Contra Mozilla

Friday, April 11, 2014

About That Secular Inquisition

I've already mentioned the unsettling development of the secular Left's inquisition, and how they will begin ferreting each other out for being insufficiently dedicated to the progressive ideology. They will of course drop any quarrel to go after us first. Lest that seem an overstatement, we have Exhibit B (Eich being A): the public outcry against Dropbox for its hiring of Condeleeza Rice. One of my friends had about the right reaction to this: "Seriously? The left is out of control. They become outraged when conservatives get jobs now."

That does seem to be about the shape of it. To be fair, there are some legitimate reasons for concern, and many of the people involved voice those concerns, specifically that it does not bode well for privacy/security to appoint the woman who oversaw the expansion of the NSA to the board of a file-sharing/cloud storage service. This is, however, just one of four major complaints against her listed by "Drop Dropbox." The others are that she supported the Iraq War (as did a large majority of Americans at its beginning, according to most major polls), she supported torturing prisoners, and she was also on the board of directors at Chevron. In other words, the reason why we should be outraged by Dropbox's hiring of her is that she is a Republican, a part of the Bush Administration, and she happens to have been a board director for a big oil business.

I don't necessarily agree with all of the things she's done, and I consider some of these complaints to be legitimate reasons why she should not be trusted with high political power. Some of these are at least legitimate enough as reasons that reasonable people could disagree whether to vote for her in a hypothetical election. None of these save for the wiretapping is a reasonable reason why she should not be hired by any company as a board member; and wiretapping seems to be the least of her offenses (greater only than being a board member at Chevron), if "Drop Dropbox" is listing here "offences" in order (let alone by the written content of each grievance). Further, there is little evidence that her authorization (and use) of wiretapping as a member of the Bush Administration will necessarily lead to her violating user privacy/security as a board member for Dropbox.

Of course, the leftist might respond that he is only targeting people who are being hired to high-level positions in a company, or only targeting the people who are directly involved in a given "bad" issue. He is only targeting Mr. Eich, because Eich was to be made CEO and he donated a substantial sum ($1000) to the non-progressive side of a major issue. He is only targeting Dr. Rice because she was an actual member of the Bush Administration, was actually in charge of implementing or was directly involved in implementing some of these policies, and is now being hired to the board of directors. The Leftist might excuse himself by saying "We're only going after top people," meaning people who have a direct and measurable impact and who are being hired to top-level leadership positions.

This is already problematic as-is. It essentially says that you can dissent from the Left, as long as you do it quietly and as long as that dissent is impotent, even in the short-term*. Alternatively, you can still freely oppose the Left's "progress", but in so doing you become a second-class citizen. You might after being beaten be allowed to live--to make a living--to find such employment as you will, but there will be a ceiling** on how high you can rise. The old glass ceiling has long since been shattered, but the progressives want to replace it with a new one.

Of course, it's a very small step from arguing that a person can't be ever allowed to hold top leadership, to excluding them from middle management and then from entry-level positions. It's also a small step from barring those who visibly work for or contribute to a cause or candidate--political, social, cultural, moral, whatever--to barring those who somehow supported it in any way at all. Today, it's those who helpd implement the Wars in the Middle East; tomorrow, anyone who supported the Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter) wars under Bush***. Today, it's anyone who donated to the pro-marriage (and therefore anti-"gay marriage") bill in California; tomorrow anyone who at any point in time voted for a similar bill in any state. Today, it's any member of Bush administration; tomorrow, it's anybody who voted for Bush.

*Impotent: the progressive Left is always bragging about being  on the right side of history, whereas their opponents are "on the wrong side of history." If they really believed that, then all dissent is ultimately impotent, though it may slow the tide of history for a short time.

**Ceiling: in honor of "income equality day," which was sometime this week. The usual tired (and blatantly false) 77% statistic was trotted out, most prominently by the President. This is the same president who pays his own female staffers 88% of what he pays his male staffers, presumably for the same reasons why women--averaged over all careers at all level of experience--make on average less than men averaged in the same way. 

***Under Bush: the wars have been going very badly under Obama--with far more casualties in Afghanistan than were suffered under Bush. We've just stopped hearing the daily reports now that it's Obama and not Bush who is in charge of the war.

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