The Language of Denial: Freedom of Speech in an Age of Political Correctness

March 9th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Earlier this week I was reading one of the many excellent publications put out by the Centre for Independent Studies, a booklet called “You Can’t Say That!“. It is a collection of four essay about how there is an invisible self-imposed muzzle which is threatening freedom of speech. They struck a real chord with me, and I asked if I could share them on my blog. They kindly agreed.

The first essay is by . Sarrazin is a German politician, who is a member of the (centre-left) SPD. He wrote a book called “Deutschland schafft sich ab” which in English is Germany Does Away With Itself. The book saw the SPD try to expel him, and he was also forced off the board of the central bank. Incidentally the book is  the highest selling book on politics by a German-language author in a decade.

The Language of Denial: Freedom of Speech in an Age of Political Correctness

Thilo Sarrazin

 

Until 2008, I did not concern myself very much with political correctness. In my career as a civil servant, board member, and later on, as a politician, I had a reputation for being outspoken. But that reputation was mostly limited to my professional field and generally accepted.

Everything changed with an interview I gave in September 2009 about the socioeconomic problems of Berlin and their roots, and with a book I published in August 2010 under the title Deutschland schafft sich ab (Germany Abolishes Itself).

Its main conclusions are:

  • Germany as a nation is doomed by its demography. The low and stable birth rate means that every generation is 35 percent smaller than the one before.
  • The brightest people have the fewest children. And for this reason, intellectual capacities and educational achievements in Germany will shrink even faster than the population. This is not a danger in the far future; the process is already in full swing.
  • The kind of immigration we have in Germany, mostly from Islamic countries in Africa and the Middle East, does not solve the problems. It aggravates them. Reasons for this are the Islamic cultural background and the poor average educational performance of these groups, which is far below the European average, even in the second and third generation.

These conclusions are of course controversial—as they were intended to be. In matters of society, there is no such thing as an absolute truth. And I am the first to admit this.

I had expected a controversial discussion. But nothing had prepared me for the public storm that broke loose upon the publication of my book. I was accused of advocating biological determinism and labelled a social Darwinist, a racist, and an enemy of the people and of social justice.

I survived morally and politically because of the enthusiastic support from large parts of the general public and the new online media. Because of this, the traditional print and broadcast media lost their monopoly of interpretation, and it was plain for everybody to see. Realising this, many politicians started a tactical withdrawal from the debate.

Subsequently, I stepped down as a board member of the Deutsche Bundesbank—but not before I had been formally cleared of all allegations of misconduct.

In the following months, I thought a lot about the controversial reactions to my book. My theory is as follows:

The code of conduct in a society, which is not laid down by law, changes over time. It is to a large degree implicit and not subject to formal—or even openly discussed—rules. But those members who do not observe the code run the risk of being excluded from ‘the good society.’

Having and expressing the ‘right’ set of opinions about certain scientific, social and political questions is an important part of this code of conduct. Most people want to observe the prevailing code of conduct, but being busy with jobs and families they have no informed opinion of their own on most matters. So they think and believe what the media say they should think and believe. Politicians, on the other hand, read public opinion solely based on media opinions. Most politicians sincerely believe that voters think what the media write or say.

Media are made by people, and media people recruit themselves in a process of self-selection, much as lawyers, doctors or engineers do. Polls show that media people mainly listen to other media people. Endorsed by this self-selection, media people on the whole have a set of opinions that tend to be on the left of mainstream society. I don’t say this is a bad thing, but it partly explains the mindset of political correctness.

Most people shy away from saying or even thinking anything that is perceived to be politically incorrect. So the mechanics of political correctness prevent the expression of dissenting opinions, notwithstanding the formal freedom of speech. It even stops the generation of incorrect thoughts.

The prevailing themes of political correctness are deeply ingrained in the (to some degree unconscious) mindset of the political class and the media. Reflecting on the reaction to my book, I identified 13 themes that constitute the main body of political correctness in Germany.

My book violated every single one of them.

Here is the list of political correctness in Germany. I think it describes the truth, but it takes some irony or humour to fully appreciate the list. The problem lies not in any single item on this list but in their combination and rigid application to political thinking:

1.     Inequality is bad, equality is good.

2.     Secondary virtues like industriousness, precision and punctuality are of no particular value. Competition is morally questionable (except in sports) because it promotes inequality.

