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The term Political correctness is innocent enough. According to Wikipedia:

Political correctness is a term used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society.

There's nothing wrong with being cognizant of peoples' sensitivities and understanding how your words may be interpreted by others.

But political correctness also has a darker and much more sinister meaning. In fact, the term itself is a euphemism for the kind of speech that could get you imprisoned or killed in certain countries and at certain times in history. In this context, political correctness describes a strict adherence to an ideological orthodoxy, and is used as a cudgel to castigate others whose opinions are merely different from your own (or what I like to refer to as the crime of "Heresy against Doctrine").

Rather than being a tool for civil discourse, it becomes a weapon of war (metaphorically speaking). This definition of "politically (in)correct" seems to be a watered-down phrase that does a disservice to what is actually going on.

Is there a specific term that is more appropriate for this usage?

Sample sentence:

"In our current state of radical polarization, [weaponized political correctness] has made rational, adult conversations about important sensitive topics nearly impossible to have."

The only words I can think of are Rhetoric (too generic), and newspeak (which is a pop culture reference not really in the common lexicon.)

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    In my opinion, the term usually implies its negative connotations depending on the context it is used in. In your sample sentence, it can be simply used and it carries the negative tone you are aiming for. There is no need for a qualifier like 'weaponized' – Mo Nazemi Nov 9 '19 at 4:04
  • I would observe that "political correctness" doesn't have a well-defined meaning. – Hot Licks Nov 9 '19 at 12:41
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    "Newspeak" is from "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (pub. 1949). So, hardly pop culture, seeing as even pop wasn't a thing then. – Rosie F Nov 9 '19 at 13:24
  • @RosieF you are splitting hairs here. The first use of "pop" in that sense was 1947. Both newspeak and pop art, pop culture etc. became more widely know in the mid fifties - newspeak due to the 1956 movie release. – Phil Sweet Nov 9 '19 at 15:30
  • I think "weaponized political correctness" is entirely appropriate for this sort of sentence. It is a really wonderful invention. "To have" at the end is an anticlimax however. A purist would tell you to leave it out, but how about weaponizing it with something like "prosecute" or even "progress" (as a verb). – David Nov 9 '19 at 16:03
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What you described as a strict adherence to an ideological orthodoxy, and is used as a cudgel to castigate others whose opinions are merely different from your own is sometimes called censorship.

"In our current state of radical polarization, censorship has made rational, adult conversations about important sensitive topics nearly impossible to have."

Wikipedia:

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient."
... It occurs in a variety of different media, including speech, books, music, films, and other arts, the press, radio, television, and the Internet for a variety of claimed reasons including national security, to control obscenity, child pornography, and hate speech, to protect children or other vulnerable groups, to promote or restrict political or religious views, and to prevent slander and libel.

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I think extremism and dogmatism are good contenders. They both have the negative and political connotations you are looking for.

Extremism:

  • The holding of extreme political or religious views

  • A tendency or disposition to go to extremes or an instance of going to extremes, especially in political matters

    You can use 'political extremism' if you want to be more specific.

Dogmatism:

  • The tendency to lay down principles as undeniably true, without consideration of evidence or the opinions of others

  • Unfounded positiveness in matters of opinion; arrogant assertion of opinions as truths

    This emphasizes the theoretical fundamentals upon which a (political) system has been built. In the context you provide, I think this still might need to be clarified, by using 'liberal dogmatism', or something similar.

Definitions by Dictionary and Lexico, respectively.

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  • I don’t think the term extremism carries the right connotation even though that’s what it amounts to. Your other suggestion, dogmaticism, comes closer. I think the OP is after the notion of a kind of imposed egalitarianism. – Lawrence Nov 9 '19 at 13:21

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