Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Downright Orwellian

When vacuous left-wing celebs like Lena Dunham and Chelsea Handler make noises about offensive speech being stifled, it's generally met with a collective eye roll. That is due to the fact neither gal has any substantive impact on social/political discourse in America. I would daresay that even folks who find those two mildly entertaining wouldn't use them as a guiding light in cultural discussions.

But when a company whose net worth approaches a half trillion dollars declares war on diversity of thought

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has fired an employee who wrote an internal memo blasting the web company’s diversity policies, creating a firestorm across Silicon Valley.

James Damore, the Google engineer who wrote the note, confirmed his dismissal in an email, saying that he had been fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.” He said he’s “currently exploring all possible legal remedies.”

If you've only followed this story through the mainstream media or hot takes on social media, you've likely heard the phrase "anti-diversity screed." And if that is indeed what the purveyors of that phrase gleaned from Damore's manifesto, then it's quite likely they neither read the entire thing (Check it out, in it's entirety, here) nor are capable of critical thinking.

Because this isn't an agent of the government taking this action against Damore, it technically doesn't qualify as a First Amendment violation. But as Guy Benson at notes, a corporate behemoth such as Google can still have an adverse impact on free speech.

If a sprawling and expanding swath of corporate America decides to shun anyone who holds, or even outwardly entertains, certain mainstream viewpoints, the far-reaching cultural implications are serious. To wit, are "out" conservatives or traditionalists becoming unemployable in growing sectors of the US workforce? If so, our worsening societal polarization and festering resentments will grow more entrenched.

It doesn't seem all that long ago when "progressives" were willing to engage in the arena of ideas, even eager to prove their worldview was superior (in their minds anyhow) both from a moral and cognitive standpoint. Sadly, I find it highly unlikely we'll be returning to the days of civil disagreement anytime soon.


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