3.     The rich should feel guilty. Exception: Rich people who have earned their money as athletes or pop stars.

4.     Different conditions of life have nothing to do with people’s choices but with the circumstances they are in.

5.     All cultures are of equal rank and value. Especially, the values and ways of life of the Christian occident and Western industrialised nations should not enjoy any preference. Those who think differently are provincial and xenophobic.

6.     Islam is a religion of peace. Those who see any problems with immigration from Islamic countries are guilty of Islamophobia. This is nearly as bad as anti-Semitism.

7.     Western industrialised nations carry the main responsibility for poverty and backwardness in other parts of the world.

8.     Men and women have no natural differences, except for the physical signs of their sex.

9.     Human abilities depend mainly on training and education; inherited differences hardly play any role.

10.   There are no differences between peoples and races, except for their physical appearance.

11.   The nation-state is an outdated model. National identities and peculiarities have no particular value. The national element as such is rather bad; it is at any rate not worth preserving. The future belongs to the global society.

12.   All people in the world not only have equal rights, they are in fact equal. They should at least all be eligible for the benefits of the German welfare state.

13.   Children are an entirely private affair. Immigration takes care of the labour market and of any other demographic problems.

That’s the list. In this condensed form, it sounds like a joke. But it’s not a joke. These are the hidden axioms of political correctness in Germany (and probably elsewhere) as I see them.

Every item on the list has a high emotional value for those who believe in it.

The core of the problem is that partly moral und partly ideological attitudes are taken at face value and mixed with reality.

It is a permanent task, I am afraid, to sort that out.

It makes me faintly optimistic though, that after all the turmoil, I am still morally alive and not, as a person and an author, ignominiously buried and forgotten. That had certainly been the intention of the vast majority of the political and the media class. But, for once, the general public publicly disagreed.

This, in itself, is a matter of satisfaction not only for me but for many people in Germany.

I’ll blog the second article next week.

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62 Responses to “The Language of Denial: Freedom of Speech in an Age of Political Correctness”

  1. trout (939 comments) says:

    Thankyou for republishing Sarrazin’s esay. Thank goodness for the Internet; we are at last free of the puerile, superficial outpourings of the MSM.
    By the by I was touring the SI last month; the standard of newspapers down South is at rock bottom; OTD, The Press, Southland Times – take your pick. Thin as, and the content about as substantial as an Auckland suburban freebie. Makes the Herald look almost worth the price.

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  2. Manolo (13,828 comments) says:

    6. Islam is a religion of peace.

    Undoubtly. The vilest of all religions invented by a paedophiled and practised by mind savages.
    The lowest of the low.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    Germany as a nation is doomed by its demography. The low and stable birth rate means that every generation is 35 percent smaller than the one before.

    Germany, and others:

    More than 70 countries have (as of mid-2007) a total fertility rate of less than 2! Without immigration or an increase in total fertility rates, all of these countries will have declining populations over the next few decades. Some of the lowest total fertility rates include developed as well as developing countries alike. For example: Singapore at 1.07, Lithuania at 1.21, Czech Republic at 1.22, Japan at 1.23, and even Canada at 1.61 (the European Union as a whole has a very low total fertility rate of 1.5!)

    The total fertility rate for the United States is just below replacement value at 2.09 and the total fertility rate for the world is 2.59, down from 2.8 in 2002 and 5.0 in 1965. China’s one-child policy definitely shows in the country’s total low fertility rate of 1.75.

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  4. fish_boy (152 comments) says:

    I think the centre for independent studies does us all a powerful favour by reminding us again of the thousand different ways coporate shills and their powerful and rich handlers are oppressed.

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  5. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Interesting he didn’t mention believing in God, or worse, being Catholic.
    Or the ultimate no-no, not supporting gay equality.

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  6. RRM (9,932 comments) says:

    13 points that don’t really add up to a justification for abandoning the one Golden Rule (which you will find is not only the foundation of every major world religion, and the laws of western countries that he trumpets, but of “politically correct” people too.)

    He makes the case for I should be able to say anything I want, and anybody who calls me a c___ for saying it is just being politically correct better than anyone on here ever has. But he is still nevertheless wrong.

