PI/PC-ness, was Re: Fwd: Heston Speech

From: Michael M. Butler (butler@comp-lib.org)
Date: Thu Feb 22 2001 - 00:30:30 MST

Neal Blaikie wrote:
> Max More wrote:
> > PCness works by systematically cutting off alternative views by ridiculing
> > them and suppressing them.
> Yes, and applying the PC label to someone you disagree with is basically a
> covert way of telling them to shut up. Frankly, I'm sick of the PC meme. While
> it may have had some rhetorical value at some point, it has now been overused
> and abused to the point of worthlessness. If all we can do when debating with
> someone who disagrees with us is accuse them of being PC, well, we need to
> brush up on our debating skills. (This tactic is used by people of all
> political persuasions.)
> Neal

I believe that the original historical term was Politically _Incorrect_
(emphasis mine)--"having been found to not be suitably conforming to
Marxist-Leninist(-Maoist) thought/Party line"--and that being found PI
was a good way to wind up in a reeducation camp or worse. Not sure if
the expression was originally Russian or Chinese, or both. But it was a
genuine phrase to strike terror.

I am under the impression that in the late 60's/early 70's it came to be
used archly or ironically by "lefties" who didn't really have a grasp of
what a gulag was like; it was very big in some Lesbian Feminist circles
with which I had contact. I heard "PI" long before I heard "PC", usually
when someone would point out some part of someone's worldview, e.g.
"<comedian x> is funny, but rather PI, don't you think?"

These days "PC" seems to have come to mean "conforming to some party

It _is_ getting rather threadbare, and I can't say I much like its


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