One goal of communism is to control free speech and thought. In the 1980s, political correctness emerged in the West to control free speech. The media and education systems appointed themselves as “thought police.” Using slogans and academic critique, they restrained speech and thought. While many acknowledged this as an encroachment on free speech, they failed to identify its origins.
Communist propaganda frequently uses terms such as “political correctness,” “progress,” and “solidarity.” They teach that polite society does not use discriminatory language toward minorities, women, the disabled, etc. However, the hidden reason for political correctness is to classify individuals into identity groups. Therefore, we are to give more respect and courtesy to those deemed the most oppressed. This is “identity politics.” This judges a person solely on one’s group identity instead of their individual conduct and talent.
Political Correctness in China
China is an example of how identity politics works. China classified individuals within “five classes of red” or “five classes of black.” The Chinese Communist Party classified people according to their status before the revolution. The Party grouped landowners, capitalists, and intellectuals into the lowest caste. Then they attacked them by chanting: “the poor are the smartest; the nobles are the dumbest.”
However, the differences between political and socioeconomic status stems from complex historical reasons. They cannot be simply explained as oppression. Political correctness, however, sets up a flat binary. Only those who show sympathy for “victims” and disdain for “oppressors” are moral; those who deviate from the norm are racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, et cetera.
Political Correctness in the West
To further a left-wing agenda, Western governments and nonprofits advocate for political correctness. Some countries expanded the legal definition of “hate speech” and increased punishments in schools, the media, and the internet. These blanket restrictions move democratic societies closer toward control exercised by communism.
The Left abuses political correctness to deprive others of a legitimate outlet for their voices. This became more pronounced after the 2016 US presidential election. The left-leaning media and organizations mobilized to silence supporters of President Donald Trump. Protest marches erupted in major cities. Municipal and state governments and institutions violated the free speech rights of conservatives. Universities, supposed bastions of free thought, evolved into radical indoctrination centers. Left-wing groups labeled conservatives as “hate groups.” They also threatened and opposed conservative authors after being invited to speak.
Conservatives Denied Free Speech Rights
In March 2017, Middlebury College in Vermont invited American social scientist Charles Murray to speak. As he spoke, four hundred protesters jeered and shouted. When he left the campus, protesters swarmed him and another professor. They pushed and shoved them. The professor had to go to the hospital for a neck injury.
In September 2017, the University of California-Berkeley invited conservative author Ben Shapiro to speak at its Free Speech Week. The far-left group, Antifa, threatened violence at the event. Dozens of police officers stood ready in riot gear as police helicopters hovered overhead. The cost of security was more than $600,000. Ironically, the event that started the student movement in 1964 was a fight for freedom of speech.
Also, the University of Utah scheduled Shapiro to speak. A student group vowed to shut down the event. A reporter told the group’s leader that preventing Shapiro from speaking would deny Shapiro his First Amendment rights. The student replied, “I don’t care. I don’t think that’s a, like, relevant document right now.”
Also, the University of Pennsylvania School of Law relieved tenured professor Amy Wax of her duties in March 2018. The university said she made a politically incorrect statement. She said black students “rarely” graduate at the top of the class.
To conclude, political correctness and restrictions on free speech do not encourage the free exchange of ideas or debate. Instead, they are ideological weapons of the communist Left to suppress dissent and obscure the truth.