In today’s lexicon the term “political correctness” is commonplace. What’s not so common, however, is an understanding of where the phrase got its start. Perhaps this won’t be a huge shock, but it comes from none other than the bowels of communism.
Writing in Intellectual Takeout, senior editor Jon Miltimore points out:
In the November issue of Claremont Review of Books, Angelo M. Codevilla wrote a deep-dive article on the rise of political correctness in America.
The phrase “politically correct” is ubiquitous in America today. I complain about political correctness now and again, but I’d never given any thought to the phrase’s origins. Codevilla, however, offers a fascinating look.
“The notion of political correctness came into use among Communists in the 1930s as a semi-humorous reminder that the Party’s interest is to be treated as a reality that ranks above reality itself,” writes Codevilla, Professor Emeritus of International Relations at Boston University.
The semi-humorous reminder went something like this:
“Comrade, your statement is factually incorrect.”
“Yes, it is. But it is politically correct.”
The anecdote was a vital reminder in Stalin’s empire: Stray from the party’s official position and it could mean death. Whether or not something was true mattered less than whether or not it advanced the Idea (i.e. the Party’s interest).
The article then goes on to describe the consequences of such reasoning in America.
Regular readers of The College Fix have already seen the consequences on campuses. Those who don’t speak in politically correct terms are shouted down, called names, and often bullied into silence.
Read the full Intellectual Takeout piece.
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