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.