How political correctness serves the ruling elite

From Charles Hugh Smith at Of Two Minds:

No wonder the Ruling Elites love political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.

The Ruling Elites love political correctness, for it serves the Elite so well. What is political correctness? Political correctness is the public pressure to conform to “progressive” speech acts by uttering the expected code words and phrases in public.

Note that no actual action is required. This is why the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: conformity is so cheap. All a functionary of the Ruling Elite need do is utter the code words (“hope and change,” “we honor diversity,” “thank you for your service,” etc.) and they get a free pass to continue their pillaging.

Those placated by politically correct utterances accept symbolic speech acts as substitutes for real changes in the power structure. This glorification of symbolic gestures –virtue signaling via social media, the parroting of progressive phrases, etc. – is as cheap as the mouthing of PC platitudes. Everybody gets to feel validated and respected at no cost to anyone: the progressives feel smugly superior because the Ruling Elite now feels compelled to parrot “progressive” speech acts in public, and the Ruling Elite is free to pillage without any demands for a radical restructuring of the incentives and distribution of the nation’s wealth and income.

The rise of “progressive” speech acts and political correctness parallels the decline of the fortunes and incomes of the bottom 90%. While the “progressives” focus on cheap symbolism, the laboring classes are being gutted by the centralized financialization that rewards the few at the expense of the many.

Here’s median family financial assets: back to the levels of 1995:

Here’s civilian participation in the work force – back to the levels of 1975:

Here’s the percentage of income going to the top 1% and the bottom 50%:

So while the “progressives” focus exclusively on their own ineffectual virtue-signaling and the empty “victories” of Ruling Elites mouthing the acceptable code words, our economy, society and the social contract are being shredded. No wonder the corporate media promotes empty gestures, virtue signaling and political correctness: all that phony compliance leaves the current wealth-power structure unchanged, and the Ruling Elite firmly in charge of the economy and governance.

No wonder the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.

Crux note: Charles is one of our favorite independent financial thinkers and writers. His Of Two Minds blog was listed as No. 7 in CNBC’s top alternative financial sites. And his commentary has been featured on Zero Hedge, The Daily Reckoning, and Peak Prosperity.

We highly recommend his new book Money and Work Unchained, exploring the concept of universal basic income. In his words, “This is the most important book I have written.”

 You can read the first section for free in PDF format here.

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