I was sad to read this morning of Tom Wolfe’s death.
One of the few public intellectuals not afflicted with a crippling case of political correctness (or a paralyzing fear of running afoul of the same), Wolfe was a refreshingly honest and amazingly talented voice. His fearless willingness to openly speak his mind on “sensitive” topics was a testament to his courage and to a certain invulnerability which only his great talent could provide.
Here is an excerpt from a December, 2017 Le Figaro interview with Wolfe which may be found in translation at The Europeans blog:
Political correctness, which I nick-name PC for ‘police citoyenne‘ [‘citizen police’], was born from the Marxist idea that everything that separates human beings socially must be banished, in order to avoid one social group dominating another. It turned out, ironically, that political correctness became a weapon in the hands of the ‘dominant classes’, a notion of behaviour that was well-fashioned to conceal their ‘social dominance’ and sooth their consciences.
Little by little, political correctness has even become a marker for this ‘domination’ — and an instrument of social control…
In Radical Chic, I charted the emergence of what we might call today the “caviar Left” or “limousine progressivism”, that is, a Left that is largely emancipated from all empathy with the American working class. A Left that adores contemporary art, identifies itself with exotic causes and the suffering of minorities, but despises the “rednecks” of Ohio.
Note: The Europeans is an excellent blog, mainly (entirely?) providing translations of interesting interviews and articles from the French media. My only complaint is that the author doesn’t post more frequently, although I guess I am hardly one to talk.