Doris Lessing on political correctness

New York Times op-ed page has a story worth reading today. See here. It’s a reprinted essay by Doris Lessing from 1992. She’s talking about political correctness in academia, the use of language to obfuscate, the technique of claiming morality superiority in order to create scapegoats and persecute people as “evil,” the use of empty slogans and propaganda and groupthink to mislead people, all of which she says has its roots in Communism though the people engaging in it don’t know that, or do know that and pretend not to. Lessing tells of people who have been “hounded by groups and cabals of witch hunters, using the most dirty and often cruel tactics. They claim their victims are racist or in some way reactionary.” What does any of this have to do with tech? Well, read the following quote.

The trouble is that, with all popular movements, the lunatic fringe so quickly ceases to be a fringe; the tail begins to wag the dog. For every woman or man who is quietly and sensibly using the idea to examine our assumptions, there are 20 rabble-rousers whose real motive is desire for power over others, no less rabble-rousers because they see themselves as anti-racists or feminists or whatever.

Does that remind you of anyone?