged mind. Those suffering from that condition are not susceptible to influence of reason, let alone the sentimentality. Their minds are poisoned from birth, any semblance of normality is merely a facade for the deception of the despicable Kaffir who is not even a human being but something that belongs to a lower class of species.

    It is sickening, appalling and infuriating to see them joining “normal” (i.e.non-muslim) mourners with candles and flowers in hand at the site of the atrocities committed by their fellow derangees, while piously clutching the same Koran under their weird garb as the perpetrators of the crimes wave at us.

  2. Geoffrey Luck says:

    With so many into self-loathing, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself” sounds about right.

  3. Gogs says:

    OK. I love Adolf Hitler, Jeremy Dahmer, Pol Pot, Joseph Stalin, Vlad the Impaler and Chairman Mao. What do I do next?

  4. padraic says:

    When I read above of Katy Perry’s answer to the problem expressed by the author as “We can sing and dance and touch the person next to us and tell them we love them” I for some unknown reason was reminded of a film entitled “Zardoz” which I saw in 1974. I did not know what it was about before going to see it, but one of the actors was Sean Connery, fresh from his James Bond early movies and I thought it must be good. It was totally weird at the beginning but as it progressed I realised it was about the end effect of political correctness in a society, and I recommend watching any clips if you can find them. It has been described as ‘..in the distant future, a savage trained only to kill finds a way into the community of bored immortals that alone preserves humanity’s achievements.” The “bored immortals” are forerunners of today’s inner-city leftoids who think they know every thing. In the movie they are dressed in long flowing robes and the society appears to be run by women and the men have become superfluous and exist in a drugged state.

  5. Warty says:

    Turning the other cheek is an injunction directed towards the individual. But for a head of state, for those given the authority to protect us, the same injunction does not apply: his role is use the powers of the state to protect its citizens.
    Well, that’s one thing, but Daryl is obviously talking about a tendency amongst a seemingly emasculated public in a state of moral decline. We have become a little too comfortable in our secular sterility, in that we need some external trigger, in this case a croony direction from a dazzling pop singer before we can actually drag ourselves from our iphones and make a highly transient connection with a person next to us. The sentimental use of language is part of the trigger, and it, as Daryl says, make us feel good, but does absolutely nothing to create real unity, because of its intrinsic transience and lack of substance. Genuine connection requires self sacrifice, on an on-going basis, and this is not a generation even vaguely capable of it.
    Having read so many of the comments of so many of our Quadrant readers, for quite some time now, I know you won’t like this, but killing political correctness, by moral rejuvenation, will not happen unless there is some form of spiritual revival in the West. If it doesn’t happen, Islam will fill the void, and that is a form of spirituality worse than death.

    • Jody says:

      The older I get the more I’ve come to believe that nations which don’t face existential threats turn inward, onto themselves, and I think PC is a manifestation of this. We have a generation of people – whose parents were the hippy generation – who think they can regulate and control the society, shaping it into an ideal image they’ve created of themselves. Paradoxically this works in tandem with a mistaken belief that if you have sufficient control of the people then it’s much easier to deal with other ‘threats’ such as climate change, terrorism and economic uncertainty. Gifting the so-called ‘elites’ the privilege of deciding what IS and IS NOT an ideal society, or is or is not a threat to the social order, is tantamount to outsourcing individual beliefs to an oligarchy. For them, the biggest threat constitutes any person or group which won’t conform to their new fundamentalist ‘religion’.

      The predominant reason the bien pensants hate Trump – and other political ‘insurgents’ like him – is precisely because of their inability to be controlled or demonstrate any willingness (unlike Turnbull) to bow down to the new gods of political correctness.

      • Warty says:

        Indeed, Jody. As for Rob Brighton’s impression that either you or I mentioned the word religion, I can’t find any evidence of it either. On my part, I mentioned the phrase ‘spiritual revival’ in the West, precisely because I thought ‘religion’ to hard a concept for many of us to digest. I know there is a female Quadrant reader who experiences deep fulfilment when listening to her beloved Bach, and I’d call that a spiritual experience because she is not only connected to the expression of a particular composition, but ultimately the source, if only because the expression is the source made manifest.
        My wife is an artist, and I particularly love her oil landscapes (though she works with pastel too). She can be working on a canvass, and become quite ‘transported’, the experience being that it is not she who is conducting the brush work, but that the brush itself is doing it all for her. The experience is profound, and gives rise to quite a different understanding of ‘love’ to the one commanded by Daryl’s Katie Perry. Shirley has never once mentioned intoning ‘inshallah’ after each brush stroke, I can assure you.
        So, in response to Rob, one doesn’t have to cross the threshold of any church or mosque to enjoy a spiritual experience: listening to fine music can be instantaneous, if you can give yourself the space to sit and listen quietly, without distraction. The same with Shakespeare. D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers won’t cut it; nor Franz Kafka’s The Trial: the former leaves you feeling inward, confused and dissatisfied; the latter is disturbing and dark, both the very antithesis of ‘spiritual’. They may be transformative, but in quite the wrong way.
        Being a rather odd sort of person, I particularly enjoy Gregorian Chant, finding it entirely meditative.
        The point is these are simple, accessible ways of gaining access to the realm of spirit. They can be very direct, but rather confronting or uncomfortable for those entirely attached to a material, transitory world.

