Another “quick takes” on items where there is too little to say to make a complete article, but is still important enough to comment on.
The focus this time: OBEY!
The purging of Eich from Mozilla is making it clear that we are living in what Vaclav Havel termed the “post-totalitarian system” which “demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline.”
“To explain how dissent works, Havel introduced the manager of a hypothetical fruit-and-vegetable shop who places in his window, among the onions and carrots, the slogan: ‘Workers of the world, unite!’ He’s not actually enthusiastic about the sign’s message. It’s just one of the things that people in a post-totalitarian system do even if they ‘never think about’ what it means. He does it because everyone does it. It’s what you do to get along in life and live ‘in harmony with society.’ (For our purposes, you can imagine that slogan is a red equal sign that you put up on your Facebook page.)
“In the greengrocer scenario, Havel notes that if the text of the sign read ‘I am afraid and therefore unquestioningly obedient,’ he might be embarrassed and ashamed to put it up. The dissidents are the ones who, by refusing to put the sign up, or refusing to recant, shine a huge light on the system, including the ones who go along to get along. All of a sudden those Facebook signs, those reflexive statements, those cries of ‘Bigot!’ look less like shows of strength and more like shows of weakness.”
How does this relate to Eich?
“Consider first the response of one of the activist’s calling for Eich’s head. After he resigned, activist Michael Catlin wrote that he never thought his campaign against Eich would go ‘this far” and that he wanted ‘him to just apologize.’ So he was ‘sad’ that Eich didn’t say the magic words that would have allowed him to keep his job. Yeah, he really said that.
“And then think about how horrified people were that Eich lost his job for his views that men and women are different in important ways. Regardless of our previous views on marriage, we saw in Eich a dissident who forced us to think about totalitarianism and our role in making society unfree. Did we mindlessly put up red equal signs when we hadn’t even thought about what marriage is? Did we rush to fit in by telling others we supported same-sex marriage? Did we even go so far as to characterize as ‘bigots’ or as ‘Hitlers’ those who held views about the importance of natural marriage?”
Havel understood the nature of the beast by experiencing it. We have the dubious honor of the same.
Dissenters may dissent in the brave new Progressive utopia, just as long as they pay the jizyah to the Progressive holy god the state.
“In the recent Hobby Lobby Case, Justices Elana Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said that corporations that don’t want to pay for abortions should simply not provide any health insurance: ‘But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than — than the cost of health insurance at all?’ Dissenters from the official line must pay a tax. That sounds familiar.
“Dhimmitude also required non-Muslims to minimize public expressions of faith. The Air Force recently required a Cadet to erase a verse from Galatians from his own white board. He can only write such things in the privacy of his own room, the officials say. Is that different from the old disability? Would a message supporting gay marriage or legal abortion be treated differently?”
Remember, “some… are more equal than others.” Those who express “incorrect” beliefs are those “others.”
“Tolerance” is increasingly becoming clear as being just an excuse the Left used to gain power. Once obtained, they eschew “repressive tolerance” in favor of the imposition of their “liberating” intolerance.
“All that endures of [Herbert Marcuse’s] work, I suspect, is a familiar two-word phrase: repressive tolerance.
“This, if I remember correctly, was the kind of tolerance found in capitalist countries, where people could say and do what they liked, the better to disguise from them the real conditions of their own enslavement and prevent them from following their true (which is to say revolutionary socialist) interests. True freedom was only achievable through everyone’s agreeing with Herbert Marcuse and acting as he suggested—or directed.
“History repeats itself, as Marx said, but not in precisely the same form. First comes tragedy, then farce. It is the same with the concepts of radical intellectuals, except that they first emerge first as foolish and then return as despotic. Repressive tolerance: that is what Brendan Eich, the deposed chief executive of the Mozilla Foundation, recently experienced.”
This stands in stark contrast to the truly tolerant society that allowed monsters like Marcuse to poison the minds of millions:
“In a free society, people who employ others should be permitted to hire, not to hire, to fire, or to retain employees for any reason they choose, including the most discreditable or arbitrary ones. (Public employment is another matter.) For while it is true that no free society can long flourish where people exercise no virtue, there can be no free society in which people are forced to behave virtuously—where what is deemed virtuous is laid down by law and moreover subject to gusts of moral enthusiasm.
“We all live (thank goodness) in a matrix of many different communities, interest groups, and economic, religious, and social bodies. If we are members, for example, of a philatelic society, we discuss stamps with our fellow members, not abortion or the death penalty or the proper rate of income tax, let alone do we require certain opinions on those subjects as a condition of membership. People willingly suspend the expression of opinion on such matters, as not being germane to the purposes of the society. We maintain friendly relations with people with whom, on some things, we might violently disagree.
“Tolerance is a habit of the heart that is acquired by self-restraint and not merely through a set of political arrangements. If we are not tolerant of those with whom we disagree, we are not tolerant. After all, it takes no great tolerance to tolerate those who agree with us. Insofar as our societies remain tolerant, it is not because the people who compose it are tolerant. It is because they are not politically powerful enough to impose their views on everyone else.”
But tolerance is not longer useful. We must simply OBEY.