With my colleagues at YourMorals.org, I have developed Moral Foundations Theory, which outlines six clusters of moral concerns—care/harm, fairness/cheating, liberty/oppression, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation—upon which all political cultures and movements base their moral appeals. Political liberals tend to rely primarily on the moral foundation of care/harm, followed by fairness/cheating and liberty/oppression. Social conservatives, in contrast, use all six foundations. They are less concerned than liberals about harm to innocent victims, but they are much more concerned about the moral foundations that bind groups and nations together, i.e., loyalty (patriotism), authority (law and order, traditional families), and sanctity (the Bible, God, the flag as a sacred object).That is, conservatives differ from liberals in that the former attach greater weight to loyalty, authority, and sanctity:
When I speak to liberal audiences about the three “binding” foundations—loyalty, authority, and sanctity—I find that many in the audience don’t just fail to resonate; they actively reject these concerns as immoral. Loyalty to a group shrinks the moral circle; it is the basis of racism and exclusion, they say. Authority is oppression. Sanctity is religious mumbo-jumbo whose only function is to suppress female sexuality and justify homophobia.But consider the politically correct take on those three binding foundations. The P.C. crowd prizes loyalty to one's group; consider the importance of identity politics. As for authority, the movement has as a basic tenet "I know what's best for you and have the moral authority to impose it on you." Political correctness also has its own sanctity, in terms of its many shibboleths and taboos.
In short, political correctness does not reject loyality, authority, or sanctity, but instead embraces the right kinds of loyalty, authority, and sanctity. That is, rather than rejecting social conservatism, it embraces the right kind of social conservatism.
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