    Strike out “Political correctness” everywhere you see it, and replace with “fairness” or even “good manners.”

    [DPF: Nonsense. You do a play depicting Christianity in a bad light and you’ll get taxpayer funding for it. You try doing a play doing the same to Islam, and you’ll be condemned for racism and being provocative and “bad mannered”

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  7. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    We don’t have to look as far as Germany .Plenty of examples in the commonwealth ie Steyn and Bolt. I suspect they may be future contributors.

    Bad manners should not be criminalised.
    Look at this latest piece of madness from Europe.
    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/306942/How-wolf-whistling-could-get-you-a-criminal-record

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  8. EverlastingFire (286 comments) says:

    These kind of points on political correctness have been made many times before. It always helps to keep repeating them, though.

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  9. cha (4,036 comments) says:

    The folk over at Stormfront admire Thilo Sarrazin because how could they not like someone who says “all Jews share a certain gene”.

    [DPF: And many people have the genes of Ghengis Khan. There's nothing wrong with making observations on genetic commonalities. For example the genetic large nose in Jews. The problem is when people use such things to foster hatred, and also when they don't differentiate that individual variation is far greater than genetic differences.

    For example genetically most Japanese men are shorter than Americans. But that doesn't mean there aren't many Japanese men taller than many American men]

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  10. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Fishboy misses the point that PC impacts far more negatively on ordinary people and keeps them bound and powerless to change things they see as detrimental. PC is thought crime regulation…its a threat to human flourishing and needs battling at every opportunity.

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  11. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    The brightest people have the fewest children. And for this reason, intellectual capacities and educational achievements in Germany will shrink even faster than the population. This is not a danger in the far future; the process is already in full swing.

    Okay, as a scientist with a degree in human genetics, I stopped reading right there.

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  12. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Mr Sarrazin has not had his freedom of speech infringed one iota. He is free to say controversial things, no-one is going to lock him up. He just doesn’t seem to like it when other people exercise their freedom of speech to point out when he is saying incorrect and insulting things like all Jews share a certain gene that distinguish them from other people.

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  13. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    “There’s nothing wrong with making observations on genetic commonalities”

    Yes but it is incorrect to say that there is a “Jew-gene” that no-one else has.

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  14. southtop (265 comments) says:

    “The closing of the American mind” byAllan Bloom is also interesting reading. Subtitle: how higher education has failed democracy and impoverished the minds of today’s students.

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  15. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “Okay, as a scientist with a degree in human genetics, I stopped reading right there.”

    Are you saying heriditary plays no part in intelligence?

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  16. KiwiGreg (3,255 comments) says:

    “For example genetically most Japanese men are shorter than Americans”

    Actually that’s mostly diet as an observation of Japanese kids compared with their parents today would show.

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  17. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    Are you saying heriditary plays no part in intelligence?

    No.

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  18. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    PC is also redundant…a free market works to eliminates bigotry and irrational discrimination without the need for this fascist thought policing.

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  19. marcw (249 comments) says:

    @trout 3:12

    [Quote]By the by I was touring the SI last month; the standard of newspapers down South is at rock bottom; OTD, The Press, Southland Times – take your pick. Thin as, and the content about as substantial as an Auckland suburban freebie. Makes the Herald look almost worth the price.[/Quote]

    Everyone has an opinion, but respectfully, your criticism (esp. of The Press) is rubbish. It may not be as independent and forthright as it may have been about 10 years ago, but it is still a quality daily newspaper. In fact under the current circumstances, it deserves a bloody medal for operating every day since Sep. 4th 2010.

    As for your comment about the NZ Herald … well, I would blush if I was responsible for the tabloid half truths they have issued lately under the guise of news. Think, say… oh, one Simon Collins. Bloggers are today’s real investigative journalists as the MSM seem to be unable to get past interviewing their iPhones and Facebook friends.

    Nuff said.

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  20. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Can someone please explain how his freedom of speech has been curtailed?

    What on earth is his definition of free speech? A world where everyone agrees with him, or at least those who disagree say nothing or are forced to stay quiet?

