“Political correctness” is the most maligned and attacked concept of our time.
It’s fair to say that since the 90s, multiple movements have sprung up making the Anti-PC stance a core part of their platform. At the time of this writing, the major players include the Alt-Right, MRAs and other groups geared toward masculinity, Red State populists, cultural libertarians and the sort of liberals who talk about the “Regressive Left,” as well as European anti-EU, identitarian movements.
Donald Trump’s campaign is often described as the Anti-PC bid for the White House. I sympathize with the aims of some of these movements and at least share the animosity of the rest towards the current ideological orthodoxy.
However, the Anti-PC frame has a problem. Namely: which PC?
Political correctness has a specific meaning: an idea, statement, or action is politically correct if it is consistent with the stated orthodoxies of a group, institution, or ideology. The first discussions using this term were amongst various currents of radical leftists debating how closely to follow the Stalinist line taken by many Communist parties. Radical leftists who were less than enthusiastic about, say, the Ukrainian Holodomor, charged hard-line Communists with taking a stance which was politically correct but strategically bad or morally damning.
Now to emphasize the problem, imagine opposing Communists on the grounds of their political correctness. Of course, it’s a ridiculous notion. No anticommunist worth the name–from Joe McCarthy to Baron Roman “God of War” von Ungern-Sternberg–ever went head to head with the Reds over their political correctness. They fought Communism because it was subversive to their values, religion, people, and way of life. And they named the enemy bluntly.
The Anti-PC frame’s problem is that it fails to do this. Moreover, it fails to realize that in terms of orthodoxies, every in-group has its own political correctness. Zionists don’t last long on the Alt-Right. Dismissing pot or free speech raises serious eyebrows among the libertarians. And as Trump supporters have realized, telling Red Tribe media that public health care might not be a bad idea or that Bush lied generates one hell of a triggering.
Each group has its orthodoxy. What unites the Anti-PC factions is shared opposition to the ideological orthodoxies of the current nexus of power: the governments, media, and academia of America and its sphere of influence, supported by their allies in business and a legion of NGOs. That power structure is what Moldbug termed the Cathedral. And their doctrine is not “political correctness.” Their doctrine is liberal internationalism, secular humanism, militant globalism, and the Universalist narrative of Social Progress. If there are factions, we might call them Hard Globalists and Soft Globalists. The Red Empire pushes interventionism, the Blue Empire pushes diplomacy and international aid, and both push limitless Free Trade. Israel vs UN. Global marketplace vs international community. You get the idea.
So the core problem with the Anti-PC frame is simply that political correctness is not the problem. The doctrine about which the Cathedral structure is politically correct is the problem. There was a political correctness before the current one, and there will be a new political correctness that replaces it.
Failure to name the beast has consequences when it comes to presenting a truly sovereign alternative. This failure is what leads MRAs to adopt feminist language and stances for their own grievances. The concept of a Regressive Left suggests that the problem is insufficient commitment to Progress. The cultural libertarians demanding that Global Liberalism act more liberal have the same issue. The Red Tribe populists backing Trump (and the Alt-Right joining in) want him to name Islam, restore the border, and Make America Great Again. But at some point, they might need to notice that their Blue Tribe enemies are reading the same constitution they are (and vice-versa for the Blues backing Sanders).
Whoever actually wins the battle to “defeat political correctness” will be in fact winning the battle against the Cathedral structure’s ideological narrative and the enforcement of that narrative’s values.
The strategy of Moldbug and Carlyle consists of worthy powers displacing unworthy ones.
In light of this analysis, the chief goal is not the defeat of political correctness, or even of the particular doctrines themselves, but the displacement of the power structure which benefits from that doctrine. (Of course, any power which achieves this will have developed a doctrine – and a political correctness – of its own.)
Insofar as the Moldbuggian-Carlylean worldview is also opposed to the Cathedral ideology, this distinguishes it from the Anti-PC coalition. Cultural libertarians, Trump supporters, and even the Alt-Right argue about how far right or left the Overton Window ought to go.
The legitimist path is unconcerned with the Overton Window. It asks where a person or institution worthy of loyalty can be found. If none exists, then one must be created.