One of the few traditional Conservatives to have served on the Tory front bench under Cameron, Paterson was Secretary of State for Northern Ireland before being promoted to the more high profile role of Secretary of State for Defra.

Candidate of the day

Owen Paterson

One day to go and Sir John Major has weighed in. “Labour divides to rule. To win votes they will turn rich against poor; north against south; worker against boss." We hope we don't wake up with them on Friday.

Hero of the day

Sir John Major

Another awful Labour woman. The fact Ed Miliband’s carved his pledges in stone doesn't mean he might not break them, campaign chief Lucy Powell has said.

Villain of the day

Lucy Powell

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THE REAL CONSERVATIVE MANIFESTO

Back marriage. Restore grammar schools. Leave the EU.

Stella Morabito: PC propaganda is intended to divide and rule

This is the second in a series of five articles by Stella Morabito this week on the way that political correctness is bullying conservative women into silence and how they can reclaim their rights to free expression.

I’m following up on Leslie Loftis’s insights expressed in her essay “Conservative women are a deadly threat to the liberal elite.”  I explored how our self-censorship is a trap. Worse, it’s contagious. The dictators of political correctness have pretty much baited us into this trap.

Believe me, I know how hard it is to even hint at expressing an opinion to people who are hostile to that point of view. But social psychologists – who happen to be overwhelmingly leftist – understand this phenomenon very well. They’ve been long studying how to bring on mass behaviour modification through “nudge units” or behavioural insights teams, memes, and the study of availability cascades that can spark “collective belief formation” even for highly implausible ideas (e.g., today it’s transgenderism, soon it’ll be the delusion of transhumanism.)

It’s all about separating us

Political correctness cultivates an insidious separation of people in their personal relationships and conversations. You feel this whenever you bite your tongue or change the subject when a neighbour starts promoting a viewpoint that your conscience rejects. So the increasing polarisation of society shouldn’t surprise us.

This dynamic has been at work for generations, and has been intensified in the past couple of decades. When we silence ourselves, we contribute to a “spiral of silence” that feeds into the self-imposed silencing of others. Polarisation is a predictable outcome.

That’s because self-censorship creates the illusion that our views are declining in public opinion even if they are doing no such thing. It’s the effect of qui tacit consentire videtur or silence implying consent. Thus, our silence feeds the PC beast and aids in the digging of our own graves. People react to perceived trend lines. And perception is everything in the war of ideas.

The “Spiral of Silence” is a political science model and theory proposed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann (d. 2010) and discussed in her fascinating book The Spiral of Silence: Public Opinion, Our Social Skin. As fewer people express their views on a controversial issue, public opinion has a tendency to shift accordingly. (Same sex marriage is one issue in particular that depended enormously on cultivating a spiral of silence among dissenters.) The only way to reverse any such “manufacture of consent” is to be aware of the process and try to resist it. In our daily life interactions.

Conservative women instinctively know the importance of connection

Conservatives seem to need a crash course in social psychology. Attentive mothers have a leg up on this with their intuitive knowledge of the human need for attachment and belonging, direct from the womb. We understand that the need to be connected to others is hard-wired and primal. When infants don’t get it, they can fail to thrive and even die. The need never goes away and in many ways is magnified in adolescence and adulthood.

Without the sense of love and belonging that strong families and communities provide, people tend to end up with a lot of psychological disorders. We can see this happening on a mass scale in our increasingly atomised society of disconnected and alienated individuals, so many from broken homes. We are hearing more and more about an epidemic of loneliness in modern life. It’s no secret that isolated people craving human connection make great fodder for demagogues who are always intent on mobilising the masses to serve their agenda.

Unfortunately, the process of psychological manipulation through PC propaganda has been going on for a long time. We’re in deep. But for the sake of our children’s world, we must try to reverse it.

First we must understand how political correctness manipulates people – including ourselves – into a cult-like mindset of silence, which leads to isolation and separation from others. We must figure out how best to break the cycle and resolve to engage. One on one. And face to face. Finally, we have to take a deep breath and enter the fray. Cheerfully and with love.

Stella Morabito

  • Fabian_Solutions

    Sorry to break this to you, but you’ve lost the culture war. It’s over.

