The whole Eich/Mozilla debacle should be a wake up call to people everywhere who truly understand and value freedom. Mozilla, on the other hand, has lost the plot on this one.
This article is an excellent breakdown of why we should all be concerned about the looming return to “…McCarthyism and the oppressive conformity of the 1950s.” Increasingly, it is deemed ‘hate speech’ simply to have a different opinion and to have the unmitigated gall to express that opinion. Furthermore, personal values or convictions are now becoming the standard by which a person’s professionalism is judged. And in the case of Brendan Eich, judged swiftly, harshly, and apparently, without remedy …except metaphorical execution.
When debate is shut down by threats of legal action or accusations of hate speech, there is nowhere to go. Except maybe to hell in a hand basket. If an individual’s personal values and/or convictions are the primary qualification for a professional/academic/corporate post, it’s only a small, downhill slide to homogeneity in positions of power. (Apparently, there’s no point in thinking for myself because ‘The Group’ is going to think for me.)
This atmosphere of ideological rigidity may help explain why Steyn – who prevailed in court against Islamophobia allegations in Canada several years ago – may have piqued the fury of Mann, who has enjoyed the support of similarly thinking media. This is bad news for the future of discourse in this country. Rather than defend free speech and open inquiry, the tendency of the Left to believe that truth is “decided,” even if there is room for skepticism, seems far more medieval than progressive.~Joel Kotkin
Bad, bad, bad.
I don’t care about Eich’s donation to Proposition 8 SIX YEARS AGO; I don’t care about Mark Steyn’s opinion/beliefs about climate change. I mean I don’t care what either of those individuals decide about those issues. What I do care about is the attempts to stifle any sort of opposing viewpoint, calling it ‘hate speech,’ ‘defamation,’ or whatever politically correct term is in vogue. If Mark Steyn is convicted of “defaming” Michael Mann, it’s just one more nail in the coffin of healthy, challenging debate among individuals, a process which helps keep people with power or influence accountable for what they’re doing …or not doing.
President Obama’s recent “the debate is over” zing regarding the healthcare issue is a case in point. If there is no debate about the things that matter – with room for all voices, all views, all perspectives – then we are in danger of buying the farm. George Orwell’s farm.