The response of the liberal establishment to the political-correctness movement has passed through three distinct phases to date. At first, liberals simply denied the existence of PC, leaving it to culture-conscious conservatives to document and decry it. Then they began reluctantly to acknowledge its existence, but invariably accompanied this acknowledgment with ritual attacks on alleged fanatics of both left and right. The current phase is in certain ways the most interesting of the three. There is now fairly general agreement among intellectuals of all ideological shades (lunatics excluded) that PC exists, that it is a purely left-wing phenomenon, and that its avowed purpose is to suppress open discussion of an increasingly wide range of subjects. Since free speech “up to and including the utmost limits of the endurable” (to borrow H. L. Mencken’s phrase) has historically been central to the...

 
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