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  21. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    I always find it something of a puzzle when people start claiming that “political correctness” (whatever that is) somehow interferes with freedom of speech. Often there is no free speech issue at all. Sarrazin hasn’t been prevented from expressing his views. The idea that there should be no consequences for expressing controversial opinions is just wrong. The corollary of Sarrazin’s right to skewer what he believes to be holy cows is that other people then get to say what they think about this. They might not be pleasant for Sarrazin. But that’s how freedom of expression works.

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  22. Scott Chris (6,149 comments) says:

    Thilo Sarrazin belongs to the wrong party. Sounds like he’s rewritten the Conservative Manifesto.

    Anyway, I disagree with him. On the whole you can say what you like as long as it’s supported by credible evidence.

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  23. tom hunter (4,887 comments) says:

    What on earth is his definition of free speech? A world where everyone agrees with him, or at least those who disagree say nothing or are forced to stay quiet?

    Funny you should say that in light of the following, written by a right-winger in Hollywood …

    I saw what happened to others if they spoke up or disagreed with the party line. I actually witnessed one writer, who foolishly expressed his support for the war in Iraq, set-upon and viciously berated by no less than six crew-members for almost 20 minutes straight.

    That night, he found his car had been keyed in our secure lot. Hmm… must’ve been a random vandal.

    Incidentally, though he had a storied career, an amazing list of credits and is one of the most versatile, talented writer-producers I know, the jobs gradually dried up for him and now he can’t, as they say, get arrested in this town.

    Perfectly acceptable methods of debate apparently.

    The idea that there should be no consequences for expressing controversial opinions is just wrong.

    The idea that consequences involving retaliatory pack-behaviour – actions that look remarkably similar to the rites of excommunication and shunning practiced by religious groups – is also wrong.

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  24. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ willtruth

    You are right in some respects – Thilo Sarrazin’s ability to give a speech in the town square or to write a letter to the editor are not curtailed. HOWEVER, not being able to comfortably speak your mind about something plain and factual like immigration, without fear of being fired, or fear of not get a promotion (when you otherwise would have) means your speech has been limited – as his personal examples explain (did you even read the whole article?).

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  25. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Nick R, please see my @ willtruth comment

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  26. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    There’s very little he says that is either plain or factual, but you’ll note that he’s still allowed to say it. Even if almost everything he says is bigoted and wrong.

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  27. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Tom,

    Vandalising someone’s property is not an acceptable method of debate and this is reflected in the current law. If people were keying his car and then the law exists to protect him and punish them with criminal convictions.

    If people choose not to do business with him then that is their business. What do you want? A law forcing private individuals to hire people whose views they detest?

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  28. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    “HOWEVER, not being able to comfortably speak your mind about something plain and factual like immigration, without fear of being fired, or fear of not get a promotion (when you otherwise would have) means your speech has been limited.”

    I disagree.

    If I said in a job interview that I thought Elvis was alive or that there was a “Jew-gene”, and they thought I was crazy and declined to hire me, has my freedom of speech been limited?

    Or if I was being interviewed by Alan Greenspan for a job and I said that I thought that his heroine Ayn Rand was a nut-job, and he decided not to hire me on that basis, has my freedom of speech been limited?

    Or if I was a researcher for a right wing think tank that thought climate change was made-up, and they heard me saying on the radio that climate change was real, and they decided not to renew my contract, has my freedom of speech been limited.

    No, no and no,

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  29. tom hunter (4,887 comments) says:

    If people were keying his car and then the law exists to protect him and punish them with criminal convictions.

    You’re funny!

    But actually I was more interested in the pack-behaviour of the six-to-one snarl-fest – and the subsequent end of the man’s career.

    What do you want? A law forcing private individuals to hire people whose views they detest?

    This just gets better and better. From your lips to the British Justice system:

    A Christian couple were fined Tuesday for refusing to allow a gay couple the use of a double room at their hotel in southern England,

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  30. willtruth (243 comments) says:

    Tom,

    I don’t understand your example. I take it you disagree with the decision to fine the christian couple? Surely you must also disagree even more then with any law forcing people to do business with people who hold views they detest?

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  31. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    “Okay, as a scientist with a degree in human genetics, I stopped reading right there.”