        • Rob Brighton says:

          Warty
          June 13, 2017 at 10:58 am

          If it was your intent to suggest spirituality in the sense you propose above then I can quite agree with you.

          Personally, I find it uplifting to be punting my motorcycle over twisty roads in beautiful scenery but that is altogether irrelevant as is Jody’s joy of music or your wife’s paintings.

          Don’t mistake me, I do not reduce in any way how these make your wife or Jody feel in the slightest. I am happy for them that it does what motorcycling does for me but none have been suggested as a cure for PC culture, whereas (regrettably) religion is always put forward as a panacea for societal ills.

          I trust you will forgive me for doubting your intent, after all when one strikes phrases such as moral decline, turn the other cheek, secular sterility and moral rejuvenation it is hardly unreasonable to draw the assumption that the “spirituality” being referenced is of the more mundane variety. Especially when reading and commenting in Quadrant.

          • Warty says:

            I suppose there are many that would regard the phrases you’ve picked out as Christian ‘trigger warnings’, but I could use the same arguments making reference to Shakespeare alone, or Blackstone’s Commentaries, or the wonderful Plato’s Laws, or his Republic, or Mozart for that matter. Examine Macbeth’s soliloquy ‘Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow . . . ‘ (Act V: 5) in the context of a secular, utterly transitory world, and you’ll understand why Shakespeare put those particular words in his mouth, I’m talking about the whole soliloquy, which I know off by heart.
            ‘Turning the other cheek’ is indeed Christian, but most people our age know what it means, and how it applies to the way our so called leaders are reacting to Islam.
            There are many ways to skin a cat, and I could rabbit on about spirituality at length, in ways that would offend pgang, and yet retain my own Christian foundations.

        • Jody says:

          Lovely comments, Warty; thank you. I can relate to your words about your artist wife as I have made musical friends who absolutely get that too!! Listening to this Bach right now: the perfect antidote to the arid world of all things PC!!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDMYl0YjCn0

        • pgang says:

          That’s called New Age-ism and it’s the same crap the hippies tried on. There is no such thing as a ‘spiritual realm’. Good grief, are we living in the modern west or ancient Egypt?

          Emotions are not spirituality, unless you’re a hippy or someone at Hillsong.

          • Jody says:

            My point is the the PC apparatchiks live an arid life where there religion is an ideology based on a mistaken nirvana that their parents dreamed up whilst under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs!! I’m sorry for them that it’s the only thing they believe in and, coupled with their belief in everything as relative to everything else, I’d suggest that a belief in everything is a belief in nothing. I actually feel sorry for them. And I wouldn’t ever suggest a PC adherent, following his/her religion, is anything like spiritualism but raw emotion and sentiment based on drivel. I’m old enough to remember the hippies and their incantations of Kahlil Gibran and his bogus refulgences. Those hippy drones fell for that so it’s a short step for mankind to PC ideology and social control, IMO, as a kind of surrogate religion.

          • Keith Kennelly says:

            Hi Pgang

            You are so right. Emotions are not spirituality.

            The spirituality of the Egyptians had something going for it. Their civilisation is now thought to have existed over 6000 years.

            They had no one supreme god. They had a belief in Ma’at.
            It was the belief the universe, society and individuals were held in order and out of chaos with a belief in the rules of the universe. Principally they were belief in truth, justice and order. They and their gods upheld those values and practised them.

            The only time they diverged from them was when Arkenartem and Nefertiti set up the monothesist beliefs of the Sun God Ra religion. It is those believers who are thought to have fled to Sinai and on to Cannan and. Set up the monotheist religion of the Hebrews. both Christainaty and Islam came from there.

            What we are seeing now is the end of the monothesist religions.

            We’d do better to instal Ma’at as our higher authority and meld the basic message of Christ into that.
            That would return us to an enlightenment and Spirituality would return and replace the monothesist crap.

            Cheers

            I’ve touched a real spirituality in my life. It has nothing to do with books or music or art. It was to do with connection to the universe or as one bishop said to me, Keith you saw the hand of God.
            I said rubbish, politely, I said I saw a power in the universe none of us really understand, and you religious monothesists say it is a god.

            I think the universe was never created, I think it was always there and is infinite. A beginning implies an end. That won’t happen.

          • acarroll says:

            We’re living in essentially the same body and mind machinery for hundreds of thousands of years. Yes we’re still evolving but hardly at all between the rise and fall of Christendom.

