Former prof recounts her 'escape' from political correctness

A professor emerita at California State University-East Bay has written a book about how she “escaped” political correctness with the help of evolutionary psychology.

How I Escaped Political Correctness and You Can Too was just published by Dr. Loretta Breuning, who was a professor of Management for over 20 years at California State before she left academia to launch her own think-tank, The Inner Mammalian Institute.

Through the Institute, Breuning spreads awareness of how people can “build power over their mammalian brain” to become happier and healthier—and she contends her new book is an extension of her thinking on that subject.

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Breuning’s “ah-ha” moment came in the 1990s, when she realized she was lying to her students for “fear of sounding right-wing.” She writes that she “didn’t want to subordinate my life to ideological despotism,” but she ultimately felt she had no choice.

“How did I get into this mess? I’m a grownup! A tax-payer! A reader of self help books!” she exclaimed. In an interview with Campus Reform, Bruening said she was inspired to write the book because she wasted too many years allowing political correctness to substitute for her own judgement.

“I saw facts that conflicted with the prevailing belief system, but I questioned myself because I saw that people who question progressive assertions are ridiculed, shunned, and attacked,” said Bruening, who is also a member of Heterodox Academy.

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“When I saw how the politically correct world view was affecting my kids, I found the courage to take off the goggles and see life without it,” she explained. “It took time, but I learned to meet my own needs instead of relying on political correctness to meet them for me. I want to help others take off the progressive goggles.”

Breuning argues that it is natural to be politically correct—since humans are social animals and the pressure to conform is innate—but contends that people can fulfill their intrinsic emotional needs without resorting to political correctness.

While political correctness “offers a fast, easy way to pull yourself up by putting others down,” Breuning’s book offers strategies that can be used to hack your brain, so that you can trigger “feel good” chemicals without needing to engage in political correctness.

This can be hard, since some people are “addicted” to political correctness, Breuning says, noting that “if political correctness brought you rewards in youth, you got wired to seek good feelings from political correctness, and fear the loss of it.”

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“You are effectively addicted to political correctness,” she declares. “It's better than substance addiction, but the two often go together. New neural pathways are hard to build, but it’s possible with repetition.”

Breuning argues that escaping political correctness isn’t about making a political statement. Instead, she argues that it can make well-intentioned people very unhappy in the long-run, since it “teaches you to be a powerless victim.”

“It wants you to be unhappy because that’s regarded as the engine of revolution. Political correctness makes you unhappy by fomenting unrealistic expectations of utopia, and inciting resentment and jealousy,” she says, adding that it’s “terrible for mental health.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen