Our Political Correctness Culture is as Bad as Any Tribal Taboo: Comments on Two Victims of PC – Peter C. Gøtzsche and Dieter Schönecker
I wrote in English for a change, as my topic addresses an international audience. Those who do not understand English well enough may be interested in a German abstract.
Tribal taboos, like overstepping an imaginary boundary, eating the wrong type of food, etc. are ridiculed by us modern people. We think they are irrational and we do not need them. Wrong. We have an even worse version of taboo: political correctness (PC). The role and function of such a system of behavior can be illustrated by a nice story, which my friend and colleague Volker Sommer told me, who used to run a primate observation station in Nigeria and has produced lots of data about the behavior of free-ranging primates like bonobos, chimpanzees and gorillas .
He observed the behavior of two tribes of chimpanzees, living in close proximity, except they were separated by a river and thus had developed different cultural rituals that served to distinguish them from others: One of them used to poke sticks into an ant-heap and then lick the ants, while the other tribe did not do that. Licking the ants, Volker explained to me, was not particularly funny, as they exude their typical acid that burns and pricks, and for food purposes the ants were not really very useful, as the chimps had plenty of food.