Some Politically Incorrect Questions and Opinions
Somewhere at the core of Human creativity is the incessant need to ask questions about things we do not understand, or which appear not to work as we have been taught. Were it not for this activity, we would not learn, we would not grow. Due to this activity we learn some things, albeit slowly, and typically with great labor expended for small knowledge gained. Having gained knowledge by whatever path, the individual will typically find the application of knowledge fraught with potential problems, to the extent that it counters beliefs or practices promoted by societal leaders.
In any age, there are questions that, while seemingly innocent, cause great consternation among our would-be teachers, leaders and rulers. These questions are reliably those that find the weaknesses in our social, religious and "common sense" knowledge and laws (our dogma). In short, much of our day to day knowledge in our cultures at any time in history, including the present time, is not "knowledge" at all Ö it is simply rote memorization of mostly irrelevant and disconnected facts, creeds and prejudices common at our time and place in history. Most important, we will find on examination, that our societies do repeat the most negative parts of history, such that we cannot legitimately claim that much knowledge gained from historical experience will be carried forward successfully and reliably.
The creative side of the comparatively few intelligent and industrious people in any age causes them to ask questions when obvious and sometimes subtle facts contradict what we are taught or told to do. It is thus the activity of questioning laws, practices and beliefs that turns the consternation of the leaders into active punishment for those who question "authority." Defining these actions as "Politically incorrect behaviors and questions" is nothing more or less than our rulers executing yet one more scheme to keep us ever more tightly under their control. Basically, that control, taken to its modern evolutionary state, utterly disempowers individuals. Those who do band together to promote ideas counter to those of societal leaders find their organizations infiltrated with members from police agencies like the FBI, and various methods are used to create a crime, including new legislation, after which leaders innocent of any real crime like physical assault are arrested and prosecuted. There is no tolerance of competition rising from the ranks of the powerless.
A goal of a typical leader is to have his own beliefs become commonly held beliefs, thus lubricating social interactions within his domain in the manner he sees fit. That these beliefs frequently become mores or laws is no surprise. Stability in a society is a desirable leader goal that is achieved when the society evolves slowly, if at all, after embracing the leaderís beliefs. Societal structures are "worked out" over long periods of time, perhaps centuries, between the different people in power positions, such that each is given a protected domain, thus knowing where to draw the line in affecting the powerful people in other protected domains. So we have the domains of government, religion, higher education and business. These entities attempt to define all manner of acceptable beliefs and behaviors and the converse for the common citizen and apply their power in forcing adherence to those beliefs.
Frankly, most of us are too dull to know the difference between commonly held beliefs or policies based on laws, vs. actual knowledge, which is gained with great difficulty through hard research, not scanning your newspaper or watching TV. True understanding comes while "flying in the face" of common "knowledge." Evidence of this truth is found historically in clashes between religion and science and through revolutions that bring down legal governments. The path from curiosity to actual knowledge is made rather difficult because of our inherited beliefs and practices that serve to direct us towards orthodoxy in all endeavors, at the expense of anticipating, gaining and using new knowledge that can undermine previously held beliefs. We are led by our noses and not taught to question everything. Worse, the best parts of human behavior in history that resulted in great laws, constitutions, etc., are touted as the basis for leader actions today, but in reality the actioned rules and laws and results today bear little resemblance to ideals from the past. PIQ: Does the word freedom have any meaning in the USA today, relative to even 50 years ago?
Interesting moments happen in history when leaders decide that it is in their best interests to force significant changes in behaviors and beliefs. Two major examples in the latter half of the 20th century in the USA were the feminist movement and the attempts to eliminate racist and other prejudicial behaviors towards Blacks and other minorities. Both of these examples are perfect for illustrating the following two points:
and their subsequent actions taken through the legislatures and Boards
of Directors fail to achieve results sought by the supplicants while consuming great sums of money. For example, the overlap of Lyndon Johnsonís Great Society with the Black uprisings in major cities in the late 1960ís is too obvious to miss. Women striking for equal pay for equal work put employers in the indefensible position of trying to hide bald and ugly facts about gender prejudicial wages and salaries.
people who considered themselves incurious bystanders.
Welfare, food stamps, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action have not created a homogenous culture of Black Americans who are financially and socially successful. The vast majority of Blacks and other minorities are every bit as bad off now as they were in the 1950ís. Prices continue, as always, to increase far beyond the received benefits, yielding a net gain of zero. (PIQ: What percent of minority populations are actually better off today financially than they were in the 1950ís?) No, I didnít ask how many more people are better off by raw count, I asked for the percentage, which is the better measure of results.
Women in the workforce, hoping to be paid equally for equal work, are now paid approximately the same as their spouses, but now both have to work to have the buying power that was real when only one worked in the 1960ís. Jobs were created for all the ambitious women, via gradually reducing the effective salaries and wages for all employed individuals. This means that income increases from 1970 to 2000 failed to cover inflation and income tax burden increases. Business were superbly brilliant at nearly doubling their workforce across twenty to thirty years, ultimately without increasing real costs, by simply taking advantage of the revolting women and their hapless spouses!
So here is another PIQ: Who were the gainers and the losers in the legislation and business practices changed to promote success for minorities and women? Are you beginning to understand? When power structures make changes to address the wants of the angry, they take a far reaching view of what they will do moving into the future to take advantage of the changes and thus create a null or negative effect for those who sought change. A perfect example is found in the tax tables that effectively punished families where both spouses decided to work. You might also consider the real career experiences of Blacks and other minorities who obtained college degrees without actually being functionally competitive with other students. The gift of higher education became a personal embarrassment for those who got employed, only to find that they were not considered good contributors and that the result was that they did not have the respect of their coworkers.
We have evolved from a performance/reward society to one where the masses find a strong centrist tendency in compensation regardless of how well work is performed. Thus, those who might rise to become a strong middle class through superior performance and subsequent reward are instead given a major dis-incentive and stop producing. Ultimately, there is no benefit to leaders in creating a strong middle class citizenry, for those people would use their financial and political power to meet their ends, and not necessarily the goals of the leaders. Thus we find the extreme diminishment of the middle class in the USA from 1970 to the present time, through marginal tax rate increases, job losses due to downsizing and NAFTA, limited salary growth opposite real cost of living increases, poor educational systems and grossly useless media.
The term Politically Incorrect has its basis in the concept of someone being politically correct or not in their statements to others about those others. In public places or the workplace, leaders do not want civil unrest or anger resulting from prejudicial statements. This does seem perfectly reasonable. In concept, political correctness sounds right because it appears to be simply the exercise of good manners, or perhaps knowing ones place in the chain of command. Unfortunately, the judge of whether or not something is politically incorrect is either the person about whom something is said, or, the boss, who decides if subordinates show incorrectness by arguing against the bossís ideas. The problem with political correctness is that it stifles honesty and expression of a personís true beliefs. The net result is that you cannot trust any expressed opinion in an environment of political correctness, for the issue turns out to be far more than good manners or the lack thereof. It is repression of honest opinion. The boss is not omnipotent, and checks and balances available to cover the bossís mistakes cease to exist. For coworkers or out in the public, forced false manners impede progress and creativity, and the essential action of being blunt when others behave poorly. Forget trust in that environment. Were I Black, I would be laughing at the honkies doing the same thing to each other that they have always done to me Ö shine me on!
Now lets move on to the exercise of power in what I will call global political correctness. The sorry events of 9/11/2001, compared to all previous world history, tell the more curious of us that small and backward countries like Afghanistan do not attack large countries like the USA without severe provocation. PIQ: What was that severe provocation? The creation of Homeland Security after the fact was apparently justified, but look now at the elimination of Constitutional freedoms for all ordinary USA citizens. Who among us, if educated, is so ignorant as to forget the evolution of Germany from 1930 to 1940 under Fascist rule? SS, Gestapo, children taught in schools to rat out their parents (compared to TIPS today) Ö do you realize what we have already become within our homeland? PIQ: What attacks have occurred since 9/11/2001 that underpin our governmentís justification for continued expansion of security measures? PIQ: Why was the timing of the anthrax scare so well aligned with 9/11, and why have we been unable to find the perpetrators? One month it is promoted fear of "dirty bombs" and the next it is Saddamís chemical weapons.
The Palestinians are so enraged by Israelís continued repression and land hogging practices that they have come to the point of performing continuous suicide bombings to make their point. We side with Israel, because we Ö uh Ö donít approve of violence! Yeah Ö sure. We are on the brink of becoming a war active world conqueror with our threats to invade Iraq, and I do believe that our current administration can lead us down the same shortsighted path that Hitler used with his citizens. If you think we have experienced terror up to now, you have no idea what is in store for us if we proceed to attack Iraq. No, Saddam wonít beat us militarily, but we will raise the ire and fear of other nations around the globe who will then support terrorist activity against the USA. They will win. We are already terribly politically incorrect and do actually believe we can take over the world, piece by piece, militarily or economically. We are wrong. The condescension of our leaders combined with excess and unwarranted self-pride puts them squarely in the same position as earlier failures in world history.
Forgive my seeming cynicism, but all of this is reminiscent of the "Duck and Cover" days of the Cold War, in which we diverted gigantic sums from our domestic economy to pay for the Strategic Air Command, Nuclear missile submarines, unbelievable numbers of ICBMís, tactical nuclear weapons and nuclear capable carrier ships. Politically, this was accomplished by provoking irrational fear within our citizenry, such that they would not attempt to interfere with government programs. One might note that the only final solution to that hogwash was the moment in time when both the USA and the USSR realized they would literally destroy each otherís country if either chose to initiate a nuclear conflict. PIQ: Is there any time in the last 100 years of USA history where we have enjoyed peace and avoided massive use of our GNP for military buildups and planned conflicts? Why? I suppose we are still caught up in the ugly political realities of the doctrine of Manifest Destiny (Oops, I did it again!).
If I were to look at world history through today, in terms of the aggressive control behaviors of leaders and the consequences of their decisions on the general populace, I would have no choice but to recommend severe limitations to government power and business wealth. The boys and girls in power have been very naughty, past and present. Of course, my thoughts are politically incorrect, arenít they?