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POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

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(from Wikipedia) Don't miss my editorial on page 2 concerning two important topics. W.C.
Political correctness, coined by Mao Zedong, is a term denoting language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social offense in gender, racial, cultural, handicap, and age-related usages.
In Marxist-Leninist and Trotskyist vocabulary, correct was the common term denoting the "appropriate party line" and the ideologic/ "correct line". Likewise in the People's Republic of China, as part of Mao's declarations on the correct handling of "non-antagonistic contradictions". MIT professor of literature Ruth Perry traces the term from Mao Zedong's Little Red Book (1964).
Even before the term PC appeared, the Left mocked its own language usage in the pamphlet Lifeitselfmanship or How to Become a Precisely-Because Man (1956), by Jessica Mitford, about "L and non-L" (Left and non-Left) English, mocking the Communist clichés used by her comrades when talking about fighting the class struggle. The pamphlet's title refers to the Stephen Potter book series including the title Lifemanship, and replies to Noblesse Oblige, by Nancy Mitford, about the perceptible class distinctions in British English usage, that popularised the phrases "U and non-U English" (Upper class and non-Upper class).
In the 1960s, the radical Left adopted the term, initially seriously, then ironically, in self-criticism of dogmatic attitudes. In the 1990s, because of the term's association with radical left-wing politics and Communist censorship, the US Right applied it to discredit the Old Left and the New Left. By 1970, New Left proponents had adopted the term political correctness. In the essay The Black Woman, Toni Cade Bambara says: ". . . a man cannot be politically correct and a chauvinist too" - a usage that widened the definition's scope to include the politics of gender and identity to the politics of ideological orthodoxy in governing. The New Left thus re-appropriated the term political correctness as satirical self-criticism; per Debra Shultz: "Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the New Left, feminists, and progressives . . . used their term politically correct ironically, as a guard against their own orthodoxy in social change efforts". Hence, it is a popular English usage in the underground comic book Merton of the Movement, by Bobby London, while ideologically sound an alternative term, followed a like lexical path, appearing in Bart Dickon's satirical comic strips.
 

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