Will Political Correctness Backfire?

It's been tremendous fun watching white upper-middle-class-liberal Jonathan Chait telling us that SJW mau-mauing just ain't fair when he's on the receiving end. A platoon of eager beavers showed up immediately to remind him how he's loved political correctness when he's doing it to conservatives.

And just to help out, upper-middle-class Reihan Salam has chimed in on Slate to remind its upper-middle-class readers that upper-middle-class liberals are the root of all evil.

All this is fine, but does it mean anything? Does it suggest, as the Brits say, that political correctness is reaching its sell-by date?

The truth is, we don't know. I'm encouraged by lefty Fredrik deBoer, whose rant seems to have gone viral:

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 19 year old white woman -- smart, well-meaning, passionate -- literally run crying from a classroom because she was so ruthlessly brow-beaten for using the word “disabled.”...

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 20 year old black man, a track athlete... be told not to return to those meetings because he said he thought there were such a thing as innate gender differences...

I have seen, with my own two eyes, a 33 year old Hispanic man, an Iraq war veteran... be lectured about patriarchy by an affluent 22 year old white liberal arts college student, because he had said that other vets have to “man up” and speak out about the war...

Here are willing recruits to the lefty cause being turned away by snot-nosed upper-middle-class white SJWs for flubbing the responses in the liberal Mass. I wonder how long the victims will remember the humiliations. I remember a professor telling me fifty years ago that, as a privileged middle-class kid, I was taking a university place away from a deserving working-class kid.

Like I said. There's only one kind of privilege in today's America: liberal privilege.

Every ruling class does this. It likes to control what people say and think. In the old days the ruling class controlled people by putting them in the Tower for treasonous speech. It put them in the Bastille for lèse-majesté -- the insult to the dignity of the king. It burned them at the stake for heresy.

Today, the ruling class imagines itself the most evolved thing since sliced bread, and so is keenly interested in controlling every unevolved thing that is thought and said.

Today, the instruments of torture are different. But the thuggery in the heart is the same.

But why do they do it? It's because, despite the ruling class propaganda that its rule is ordained by God (or justice or history), the fact is that every ruling class got there by insurgency or war. The Brits? A nice little Whig conspiracy encouraged a friendly invasion by the Dutch in 1688. The US? A bunch of young hotheads decided they couldn't take it anymore and decided to kick the Brits out of the colonies. Germany? We Yanks kicked the Nazis out in WWII and installed our own regime.

Liberals, on the other hand, got their power by bribing voters with loot stolen from “capitalists.”

When your regime is founded upon force, you feel the need to spin a likely story. My guy Jurgen Habermas proposes to found his new, improved regime on a combination of “popular sovereignty” and “human rights” which “presuppose each other.” They do? How would that work in Venezuela, where President Maduro just proposed the following (H/T Richard Fernandez):

[Maduro] promised to provide more “free” services for everyone.  Free school stipends, free housing. No cutbacks to social welfare. How would the bankrupt state pay for it?  He said, that while “oil will never cost $100 again but God will provide. Venezuela will never do without.”

Now, is this policy based on human rights, popular sovereignty, or the stone-cold fear that the moment that Bolivarian socialism stops delivering free stuff to the “people” it is outa here?

And what is the difference between Venezuela and the U.S., where the white upper-middle-class liberal ruling class maintains itself in power by offering free stuff to the government employees and entitlement dependents in the lower orders? Or the UK, where the national religion is said to be the National Health Service, providing health care “free at the point of delivery?”

Now I get it. Popular sovereignty is when the people take to the streets to demand more little golden sovereigns when the checks stop coming.

Every ruling class worries that its right to rule is “Too indirect for long continuance,” and so every unlicensed thought and word of its subjects seems to signal a head of rebellion.

So it teaches its regime thugs to go out to bully and intimidate, like these special snowflakes. Does that make things better for the regime or make them worse?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.