    The same process is active in New Zealand and the causative factor is not human genetics but human intellectual cultures. As a scientist with a degree in human genetics you should know that – unless you always stop reading as soon as something is outside your field.

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  32. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    @ EWS – Who promised that free speech would be “comfortable”? You certainly won’t find it in section 14 of the NZ Bill of Rights Act.

    Free speech isn’t a security blanket and it makes very few promises beyond the right to say what you think. It doesn’t guarantee immunity from unpleasant consequences. That is not a justification for criminal retaliation. But the idea that free speech means (for example) that people will not judge you on the basis of your opinions when it comes to employment or promotions is a fantasy.

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  33. tom hunter (4,887 comments) says:

    I don’t understand your example.

    Of course you don’t. That would require some reflection on your ideology, which is what delivered the legal situation above that you implied – with your What do you want? A law forcing private individuals to hire people whose views they detest? snark – that your ideology would otherwise be opposed to.

    But the idea that free speech means (for example) that people will not judge you on the basis of your opinions when it comes to employment or promotions is a fantasy.

    As I said, it depends what one means by “consequences”

    Toadies in the MSM assert that there is no Blacklist in Hollywood.

    And they’re right.

    It’s not necessary because Hollywood is a very, very small, very, very ruthless town, where a few key words spoken in the right ears can absolutely wreck a career–code-words like “difficult,” “high-maintenance” and “uneven.”

    When you can obliterate a fellow professional with a few well-chosen phrases, why maintain something as crude and inelegant as a Blacklist?

    Gosh, if only Joe McCarthy had been less crude and inelegant – and on the correct side of course.

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  34. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @NickR – Political correctness definitely **does** interfere with free speech.
    The proof? Geert Wilders and Elizabeth Sabbaditsch-Wolff being hauled into court for doing nothing more than telling the warts-and-all ugly truth about Islam.

    Freedom of speech in Europe and the UK is now dead. You can no longer criticise Islam and expect to remain free.

    Wilders was fortunate enough to be acquitted, but Sabbaditsch-Wolff was convicted (in Austria).

    The governments in the UK and Europe (with the possible exception of France) basically have a set of politically-correct viewpoints, and if your views/comments do not fit their “received wisdom”, you have got a problem.
    This is particularly the case with criticism of Islam, as the world has seen.

    We in the West MUST remain free to criticise religion. “Evil is evil”, and just because evil may hide in the guise of a “religion” must not make it immune to scrutiny and criticism.

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  35. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    The worst crime you can commit under political correctness is to tell the truth. These people live in a fantasy land. Nearly everything they believe is purely because they would prefer it to be true, actual facts are not relevant. They don’t like to hear from people who think reality is important.

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  36. swan (665 comments) says:

    Danyl Mclauchlan (997) Says:

    “March 9th, 2012 at 4:14 pm
    The brightest people have the fewest children. And for this reason, intellectual capacities and educational achievements in Germany will shrink even faster than the population. This is not a danger in the far future; the process is already in full swing.

    Okay, as a scientist with a degree in human genetics, I stopped reading right there.”

    Arguing by appealling to ones own authority. Is that the definition of arrogance?

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  37. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    I prefer to call political correctness by it’s more aged moniker: Socialism.
    I also care enough to call New Zealand’s renown “Tall Poppy Syndrome”, by it’s correct name: Socialism.
    Socialism: The disease of caring with the application of other people’s money to the problem.

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  38. Scott Chris (6,149 comments) says:

    I prefer to call political correctness by it’s more aged moniker: Socialism.

    Monique, could you explain to me how socialism equates with political correctness?

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  39. adze (2,126 comments) says:

    This topic is one of my favourites, partly because it’s very contemporary, yet as a question of ethics it’s so poorly misunderstood by all sides. I’ve spent nearly half my life pondering it.

    PC as an expression, is way overused. It’s not a new one, being first used in print in the 18th century. But the modern usage, from my own observations, really took off in the 1980s around the time when counter-culture (including peace groups, the equal rights movements, environmentalism, post-modernism and the “New Left”) began to dominate modern thinking and discourse, and become mainstream. Despite having its origins in counter-culture, PC (in the Western context) is a Western creation, even though the influences are many, and “PC” is probably impossible to define as an atomic set of ideologies as Sarrizin has attempted to do. It’s simply “correct thinking” within the context of a given society, or even within a subculture within that society.

