Yes, I am aware of the insanity in the question. However, that is precisely why I am asking. The insanity stems from the popular idea, especially amongst academics or the type of people you might find on this site, that political correctness is overall harmful because it compels speech, such as on US college campuses (which are institutions and places, of all places, meant to explore ideas freely and need almost complete free speech) and harms free thinking in society.
I do not where I read (or heard) it, however some living person in the field of philosophy or psychology made some brief, side comment defending political correctness and it's utility. In fact, they even mentioned a philosopher from the past whose ideas aligned with political correctness (trust me, I too am not happy with the amount that I remember >:( )
At a very superficial level (such as the first paragraph on Wikipedia), political correctness seems beneficial to the discourse of ideas because clearly it is to make things more inclusive, and protect those who are implicitly oppressed on a day-to-day basis by making such acts explicit (either by awareness of the concept, or calling out, or legitimate policy changes [1, 2]). Is that not great?
Also, there is some fallacy or adage that one should attack what the opponent means, not what they literally said or could mean (again, can not find this either..) which I think is extremely relevant to political correctness. More often than not, people do not mean the things that others find offensive. With that being said, by attacking what one literally says or could mean, is that not more logical and rational? That way, for example, definition creep (similar to mission creep, but only for singular words) does not occur. Furthermore, people would be very direct and concise in what they say (ie, they would mean what they say and not be cryptic).
Lastly, for whatever reason and however irrelevant, I am viscerally reminded of this particular image and how perhaps political correctness is a symptom of the middle stage.
Okay, to summarize the point of my scattered thoughts and to arrive at the gist of my question(s):
- Is political correctness a result of a society that values (thinks and acts in accordance to) reason?
- What are the benefits of political correctness in regards to thinking freely and/or logically? (Are the benefits I mention in the fourth paragraph legitimate ways of increasing logic/reason in thought and discourse?)
- Is there really a philosophy/philosopher whose ideas align with political correctness being good or bad? (or perhaps any concepts circulating the practice of journalism or news?)