Ed. A bit too dismissive about the social costs of PC in my opinion, but a good read nevertheless, particularly his definitions, eg: “The cultural and intellectual background of PC is a mixture of positivism, which denies cognitive meaning to moral and religious statements, and relativistic historicism, which confines their validity to some historical epoch.”
New Oxford Review Philip E. Devine May 1995
A Secular Religion Without Hope
Political correctness (PC) began around 1968, when the American Left yielded to intense neotribafism. PC is also associated with cultural postmodernism and the philosophy of the despairing Enlightenment, according to which it is neither possible to draw sustenance from the past nor overcome its burden.
The Supreme Court contributed to PC in 1973, by its intervention in the abortion dispute, which set the stage for attempts to impose relativism on crucial issues. But it took some time for assaults on traditional conceptions of education to develop a militant energy: It was in 1988 that Stanford trembled before the chant, “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western culture’s gotta go.” Only in the early 1990s did PC receive its name.
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