Google engineer James Damore was recently terminated from his employment with the search engine giant as a result of a post he made to an internal discussion board calling for greater “viewpoint diversity.” In recent years, conservatives have been increasingly calling upon universities and cognitive-intense industries like Silicon Valley to promote viewpoint diversity, since these institutions tend to be dominated by the Left. Conservatives do not feel safe expressing their views on college campuses or at many large corporations, and unfortunately the firing of Damore has proven that these fears are well-founded. Usually, we hear about stories in the news that are unusual–that’s what makes them “newsworthy.” But what happened to Damore is not unusual at all–it’s very common. Search Google with a string combining terms such as “fired” and “Facebook,” and this will reveal that far too many people have lost their jobs or endured other forms of persecution essentially for airing conservative viewpoints.
Damore didn’t call any particular individual an epithet, or use any unprofessional language even in reference to any abstract groups. His essay was philosophical and sophisticated in tone and diction, and felt more “social science seminar” than “Internet chatroom.” But it doesn’t matter to the Puritanical tattletales who ganged up on Damore how he said the things that he said. Social Justice Warriors (SJWs) privilege only the feelings of his readers, who are free to interpret his words in the most uncharitable and preposterous manner possible and hold Damore responsible for “making them” feel offended. Years ago, in saner times, if someone felt “offended” by something a person said, that was the listener’s problem. Now, if someone feels “offended,” the speaker is blamed. The trouble with this arrangement is that a speaker inevitably loses this numbers game–no matter how innocuous a given statement may be, eventually someone out there will come across it and be offended. And since it’s impossible to know in advance what statement will offend which person, it becomes impossible to say anything–the ultimate “chilling effect.”
Tolerance only goes one way with the Left. Conservatives are expected to work with all kinds of “diverse” folks, but once publicly identified, SJWs begin telling companies that they refuse to work with people who hold illiberal views and pressure management to fire the conservative employee. And what happens to the conservative employee that gets shown the door? SJWs don’t care–they simply don’t want to have to look at the person they find offensive. Liberals whine about people being left in the streets to starve, or dying without health insurance, when it comes to public policy debates about social welfare programs. However, once these same liberals find a person who disagrees with them, they are happy to use starvation as a weapon. Yes, SJWs want folks on the Right (and their families, pets, and so on) to be thrown into the streets to starve–not because of anything the person on the Right tangibly did to anyone, but merely because of the opinions they expressed in words.
Pat Buchanan published a piece the other day about what the “Deplorables” might do if the Left takes their President away. The same question comes up when the Left takes a conservative’s job away. The SJWs haven’t thought very far ahead about the risks of deliberately creating a (largely) white male underclass of unemployed thought criminals who feel like they have nothing left to lose. That’s a recipe for civil unrest.
But waiting for macrosocial trends to deliver the Left its comeuppance isn’t a true strategy. Conservatives fighting for greater viewpoint diversity may want to look into using the Left’s own traditional policies against them. For example, now would be the perfect time for federal antitrust action against major social media and tech platforms. Google, Facebook, and Twitter have become so integral to the political conversation in this country that they must be regulated as a public utility to ensure that conservatives have access to these resources. Also, implementing a universal basic income (UBI) will forever neutralize the Left’s ability to use wages as a weapon against conservatives. Instead of referring to it as a UBI, though, let’s call it a “Shitlord Stipend” so we don’t sound like commies. Besides, a UBI is very traditional–Socrates hilariously proposed this as his punishment for corrupting the youth of ancient Athens.
Every American should be clamoring for ways to restore true freedom of speech in this country. None of us ever know when some SJW in an elite position will decide that we’ve said the wrong thing. Who wants to spend the rest of their life looking over their shoulder to see who’s listening? That’s the kind of neck yoga practiced by former citizens of the Soviet Union, not free men. Let’s make sure that one day soon the “fired” and “Facebook” search string combination returns zero results.