Letter from London – Political correctness virus

EducationWorld November 2018 | Education World

There are some very sinister and deliberately introduced influences in our society, especially in education, much of it flowing from the global failure of Marxism that will lead to social catastrophe if we don’t confront them squarely. This is not to say that capitalism is a perfect ideology — there is an unacceptable face of capitalism and its excesses need moderating — but it is by far the better option. Marxist economics has failed abysmally — in Soviet Russia, in Mao’s China and wherever else it has been tried, invariably inflicting enormous suffering, cruelty, poverty, and even genocide. A good example is Chairman Mao’s implausibly termed Cultural Revolution in China (1966-76). And because Marxist ideologues failed to destroy free societies economically, they have changed tack and are attempting to destroy them indirectly by undermining the institutions of family, national pride, schools and universities, and indeed Christianity.

The undermining of Britain’s institutions began with the sexual revolution (“make love not war”) of the 1960s and has since developed into a more sinister infiltration of schools and universities with perversion of language under the cover of political correctness. This is the latest example of a subtle and dangerous Pavlovian post-modernist methodology of changing words and images to control susceptible minds. This is what Mao did in China, transforming people’s behaviour by changing the images and language they use. It was a crude attempt at behavioural engineering, but it worked horribly well. Screaming, rampaging, brainwashed Red Guard teens of Mao’s linguistic experiment of the seventies were the predecessors of the social justice warriors of contemporary Britain, the type of dupes Stalin described as “useful idiots”.

These deluded people find oppressive and problematic language everywhere, hunt down and persecute users of “problematic expressions”, shut down lectures, ban speakers, denounce teachers with divergent viewpoints, censor curriculums and destroy statues of education benefactors and philanthropists who established great institutions.
Where would we be today if the young university graduates who flew Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain to stymie Adolf Hitler’s planned invasion of England — those young men of whom Winston Churchill memorably said “Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few” — had been the brainwashed, politically correct leftists of today? Most of our state (government) schools are dominated by such people, to the extent that teachers who don’t share their addled socialism have to keep quiet to retain their jobs. Free speech and free thought are under siege in Britain. It’s very frightening and disturbing.

(Dr. Peter Greenhalgh is a former professor of classics at Cambridge and Cape Town universities, a former investment banker and author of several books)

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