Review of “Thought Prison” by Bruce Charlton

I’ve long enjoyed Charlton’s blog, so I was excited to read his book. His book reads a lot like his blog, which makes well nigh impossible to review, but here goes . . .

The book seeks to identify and condemn "political correctness," a term through which Charlton intends to capture all forms of leftists, including "mainstream conservatives, libertarians and anarchists." He believes PC emerged in its current form in the mid-1960s. I sort of thought of it as the Left’s reaction to the death of the New Left and the movements’ subsequent incorporation of basically everyone else.

Charlton views Western societies as religious societies, in which PC is the religion. Western societies are like the other totalitarian societies of the 20th Century, in that their ideologies subject their populations to a life of fear. Thought crimes in all these societies destroy lives. Gangs in all these societies are allowed to use violence to shut down dissidents. All these ideologies depend on enemies, propaganda and permanent revolution.

Charlton thinks that PC will destroy civilization and that there’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. There’s no escape from PC, since the West is built on ideas/concepts that eventually lead to PC and will eventually destroy civilization.

In outlining PC, Charlton also outlines the anti-PC or reactionary position. The essence of the reactionary position is acceptance that "one group or another must in reality be privileged." In other words, "neutrality" is impossible and undesirable.

If this sort of thinking is something you’re interested in, then you’ll enjoy the book, which is quite thought-provoking.

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2 Responses to Review of “Thought Prison” by Bruce Charlton

  1. Matthew says:

    Sounds like R. A. Lafferty, but without all the SFF shenanigans.

  2. […] Rural or “Southern” Culture“, “Christmas Rules”Foseti – “Review of “Thought Prison” by Bruce Charlton”DW – “Book Review: “Up from Slavery” by Booker T. Washington“, […]

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