            Religion and religious belief are intrinsic to all functioning people and society. The rejection of religion is nothing more than the substitution of one set of dogmas for another, e.g. Christianity for secular humanism or Marxism.

            Abandoning Christianity and it’s sometimes intolerable restrictions on those with high IQ and replacing it with nihilism and Marxism has been a predictable disaster, leading to the dissolution of community and identity and nation we see all around us in all post-Christian (formerly) nation states.

            I’m not even Christian myself but it’s clear that Christian belief, dogma and social conformity was much much more healthy for the nations of the west than what we have now.

            Dor example, how can materialist belief systems like secular humanism ensure that antisocial or selfish behaviour is controlled when there’s no apparent consequence for such bad behaviour?

            From a completely practical point of view, indoctrinating people to believe that they’re always being judged by a higher force, regardless of who’s watching, and suffer the consequences for said behaviour after death is frankly one of the most effective social technologies to maintain order ever invented! Arguably the main mechanism underpinning the success of Christian societies other than raw intellect.

    • Rob Brighton says:

      You suggest that we need religion to stop the religious? Do you not see that you sound the same as those you oppose?

      • Jody says:

        Gosh, show me where I said that? And you need to watch this:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TupLw8v1E4&feature=youtu.be

        • Rob Brighton says:

          Hi Jody, My comment was directed at Warty, the comments thread placed my comment subsequent to your own despite my hitting the reply button directly under Warty’s post. Apologies if I have compounded my error in this response.

          I fundamentally agree with your proposition, it’s almost as if Oceana is working hard to fight Eurasia. I wonder if they got the memo that the book was a dystopian novel rather than a “how to” guide.

          I did have a snoop at the video. I would rather those who feel the way that they do have someplace they can let it out and get help rather than resort to mowing people down or butchering them. Although I say that with a high degree of hope inverse to my confidence in any successful result. At the very least it is worth a try before less attractive options are taken (such as internment camps Chairman Mao style). They are after all ours whether we like it or not.

          • Keith Kennelly says:

            Look you blokes are all quite a distance off the mark.

            Spirituality in the west has been dominated by the organised religions for a couple of thousand years.
            It’s influence started to wane with ‘the Enlighenment’ and gradually lost its influence as knowledge and its spread awakened people and we started thinking for ourselves. As we recognised the shortcomings of religion we mostly abandoned it. Until we totally abandoned it in the 60s . The pill was the issue that changed everything. The hypocrisy of the priests ,and the church, especially with allowing the Rhythm Method, were the factors which led to the final abandonment en masse.

            The West has been on a crusade in search of a new spirituality since then. It’s a quest we won’t stop .

            If you read James Burnham , the Managerial Tevolution and The Machiavellian, you will understand we have been in a period of change which has led us ‘up the garden path. We are at a crossroads now and are seeking another way. That’s what Brexit, Trump and Corbin are all about.

            People are looking back but they want a means to go forward.

            The loss of an ‘official spirituality’ will have little impact in the war against Islam. Our society has far greater depth and a cohesion Islam lacks.
            That will win us this war.

            Eventually we will discover our new spirituality.

            Our only problem at present is focus.

            We have not yet clearly defined our enemy and the motivation of Islam nor identified its weaknesses.

            This war will last a very long time simply because of numbers. It’s a case of one third of humanity trying to dominate the other two thirds.

            No other conflict has had such numbers.

            We westerns can adapt, Islam cannot. We can develop new strategies and weapons Islam can’t. They can only regress.

          • acarroll says:

            Keith Kennelly

            The war front of Islam is not against the rest of humanity, it’s against specifically European societies which are the greatest and longest sought-after prize

            The pathetic weakness of the spirit of Western societies is a consequence of bourgeois “enlightenment” philosophy that has selfishly undermined the foundations of national unity in the form of religious critique. This method of critique then has subsequently been honed and weaponised by revolutionary Marxists and other enemies of society and applied to all the remaining pillars: family, hierarchy, gender roles; all sitting ducks without a religious foundation.

            The pill is not lethal to western society in the presence of traditional Christianity. However when used in conjunction with an environment of a Church critiqued into disrepute, of promoted female hypergamy and mass immigration of populations with a religious doctrine of conquest by the womb then it’s potentially a fatal synergy.

            Demographics are destiny. We’re already stuffed because we’re too demoralised to do anything about it.

    • Jimbob says:

      Warty

      You got it in one!

  6. Jim Campbell says:

    Spot on Warty

  7. Jody says:

    My eldest son (41) has just been here and we’ve been talking about PC and Islam. My son made a brilliant suggestion; he said that the authorities and people in general need to get the message out to terrorist, as follows:
    “You can blow yourselves and us up but we’ll scoop up every little bit of what’s left of you and bury you with pig skins”. My son said that would remove their incentive to try and get to heaven by appealing to their medieval superstitions. He’s absolutely right but nobody will be game enough to take these vile excuses for human beings on when, as we all know, ‘know your enemy and you’ll win the war’.