The concept of political correctness, which began to acquire its present meaning somewhere in 1960, for several decades has received the status of a full-fledged ideology, trying to subordinate the entire cultural space of the West to total dictate. Ubiquitous censorship and reprisals for the carelessly spoken word, like a forest fire, have spread from the actual statement to the artistic heritage of past eras - literature, sculpture and even music.
I will cite a few quotes from Elena Kushnir's remarkable study “Leo Tolstoy, I'm glad you're dead”:
In 2015, in a letter published in the Washington Post, a literature teacher at Sacramento College, Dana Dusbiber, said she did not teach Shakespeare to her students because he was "white and dead."
The Guardian critic Danuta Keen believes that Shakespeare’s appeal with female characters deserves the #MeToo tag on Twitter: “Find a woman who is smart, strong and powerful in Shakespeare, and she will definitely end up madness (Ophelia in Hamlet), in silence (Silvia in “Two Veronites”) or death (Goneril and Regan in “King Lear”). And if she has any dignity, she is killed in the final (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Desdemona in Othello). ”
Theater director Katie Mitchell sees toxic masculinity in Hamlet: “I find Hamlet insulting from a gender perspective. This play is something like honoring a cruel, depressed man, which I was pretty tired of. ”
There are many such examples in the article. The modern cultural elite of the West has a lot of complaints not only to Shakespeare: all works that did not pass the test for the absence of sexism, racism, and homophobia are included in the list of reactionary, degrading human dignity, and therefore subject to either alteration or complete removal from cultural circulation.
This is very similar to what happened in the Soviet Union when the Marxist-Leninist ideology reigned supreme in it. We also had a roster of inconvenient or forbidden writers and works that criticized the basis of the revolutionary doctrine that had triumphed. Let us recall at least Dostoevsky's novel “Demons”, which was published already in the Brezhnev era, the circulation of the edition, prepared in the 1930s, was almost completely destroyed.
Actually, with the strictest observance of the parameters of compliance with the right direction of thought, all Russian literature would have to go under the knife, the best representatives of which considered the Russian revolt “meaningless and merciless”. But the Bolsheviks could not completely break ties with the cultural heritage, as they nevertheless needed a foundation to demonstrate the dialectical transition of history to the ideal quality of a revolutionary time. Therefore, they confined themselves to reinterpreting cultural phenomena, writing down writers, poets and thinkers to pre-revolutionaries, in whom a rebellious spirit already lived, who could not get a proper design due to historical conditions.
In limited areas, the dictates of the Marxist-Leninist view of the system of things was almost all-encompassing. For example, candidate and doctoral dissertations in the humanities were required to include in the preface quotations from the classics of the “only true teaching”. At the periphery, control weakened over time, but the list of prohibited literature existed until the collapse of the USSR.
Now it seems that the Western campaign to expose and deconstruct sexist, racial or gender stereotypes of the past is of a highly Bolshevik nature. With the same enthusiasm, the revolutionaries of the twenties were tearing apart bourgeois culture, finding traces of reaction everywhere — even in writers who professed the principle “art for art's sake”. The ideocracy, which is beginning to control the Western discourse more and more uncompromisingly, seems even more total than the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The difference is that Marxism-Leninism considered the goal of the history of the working man, that is, the character who was not completely untied from tradition, the realities of life and creation. And the dictatorship of political correctness is based on the idea of the unlimited right to social floor construction and total discredit of those forms of life, relations and feelings between people, which throughout human history underlay the functioning of society. Family, marriage, love - all these are lower-order values, inferior in meaning to the right to change sex and ensure dominant positions for women, sexual minorities and members of racial groups recognized as victims of discrimination in the past.
Comrade courts in a somewhat modified form of professional guilds, the media community, the leftist intelligentsia and university campuses instantly arrange reprisals against those who dared to cast doubt on the greatest gains of modernity — the opportunity to choose from among the already dozens of types of gender identities of your unique gender or to reject as a deeply disgusting image of a conservative heterosexual white man.
The human being in this value system has been granted the right to satisfy those needs that in all previous cultures were subject to control and restriction. This is physicality, the highest expression of which becomes such kinds of sexual relations, which mean not reproduction, but solely satisfaction with the act of intercourse. This is Nazism, rampant in the narrative of the ethnic and racial groups discriminated against in the past. A separate story - frenzied feminism, which is also based on the victim’s complex: a woman, whose rights were limited, should be able to get even with the oppressors to the fullest.
In Russia, censorship is canceled. With freedom of speech, we are not so completely all right. In the field of political utterances, restrictions are sometimes introduced (very infrequently, by the way), but they do not prevent journalists from opposition media and liberal politicians from ferociously exposing the atrocities of the “bloody regime”, so in general this space can be considered free or almost free. As for the “damned questions”, on which political correctness has imposed the strictest ban, here we remain a platform where the taboos mentioned are fundamentally impossible.
In Russia, it is absolutely free to discuss any topics that a cultural Western person has already learned to perceive as scandalous or dangerous.
In this sense, our country should be recognized as a territory where freedom of speech is consciously taken under protection, and corporeality has not triumphed over the spirit. Moreover, the person who was considered an ideal in the West, we have been legally recognized as existing, but not entitled to advertise their values, much less to introduce them into public circulation as a norm of a higher order. The ban on the promotion of homosexuality is not about restrictions on the forms of sexual contact, but that sex is not a chosen social construct, but traditional forms of social life and relationships were and remain the basis of a healthy and organic existence of society.
With what I congratulate us.