Political correctness is the bane of all art. Enlisting the powers of mob psychology, it’s more potent and vicious than censors could ever hope to be. Traditional censorship creates a villain/victim condition, with the weakest (non-state) actor as the hero. Sympathy is reactively triggered against the Powers That Be, as the little guy struggles against some Goliath or other.
But political correctness turns all that on its ear. In PC World, the state poses as a weak and endangered victim. Miles of bureaucratic code are treated as divine and irreplaceable as scripture. Fanatics of various obsessions zealously guard against desecration by nonbelievers (such as global warming “deniers”). It’s a true orthodoxy in every way.
Last March, the world lost a marvelous artist, political sage and cartoonist. His name was Bill Leak. We didn’t hear much about him in the U.S. because he was an Aussie. He loved his country, and concerned himself with it – the good, the bad, and the ludicrous. Recently he was very much overwhelmed by the latter.
From 1983 to 2017, Leak and his personal notions were not only tolerated, but widely and publicly shared. A famed and prize-winning artist, he was considered mainstream – if slightly conservative. His last gig was with The Australian, where his cartoons with political and social commentary regularly lodged.
Leak first faced censure for having opinion, in a 2006 cartoon that portrayed the president of Indonesia as a dog mounting a Papuan native. It was a return shot after a Jakarta Daily cartoon depicted Australia’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister as mating dingoes. Speech control units sanctioned Leak (only) as “crude, offensive and potentially racist.” Missing in this charade was reference to the original issue – the ongoing genocide of Papuan natives by the Indonesian government. PC mouthpieces expressed no concern over this, but plenty over Leak’s objection to it. They are very sick people.
But Leak didn’t roll over and play dead as expected. Meanwhile, Australia’s anti-art forces gained power in the form of more government apparatchiks. His most recent (and possibly deadly) run-in with Australia’s thought-censors occurred in October 2016. Leak crossed PC orthodoxy yet again, and retribution was swift and terrible. He ventured a non-standard take on child neglect issues with Aboriginal groups there. Adding to his crimes was a cartoon comparing militant homosexuals to Nazis. Both groups had been declared Very Special Persons by the Australian government, entirely off limits to criticism or unflattering news.
Leak withstood his attackers on social media, mocking them as “sanctimonious Tweety Birds having a tantrum.” His employer, The Australian, responded: “Bill Leak’s confronting and insightful cartoons force people to examine the core issues in a way that sometimes reporting and analysis can fail to do.”
But political correctness is opposed to reporting, analysis, insight and especially confrontation of “core issues.”
Something called “the Human Rights Commission” (HRC) had already tried and sentenced Leak in their minds, but was required to haul him before their tribunals for show. Tim Soutphommasane was sent to come up with an excuse to feed Leak to their lions. For this he stooped to advertising for whining citizens to complain of being “offended” (all under the Racial Discrimination Act). Soutphommasane called this “part of the vigorous public debate of a healthy democracy.” Certainly Leak and his attorneys were required to “vigorously debate” to avoid fines and jail time.
Jillian Triggs, who runs the speech-blocking movement (HRC), insisted Leak send her a justification for his cartoon. He refused, but continued to face the combined malicious stupidity of the Australian government. Mark Steyn wrote this up in his excellent eulogy/rant for Leak: “You don’t get into a debate with someone whose opening bid is ‘You can’t say that’: It’s not a dispute with someone who holds a different position, but with someone who denies your right to have a position at all.”
Political operatives function as philosophers behind the theory of political correctness. It’s an ideology made for the people – but not by them. PC feigns individuality, while dictating mass obedience and enforced passivity. It draws supporters by appealing to their basest instincts of greed, fear, pride, sadism and manipulation of others.
While having no consistent code of ethics itself, political correctness dons a feigned moral superiority. This is a gift for nasty people who hate their neighbors. Charging them with the non-crimes that PC fabricates, they can easily take them down. Ratting on outsiders and infidels is what political correctness is all about – delivered with sneers, and the smug self-righteousness to which we have become accustomed.
Attached at their hips are sycophants of the state, who also find oppression useful: Militant homosexuals or Muslim crusaders, Marxists, Earth worshipers, and various cults who can’t withstand scrutiny or civil conversation. Political correctness covers for a multitude of sins.
Lovers of collectivism are easily sucked into political correctness, and they aren’t of much importance to anyone. But they take their workers – parishioners, children and pupils – with them into that not-so-good night. In spite of the hoopla, there is little liberty, equality or fraternity there.
Hollywood is blighted by bloodsucking political correctness, and their gifted artists are infected with the pox – otherwise they are unemployed. Why would they do this? Half are likely true believers, willing to commit all to the leftist cause. The other half lives in dread of them – or don’t have the stomach for the bitter fight to regain their freedom.
We are dealing with a new form of terrorism that strikes at the root of thought and faith. It paralyzes before a word or action takes place. It is pre-terrorism. Creative thought is harnessed to PC orthodoxy through shaming and shunning campaigns unlike anything we’ve seen before. Calling political correctness a “new McCarthyism” doesn’t begin to do justice to a beast that the Senator could only have dreamt of. McCarthy battled Communism with only a few Congressmen, some FBI agents and a few friendly newspapers. This is far more entrenched and almost unopposed – so far.
At 61 years of age, Leak died of an unexpected heart attack, five months into a grueling political-based inquisition. His chief tormentor and anti-speech activist, Gillian Triggs, was recently honored on her way out of her position in the HRC. Australia awarded her the 2017 Voltaire award for her “courageous stand on people’s rights” – which is hilarious.
As Madam Defarge sat in her well-appointed office, issuing directives against the likes of Leak, he required 24/7 protection from ISIS, because he was saying something relevant. In what must be a grievous insult to Leak’s family, Triggs claimed the rights to “freedom of speech [and] ideas underpinning a democratic society – were under threat from federal and state governments.”
She should know.