In DepthColumnsPolitical incorrectness and correctness


Posted on Thursday, 22 May 2014 11:09

Political incorrectness and correctness

William Manful

Time changes, and so do people. Maybe people change that's why time changes or is it the other way round time rather changes people. Either way the world clearly isn't the way it was.


Consciousness of cultural sensibilities and fear of distressing groups emotionally means that one couches comments or views with care and utmost discretion.

Is democracy serving us well or is democracy finally proving to be a contradiction in terms?

Satirists are now having a nightmare, struggling to balance the politically correct with that which is considered or regarded as humorous and funny.

When and how did we become so sensitive? The even bigger question is, is it healthy for society to be so self aware? What will this all mean to freedom of expression which is a cardinal feature of democratic governance?

The paradox I see is that the quest to frame society along the lines of tolerance and understanding is becoming a premise for intolerance and discrimination. Views and opinions are now suppressed and stocked underneath diplomatic vocabulary that belie how people are truly feeling.

Sentiments are repressed just so that conservatives can fit in, or score political points or appear more modern, trendy, educated, erudite and civilized. Marginalizing a group makes us seem archaic accepting same group accentuates a modern mindset.

Meanwhile the anonymity of the internet affords users the chance to be truthful, exhibiting mean comments that emphasize hate, racism, prejudice and ignorance.

The vitriol that has been veiled by the veneer of political correctness is unleashed with limitless ferocity
demonstrating a backwardness that makes the post modern man look like a caveman.

If political correctness is an attempt to enhance the notion of civility amongst men then clearly it is not working.

The extreme conservative vs The ultra liberal

The world now exists in two as it always has anyway. It is just that the duality has taken a new form; the extreme conservative or the ultra liberal. There is no room for a middle ground. You are one or the other as we continue to develop the penchant to demonize dissent and or disagreement.

Is democracy serving us well or is democracy finally proving to be a contradiction in terms? An illusory concept that can never be what it purports to be unless it is wrapped in propaganda.

There is now the risk of building tension by fostering the tenets for freedom which increasingly show that inherent to the democratic political credo are facets of tyranny.

The majority may carry the vote but what will that mean to the minority? Conversely the minority may be protected but how is it a democracy when the will of the masses is no longer sacrosanct.

The other side of modernity is trying to please everyone at once which can only guarantee the outcome of leaving some dissatisfied for the simple reason that political correctness is a call on humanity to consider the other.

We are better off acknowledging what we truly are by trying to find a balance between the two extremes of correctness. After all the concept of cultural acceptance and propriety are predicated on relativism.

The absolute is beyond our range and will forever remain within the province of God.

William Manful

William Manful

William Manful is a human rights advocate committed to the democratization of Africa. He has worked as a contributing columnist for afrik- and talkafrique. He holds degrees in french and spanish as well as international relations from the University of Cambridge. Mr manful also writes on philosophy, sports and cinema. He is currently working for the Government of Ghana.


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