    I once attempted to define PC (in the western context) as : “a cluster of ideas that recognises greatest moral significance in the relationship between groups in society, and that promote and defend equality between said groups”.
    But even this probably doesn’t capture everything.

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  40. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    An insightful and provocative commentary which resonates here in the post-Clark New Zealand. I look forward to reading the other three.

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  41. Nick R (507 comments) says:

    I love it when people start banging on about political correctness. Popcorn time.

    @ Put it away – who are “these people” who live in a fantasy land and hate truth? Can you name some of them, and give me some examples of their heinous crimes?

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  42. tom hunter (4,887 comments) says:

    Interesting adze. I recall there was some connection with the methods of Stalinism also?

    In any case, my take on PC is that it really gained steam in the 1960’s with the so-called “New Left” that was trying to find a path away from the wreckage of supporting all those fabulous communist revolutions.

    For people who’d had a gutsful of politics the New Left response was that everything is political. You can’t escape it: the job you do (or whether you have a job), the car you drive (or not), the food you eat, the house you live in, where you live; everything is political.

    And of course if everything is political then everything is based on political processes, especially the central one of how to build and maintain a majority opinion on any given subject and then enforce on everybody the “correct” political decision.

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  43. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    @ Nick R

    “But the idea that free speech means (for example) that people will not judge you on the basis of your opinions when it comes to employment or promotions is a fantasy.”

    Yes, I totally agree with that. The problem is, is that the ‘lefty rights brigade’ demands tolerance for their views, but not for those who disagree with them.

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  44. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    thor42

    France prosecutes people who are rude about Jews.
    Add to your list Andrew Bolt in australia and Mark Steyn in Canada.I think Ezra Levant has been hauled in front of a kangaroo court in Canada also.

    monique
    While the roots may be in socialism,pc speech control has been embraced ,it seems by almost all and sundry. Those that don’t are labelled by the MSM and leftists as far right/populist/racist or all of the above.

    Most western countries nowhave “human rights” legislation that can be used to stifle free speech. These laws need to be repealed.

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  45. Danyl Mclauchlan (1,070 comments) says:

    The same process is active in New Zealand and the causative factor is not human genetics but human intellectual cultures. As a scientist with a degree in human genetics you should know that.

    I have no idea what you mean by this. I do know that IQ scores have been rising in almost every developed country for at least the last hundred years, so any argument that ‘the wrong people are breeding’, and that this is causing a decrease in national IQ is simply false.

    And consider his statement: ‘The brightest people have the fewest children.’ What does that mean? If we’re taking a genetic/evolutionary point of view then the brightest thing people can do is have children and pass on their genes, so the brightest people are, by definition, having the most children. What he’s really saying is, ‘people whose values I like aren’t having enough children, and people whose values I don’t are having a lot.’ But he’s trying to dress it up in the language of biology and social science to try and sound more credible.

    Even if it is true that people with higher IQs are having less children (and remember, we have seen no evidence of this), so what? Human intelligence is like height. Most people are of average intellect, the standard deviation between individuals is incredibly narrow, and their offspring still throw up high IQ outliers. External factors like nutrition and childhood diseases play at least as big a role as genetics.

    If you’re really, really worried about national aggregate IQ you should be worried about child poverty. If all the children in the nation were healthy and eating properly then our national IQ would rise dramatically.

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  46. Scott Chris (6,149 comments) says:

    everything is political.

    I disagree, although nearly anything can be politicized.

    In essence nothing is political except politics.

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  47. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @kowtow – thanks for your comments.
    I read Andrew Bolt’s blog sometimes – he is very good.

    @Nick R – you say that you love it when people “bang on about political correctness”. Does it not concern you that someone can be dragged into court for doing nothing more than telling the truth? If that does not make you feel concerned, why is that? Do you think it could never happen here?

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  48. Scott Chris (6,149 comments) says:

    While the roots may be in socialism,pc speech control has been embraced ,it seems by almost all and sundry.

    Political correctness is rooted in whichever cultural construct spawns it, be it liberalism, socialism or conservatism.

