My dads comment in reply to my last entry really touched me, and my eyes fill up with tears each time I read it, so I think a complete change of subject is in order. It has been ages since I attacked anyone personally on my blog, and I try to avoid ranting about people, but the truth is it can be fun. A couple of days ago I came across this article by Peter Hitchens. It is a perfect example off why I loathe those on the right so much, and why I am increasingly coming to think that their point on view is nothing more than a set of id impulses which they mistake for a political stance. It is about the victimization of disabled people, and ordinarily I’d support any such article, but the way in which Hitchens blames such victimization on the liberalization of society, by claiming that, because of political correctness, the perpetrator now feel as if they can get away with it, has me up in arms. This seems to me incredibly simplistic; I also think Hitchens is hijacking this case to forward his own agenda, when in fact he has no right to do so.
I hate the way that those on the right attack political correctness by claiming it to be some kind of repressive force, or that it prevents freedom of speech. Do they not understand that it is designed to be a system of ensuring equality, and to ensure that minorities are represented fairly? The PC ethos is, for me, born of the same principles as liberalism; they both understand that there are reasons why people act how they act. It is also founded upon the principle on which that of the freedom of speech is founded, so to somehow claim the PC agenda somehow infringes freedom of speech is truly ironic, and surely evidence of the right’s lack of understanding. Moreover, disabled people can be victimized for a number of reasons – economic, sociological, psychological – which we must understand in order to deal with the problem. This is not to absolve people of personal responsibility, but to realize that things are far more complex than to say some people are just evil and need to be punished. The irony is that Hitchens tries to pin the problem of disabled people’s victimization on the very ethos whose principles can remedy it. That’s why I find his argument very, very simplistic, and also why I feel insulted by his patronizing use of ‘poor, defenseless disabled people’ to further his mindless rightist arguments. It is not simply a case of bad people being allowed to get away with things by a system whose hands are tied by a reluctance to blame people for their actions, but the realization by civilization that things are far more complex than black and white, and that in order to solve a problem we need to first understand the reasons behind it. This is a realization that people like Hitchens seem yet to have, which is why I view their politics with such scorn and derision. In short, I think they’re morons.