The sometimes mocked, but often underestimated, milieu of political correctness in our world is just applied liberalism. And liberalism is a myth about how the world works. The individual reigns supreme. Generalizations are bad. The West is suspect, particularly because it suggests equality may not be a fact about the universe. So any facts, opinions, or statistics that threaten this comprehensive world view are dealt with rather savagely. We proudly scoff at the treatment of Gallileo by the Catholic Church–a more complicated situation than I have time to discuss here–but we are often collectively blind to the rampant censorship, career-destroying hate sessions, self-satisfied authoritarianism, and denial of reality that pervades our world, particularly in academic, corporate, and government circles.
Juan Williams, a moderate liberal by any measure, was canned by NPR this week for having the temerity to say what almost certainly a majority of Americans think: unassimilated Muslims on an airplane, with their head-dresses, burqas, and all the rest, make us nervous. And they make us nervous because such people have a bad habit historically of blowing up planes and killing people. While everyone knows all of them are not guilty of such–otherwise, we’d swiftly get off any such plane–we all know they do so at a much greater rate than any other group of human beings on the planet.
But we can’t say this. And why? It suggests open-borders, political indifference to religion, and our beliefs in globalism may not be such swell ideas. And they may not be so swell, because religion matters, it defines behavior and norms, and this religion in particular is often understood by its believers to support a war with the western world and political violence of various kinds, including suicide bombings and hijackings.
What a joke of a world liberals live in that someone like Juan Williams, a respected journalist for many years, is canned over saying what is undoubtedly a widely held view among all but the most dyed-in-the-wool liberals.
As Solzhenitsyn put it–in similar circumstances–the first rule of life, in times like this, is as follows: Live not by lies.
When violence intrudes into peaceful life, its face glows with self-confidence, as if it were carrying a banner and shouting: I am violence. “Run away, make way for me–I will crush you.” But violence quickly grows old. And it has lost confidence in itself, and in order to maintain a respectable face it summons falsehood as its ally–since violence lays its ponderous paw not every day and not on every shoulder. It demands from us only obedience to lies and daily participation in lies–all loyalty lies in that.
And the simplest and most accessible key to our self-neglected liberation lies right here: Personal non-participation in lies. Though lies conceal everything, though lies embrace everything, but not with any help from me.
This opens a breach in the imaginary encirclement caused by our inaction. It is the easiest thing to do for us, but the most devastating for the lies. Because when people renounce lies it simply cuts short their existence. Like an infection, they can exist only in a living organism.
We do not exhort ourselves. We have not sufficiently matured to march into the squares and shout the truth our loud or to express aloud what we think. It’s not necessary.
It’s dangerous. But let us refuse to say that which we do not think.