    Not “taking the Lord’s name in vain” is a form of political correctness, as being gentlemanly, ladylike, polite, modest, brave etc. What most people have problems with is cultural change. Especially conservatives.

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  49. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    If you take any left wing policy think tank, it could be written around these points, with my commentary to the following:
    1: Spirit Level anybody?
    2: Allocation of resources on a “needs basis”. Heaven forbid anybody should out-compete anybody else for a greater share of the resources. And even if you do get up earlier, the lazy fuck next door on the lifetime dole should be paid for by you, or “you don’t care enough”.
    3: The rich should feel guilty; other exceptions are self-flagelating types like Gareth Morgan or Auckland business men turned leftie mayor wannabes.
    4: A boy who was beaten to within an inch of his life who is now a silicon valley exec, vs your Hemana no hoper baby murderer – no difference in the upbringing but plenty of difference in the character. some people are just evil bastards.
    5: Cultures who cut off clitorises clitori and stone women to death are quite clearly an inferior type of Orc..

    that’s a start. I would comment at this point that helen Clark was endorsed in her role at the U.N by Iran quite possibly because of her level of political correctness.

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  50. Mary Rose (393 comments) says:

    >I had expected a controversial discussion. But nothing had prepared me for the public storm that broke loose upon the publication of my book.

    He should read the internet! Say anything and you’ll be ripped apart by those who disagree with you. It’s the price for sticking your head above the parapet on any subject.

    >Media are made by people, and media people recruit themselves in a process of self-selection, much as lawyers, doctors or engineers do.

    As all occupations and professions do. It’s an odd assertion. Unless he recommends lawyers recruiting journalists and doctors recruiting shelf-stackers in supermarkets.

    The Scorned>PC is also redundant…a free market works to eliminates bigotry and irrational discrimination

    Care to explain the mechanism for that one? I

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  51. Alan Wilkinson (1,878 comments) says:

    “The same process is active in New Zealand and the causative factor is not human genetics but human intellectual cultures.’ I have no idea what you mean by this.”

    That is obvious. You converted “The brightest people have the fewest children. And for this reason, intellectual capacities and educational achievements in Germany will shrink even faster than the population.” into a statement about IQ. It wasn’t. It was about education achievement and consequential intellectual capacities – not about potential but about achievement.

    And it is happening now. Those who have high educational and consequently professional achievement have few children late in life. Those who breed fast and furiously have poor educational achievement which they pass on to their offspring. Nothing about IQ and nothing about genetics. All about culture.

    If all the children in the nation were healthy and eating properly then our national IQ would have >already< risen dramatically. You have managed to reverse cause and effect.

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  52. wreck1080 (3,922 comments) says:

    Scientists who find statistical links between race and IQ are quickly quietened too.

    It is OK to link physical abilities to race. This is because the best physical abilities are in darker skinned people so it is good to promote them as the best .

    But, don’t link IQ to race because that tends to favour the white man and that is a no no.

    It is commonly known that a branch of Jews have the worlds highest IQ. No problem with that, it is fact .

    Good article though, but you’ll be labelled racist for believing in it.

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  53. Bogusnews (474 comments) says:

    “I do know that IQ scores have been rising in almost every developed country for at least the last hundred years, so any argument that ‘the wrong people are breeding’, and that this is causing a decrease in national IQ is simply false.”

    It is tricky, even finding a common measure of IQ is hard.

    However from my research it certainly seems that there is an explosion in the Muslim population throughout Europe. In Spain there was about 50,000 muslims 12 years ago, and there are now over 1million. When Ghaddafi (sure that’s wrong spelling) was around he was openly boasting that the Muslims were going to take over Europe without firing a single shot and it’s easy to see how. Most euro countries are at lowest low fertility, about 1.3 kids per family, but the muslims are having lots of kids.

    It intrigues me, because we brought in laws to give women greater freedom, which has resulted in them having less kids in preference to careers. But these very laws could end up taking all their freedoms away should the muslims continue their population increase while we don’t. By simple democratic process they will take over countries and then based on history, womens rights will be severely curtailed.

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  54. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @Bogusnews – you are correct, and a number of other Islamic leaders have said the same thing (that they will take over Europe in the next 30 or so years without firing a shot). The open immigration floodgates over there are exactly what they need to do this.

