The Political Correctness Police

It is not just derogatory words that are at issue. It is assumptions as to how the world works without taking into account other viewpoints. The idea that you might define “opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate” perhaps might be because those views are, in fact, bigoted and illegitimate.

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Johnathan Chait recently posted an article about the oppressive nature of political correctness. He defines political correctness as “a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate.” The examples he uses of current day political correctness range from invocation of the term ‘mansplaining’, the use of ‘trigger warnings’ and the emergence of ‘micro-aggressions.’

His final conclusion is that political correctness is an ‘undemocratic creed’.

It is important to make a distinction at this point. Political correctness does not mean that certain types of speech are illegal. Yet, certain people are diverted from making certain statements for ‘fear’ that they might invoke the wrath of the political correctness police. Essentially he wants to live in a world where people can say what they want without facing criticism.

The basis of so-called politically correct speech is the idea that you have to be sensitive of other genders, races, sexualities and distinguishing characteristics. It is not surprising that these issues have emerged today given our growing awareness that society is not as binary as it once was.

When you have grown up in a world where you did not face societal boundaries, where you had more opportunities and did not have to worry about systemic discrimination you don’t need to worry so much about how things like speech can reinforce an unfair system. However, when you belong to any group of people who are treated as less than, language matters.

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Is the EU Democratic Deficit Really A Problem?

Most of the EU remains a mystery to the average citizen. There is little, if any, popular publication of what goes on in the various institutions. The perception is that decisions are made behind closed doors. To what extent is this a problem?

The EU is at a crossroads. The Euro Crisis has shaken the body to its core and put to bed the idea that the EU can gain all the benefits of integration without surrendering a substantial amount of sovereignty.

There has always been an underlying tension between those in the EU who see it as an intergovernmental body for cooperation in matters such as the market and the federalist camp who believe the goal of the EU is pursue an ‘ever-closer union’.

Now, the EU is pursuing a banking union and the Commission has the ability to look over national budgets and submit suggestions for changes. However, these measures alone are not enough to solve the broader issues that arise when you have a monetary union but not a fiscal union, the ability to redirect spending to the periphery for unemployment or economic shocks.

The debt crisis showed how damaging an incomplete union can be in real terms to citizens. The choice is broadly between reversing integration made in the last few decades in order to return to more of a loose free trade union or to move forward and create a stronger centre. Either way, standing still is not an option.

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