    I admire your determination, I really do – but your cause was lost many years ago. You’d be a much happier person if you just accepted the social changes of the last 50 years.

    Even the great conservative bastions like the Daily Telegraph, the military and the Church are now firmly under progressive control. It’s time for you to get with the programme and admit you’ve lost. There will never be any turning back from here.

    • Robert_Eve

      Dream on.

      • Fabian_Solutions

        In less than 50 years, we progressives have successfully overturned a thousand years of traditional Christian morality – across the entire Western world.

        The old Establishment – backed up by the might of the Catholic Church – was ultimately powerless to stop us.

        The ease with which gay marriage was passed is proof of how powerful we progressives have become and how completely we now dominate every institution.

        We have even taken control of the Daily Telegraph, the courts and the military – once bastions of conservatism.

        Our military is now a feminist and gay institution, with women soon to be serving on the front lines and openly gay, lesbian and transgender people in the military.

        • Don Benson

          Much of what you say is true, and those of us who deplore it cannot wish it away by denying the truth of it. But you make one huge mistake: no human fad or false doctrine lasts forever.

          What you describe with enthusiasm is a tyranny because it imprisons people’s minds in an unreal and hateful world; in such a world societies can only end up with barbarism and, sooner or later, people will come to realise it and reject it.

          Why? Because within each human being there is an inbuilt hunger to know why he or she exists and to know the one who created him or her. You have it Ms FS, and deep down you know you have it. All your anger and determination to create a world narrative in your own image can only end in bitterness because it cannot satisfy your innermost longing. Far better to cut loose now and experience the fabulous freedom of the mind that we who don’t give a fig for political correctness enjoy. And there’s much more besides – but that’s another story.

    • St Louis

      Breathtaking smugness. You may manage to infiltrate the alleged bastions but, whatever you think, there are many more out in the real world who know that you and your ilk are not only intrinsically nasty, but well past your sell-by date.

      • Fabian_Solutions

        No, you’re wrong there. Attitudes are changing faster than you realize.

        100 years ago, most people believed a woman’s place was in the home.

        Now, thanks to Feminism, women’s equality is firmly entrenched, especially in the under-60s.

        Through a comprehensive educational and media programme, we can, must and will mould the beliefs of future generations in order to extinguish reactionary beliefs such as racism, misogyny, homophobia and transphobia. That is the duty of schools and parents.

        Already we are seeing the fruits of our labours in the fact that most people, especially the under-30s, are now overwhelmingly pro-gay marriage. Something that was unthinkable even 20 years ago. We have witnessed a sea-change in attitudes towards homosexuality.

        • St Louis

          Try not to tell me what I do and don’t realise. You seem to have had a self-awareness bypass, and talk like an automated Webb-ite enthusiast just back from a trip to the Soviet Union. How’s it going with the tractor production? Here’s a tip: watch out for 1990.

          • TJB

            Kate is like a very very thick brick wall.

          • Mr_Twister

            Kate “no, you’re wrong there” Day …..LOL

        • TJB

          BINGO

  • Groan

    Very interesting. I think this culture of silence is very much of University Educated. Society. Up here in the north I ‘m not so sure people are silent in the face of PC .

  • Mr_Twister

    Kate’s (F_S) arrived in the comments! See you for the next article Stella.

  • Barry Sheridan

    It would appear TCW that you have attracted another illogical feminist commentators, for having apparently seen off Feminist_Future you now have the wisdom of Fabian_Solutions (the same person?) repeating the same mantras. Ignorant of past life and unable to appreciate the consequences of the policies they advance we suffer their crowing about how females are taking. Yet within the same European sphere a changing demographic is already painting out a very different future. Sweden has become the rape capital of Europe, those committing these foul deeds are contemptuous of westerners and their values, yet as we write thousands of more of their acolytes are pouring in, overwhelmingly single males. I once thought it would take four to five generations to destroy European life, I now feel a couple will be enough. So Fabian_Solutions, enjoy your triumph, it will not last long! Oh and should you feel the authorities will do anything to stop it, well they are not going to if the events of Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere are anything to go by.

  • John Thomas

    ” …social psychologists – who happen to be overwhelmingly leftist” – because they are products of academia, which is solidly leftist; nothing non-leftist is going to be coming from that source.