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  55. Redbaiter (9,080 comments) says:

    I hope that in the second posting on this subject, the blog owner is honest enough to admit that he himself, and this blog, have been as enthusiastic about some of the above ideas as anyone.

    …and also Kiwiblog’s open campaign through its commenter complaints system, and unidentified “moderators”, to shut down on this site the opinions of Conservatives, who represent the only remaining bastion against socialist tyranny.

    Kiwiblog has in fact only paid lip service to the concept of freedom of expression, being as hostile to Conservative opinion as many other left wing blogs.

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  56. Fletch (6,407 comments) says:

    Great article.

    I’ve bought a couple of books from Kindle on the subject but haven’t got around to reading yet.

    The Flight of the Intellectuals, by Paul Bermanhttp://amzn.to/wus8fd

    Twenty years ago, Ayatollah Khomeini called for the assassination of Salman Rushdie—and writers around the world instinctively rallied to Rushdie’s defense. Today, according to writer Paul Berman, “Rushdie has metastasized into an entire social class”—an ever-growing group of sharp-tongued critics of Islamist extremism, especially critics from Muslim backgrounds, who survive only because of pseudonyms and police protection. And yet, instead of being applauded, the Rushdies of today (people like Ayan Hirsi Ali and Ibn Warraq) often find themselves dismissed as “strident” or as no better than fundamentalist themselves, and contrasted unfavorably with representatives of the Islamist movement who falsely claim to be “moderates.”

    How did this happen? In THE FLIGHT OF THE INTELLECTUALS, Berman—“one of America’s leading public intellectuals” (Foreign Affairs)—conducts a searing examination into the intellectual atmosphere of the moment and shows how some of the West’s best thinkers and journalists have fumbled badly in their efforts to grapple with Islamist ideas and violence.

    and

    Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind, by Tim Groseclosehttp://amzn.to/zHkKpp

    Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science and economics at UCLA, has spent years constructing precise, quantitative measures of the slant of media outlets. He does this by measuring the political content of news, as a way to measure the PQ, or “political quotient” of voters and politicians.
    Among his conclusions are: (i) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias; and (ii) while some supposedly conservative outlets–such the “Washington Times “or Fox News’ S”pecial Report”–do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.

    Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100, the difference between the current political views of the average American, and the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With “Left Turn “readers can easily calculate their own PQ–to decide for themselves if the bias exists. This timely, much-needed study brings fact to this often overheated debate.

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  57. Redbaiter (9,080 comments) says:

    “5. All cultures are of equal rank and value. Especially, the values and ways of life of the Christian occident and Western industrialised nations should not enjoy any preference. Those who think differently are provincial and xenophobic.

    6. Islam is a religion of peace. Those who see any problems with immigration from Islamic countries are guilty of Islamophobia. This is nearly as bad as anti-Semitism.”

    I would say it is beyond doubt that Kiwiblog and its owner fully endorse the ideas described in items 5 & 6 above.

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  58. gump (1,650 comments) says:

    Danyl Maclauchlan said:

    Okay, as a scientist with a degree in human genetics, I stopped reading right there.

    ———————–

    If you read his book you’ll find that he isn’t talking about genetics or social Darwinism.

    Bright people tend to create richer learning environments for their children and this has a hugely important impact on early brain development.

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  59. Fletch (6,407 comments) says:

    ps, I tried to buy the PDF booklet in David’s link, but the system gets it’s panties in a twist about having exactly the same address for your credit card statement. I’ve tried 3 derivations now and it won’t accept, so I’ve given up.
    The address I use doesn’t have a State (eg, Auckland), but the address entry requires it, so it’s never going to be the same.

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  60. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Fletch
    ‘Scientific’ studies of media bias are fraught with controversy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, tend to reflect the political positions of their authors.

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  61. Bob R (1,377 comments) says:

    Thanks for publishing this. It disapointed me that Random House haven’t offered an English version of Sarrazin’s book. I think it would be well received and create a bit of diversity in mainstream debate on demographic issues and the future of some countries.

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  62. Bob R (1,377 comments) says:

    If you want a copy of the book in English you can email the Foreign Rights Assistant at Random House here.

    Anne-Catherine.Horstkotte@randomhouse.de

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