Doris Lessing On The Habits Of Mind Inherent In Political Correctness

…Of course, I am not suggesting that the torch of Communism has been handed on to the political correctors. I am suggesting that habits of mind have been absorbed, often without knowing it. There is obviously something very attractive about telling other people what to do. I’m putting it in this nursery way rather than in more intellectual language because I think it is nursery behaviour, very primitive stuff. Deep in the human mind is the need to order, control set bounds. Art, the arts in general, are always unpredictable, maverick, and tend at their best to be uncomfortable. Literature in particular has always inspired the house committees, the Zhdanovs, the vigilantes into, at best, fits of moralizing, and at worst into persecution. It troubles me that political correctness does not seem to know what its exemplars and predecessors are; it troubles me a good deal more that they may know and do not care.

Doris Lessing, “Unexamined Mental Attitudes Left Behind by Communism.” (Note: there are some typos in the version linked).

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One comment

  1. This is what you get when men play God and try to create Heaven on earth. Further note that Hannah Arendt observed that in that enterprise, they made a pretty good approximation of Hell.

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