Politically Incorrect: Notes on Liberty, Censorship, Social Engineering, Feminism, Apologists and Other Topics of Our Times

Description

311 pages
$18.95
ISBN 1-895555-04-3
DDC 081

Publisher

Year

1991

Contributor

Reviewed by François Boudreau

Franзois Boudreau is a sociology professor at Laurentian University in
Sudbury.

Review

Politically Incorrect is a collection of more than one hundred and
twenty columns written over the last twenty years that have appeared in
numerous Canadian publications. Nothing is truly “politically
incorrect” in this book; it is more that the opinions expressed are
“not in tune with the temper of our times,” particularly on issues
revolving around feminism (which Jonas constantly denounces). Jonas is a
talented social observer; he is able to see things in social events that
are not always noticed by other journalists or columnists. He is also a
gifted writer.

But this book gives one the sense that Jonas is the Don Cherry of
information: although sometimes right and witty, he is presumptuous,
barely shrewd at times, and often blindly biased in his comments.
Contrary to his claim, Jonas is not a true classical liberal, but he
could be said to be a consequent, articulated neo-liberal bordering
right-wing politics. The crowd he specifically refers to on occasion
(Amiel, Worthington, Zink, etc.) is at the forefront of this ideology.
Particularly annoying throughout this book are the constant
anticommunist/socialist/civil-servant/regulation/State-intervention
references. Nearly all of his articles seem pretexts to denounce the
(now defunct) USSR or our country’s preoccupation with compassion and
social justice. Invoking his Hungarian-Jewish background, Jonas barely
hides that he “knows better” about totalitarianism, with an attitude
of “I told you so” that quickly becomes a form of arrogant, boring
rhetoric.

Jonas gives a very one-sided account of the Western political
tradition, leaving aside, as if it never existed, its specific social
content. He takes note of the capitalistic-individualistic elements of
our tradition, but never considers its socialistic-collectivistic
(Levellers or sans-culottes) dimensions. He refers to “Brotherhood”
(the third part of the French Revolution slogan) as “too abstract”
to even be bothered with. In the end, Jonas proves that a good writer
does not automatically make a good social commentator. This book would
be only occasionally useful for someone in search of simplistic
neo-liberal arguments.

Citation

Jonas, George., “Politically Incorrect: Notes on Liberty, Censorship, Social Engineering, Feminism, Apologists and Other Topics of Our Times,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/11634.