Philosophy Against Political Correctness By Chris Knight
There are very few academic philosophers who have opposed political correctness and the agendas of the Left. Philosophy, unlike sociology is not an over-the-top Left wing discipline, but it is not one to support Traditionalist values, at least in the Anglo-sphere. France is a little different.
Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), who was at one time a socialist, and always a liberal, was at least freethinking enough to write the little essay “The Superior Virtue of the Oppressed,” in Unpopular Essays, (Unwin, 1950), pp. 69-75, which mildly attacked one of the early doctrines of the pc cult, namely that minorities are in some way morally superior. Not so, Russell showed easily enough, since there is zero evidence for this thesis. He concluded: “sooner or later the oppressed class will argue that its superior virtue is a reason in favour of its having power, and the oppressors will find their own weapons turned against them.” (p. 74)
Apart from this small contribution from Russell, to find real hard anti-pc philosophy from someone who managed to survive in a university we need look no further than the Australian David Stove (1927-1994). He attacked trends in academic philosophy which he thought were nonsense, but his main anti-pc work is Cricket Versus Republicanism, (Quakers Hill Press, Sydney, 1995), pp. 91-105.
On Republicanism: “It passes my understanding how anyone with even a grain of sense can feel pleasure at the prospect of a republican Australia: an Australia, that is to say, even more “base, common and popular” than it is now. Anyway, I am myself for the British connection. In my World XI, Britons – Shakespeare, Purcell, Newton, Hume and Darwin – would be the first five picked. Either to the British exclusively, or to them more than any other nation, the world owes, and Australia especially owes, whatever it has of scientific knowledge, sober philosophy, stable government without oppression – and cricket.” (p.1)
That, in my opinion is the best, most concise refutation of Republicanism penned.
Stove also was a sharp critic of postmodernism and feminism, as seen in his essay, “A Farewell to Arts: Marxism, Semiotics and Feminism,” pp. 14-24. It was early days then in the history of decay, but Stove could see it coming: “The Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney is a disaster-area, and not of the merely passive kind, like a bombed building, or an area that has been flooded. It is the active kind, like a badly-leaking nuclear reactor, or an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle.” (p. 14) It was a “source of intellectual and moral devastation.” (p.14) Semiotics, he said “though not mentioned in Eric Rolls’ book on introduced pests, is a virulent French form of literary blow-fly strike.” (p. 16) As for Marxism, it “is a fearful social – and police – problem, but so is the drug trade.” (p.18)
Stove opposed feminism and held that women were intellectually inferior to men, in the sense, that the best men are better than the best women are. In “On the Intellectual Capacity of Women,” pp. 27-48, he said: “I believe that the intellectual capacity of women is on the whole inferior to that of men. By “on the whole,” I do not mean just “on the average,” though I do mean that much. My belief is that, if you take any degree of intellectual capacity which is above average for the human race as a whole, then a possessor of that degree of intellectual capacity is a good deal more likely be a man than a woman.” (p.27) This was the view held in the past, before the age of political correctness, and is still likely held by the bulk of the human race today. The evidence is of the “most familiar and homely kind” (p.28), that of reasoning from inferior performance to inferior capacity. Stove is not impressed by psychological research allegedly showing otherwise given the high level of fraud and deception in psychology (something IQ researchers do not discuss), and the bias in research where non-pc results will just not be published. (p. 44) He says: “no experiments of any kind, however well-conducted, would weigh with me, if their results were inconsistent with the verdict of ordinary experience.” (p.45)
Stove’s most controversial essay was “Racial and Other Antagonisms,” pp. 91-105. He made perfectly good sense saying: “I do not know of a single clear case in which two races of people have been in contact for long, without antagonism being the result.” (p. 91) He gives as example, “antagonism of Celts towards Anglo-Saxons.” (p.91) “Racial antagonism has been recognised as a fact, from time immemorial. It has almost always been regarded as inevitable, and almost never regarded as constituting any reproach to either side.” (p.91)
However, now it has become “racial prejudice” and “racism,” but this is nonsense as “racial antagonism always depends, to a greater or less extent, on true and rational beliefs about the other race.” (p.95) Stove argues that if it was the case that racial antagonism was based purely on false and irrational beliefs then A hates B for false reasons, but B does not hate A. The hate-beliefs cause A to treat B badly, and B does not like it. Over time B comes to hate A, but for rational reasons. (p.95) Racism was thus nonsense in Stove’s opinion, an expression of an obvious truth, believed by most people, and something which would evolve any way. (p.100)
Stove concluded his essay with an attack on the pinkos who proclaimed that nations, always Western nations, have no right to prevent people coming to their shores. He asked: well if you believe that then you have no good reason for repelling home invaders who want to take your home. He thought back in 1988 that the immigration fetish is a “historical phenomena which is so bizarre that they suggest a nation afflicted with suicidal mania: death-by-immigration being the method adopted.” (p.104) Stove would be shocked about what has happened since 1998, which now seems almost like a golden year.