Ambivalence towards Political Correctness


Political Correctness and its opposite have a high profile narrative to engage the rudimentary basics of political, social and economic trenches of Britain today. It provides a debate as to how, where and when or at all, should egalitarian principles be advocated and applied to Britain. It provides needle and hatred, and mutual invective.


Issues of idealism or cynicism are both the starting reference points in an ever increasingly bitter rivalry between ancient and modern values in contemporary Britain. Therefore, it has certain cultural value in the inspiration for all artists, but my focus today is to acknowledge the layers of P.C. that every artist must peel away before Art can emerge. Here are some areas that divide:

  • Conflict and envious comparison

  • Entitlement and grievance

  • A claim of moral superiority

  • Deception and spin

  • A Calculation and expediency

  • Historic tradition and its philosophical inheritance

  • Its authoritative presumption

  • Its code of absolute compliance

  • Its monopoly and deemed ‘original sin’ barrier to criticism

  • Its link to outmoded forms of class delineation

  • Its ‘permanency’

  • An elitist exclusivity that corresponds to wealth

  • Its austerity

  • Its reductionism.

Political Correctness and its opposites have a paradoxically corrosive impact on Britain, whilst being a major instrument of undisguised life-blood of tribalism of both political parties in Britain today.

A question for you is: Do you think that most of these arguments apply to all political initiatives, or not?

I have yet to establish here, whether there is a bi-lateral tacit agreement by both parties in this country to preserve and entrench such conflict. I would expect that the ‘issue’ of P.C. is a further distraction from transparency in both parties that is worth its weight in political gold to those who are challenged by change. Yet Art embodies a creative process that initiates change, yet invites ensuing criticism and controversy. Therefore am I right to use political ambivalence and contradiction (represented here in terms of P.C. and anti P.C.) as a metaphor for any ‘tribalism’ in Art? Perhaps Art is the cradle of life and politics the clothes we rap ourselves in?

Therefore should we limit ourselves to what we metaphorically clothe ourselves in, to dictate our lives and our Art? It certainly would be quite a fruitful project to embark on the opposite. You decide.


© 2020 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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