Silicon Valley – and its various satellites around the country, including whatever software design culture that exists in the Twin Cities – has trended left of center for a long, long time (although not forever; it used to be fairly libertarian – a change that’s been a net loss for everyone).
That’s changed, of course; when James Damore was fired at Google for the high crime of pointing out the patently obvious about Google’s internal political culture – think Arthur Miller’s The Crucible – it surprised absolutely nobody that’d been following the way the Bay Area’s software development culture has been evolving.
An engineer at Facebook has started a conservative group. Which is big news. David French notes:
…the internal conservative revolt at Facebook may — just may — represent one of the most consequential news developments of the year. A senior engineer named Brian Amerige posted a short statement on Facebook’s internal message board. It began with words that will ring true to employees at hundreds of major American corporations and academic institutions:
We are a political monoculture that’s intolerant of different views. We claim to welcome all perspectives, but are quick to attack — often in mobs — anyone who presents a view that appears to be in opposition to left-leaning ideology. We throw labels that end in *obe and *ist at each other, attacking each other’s character rather than their ideas.
We do this so consistently that employees are afraid to say anything when they disagree with what’s around them politically. HR has told me that this is not a rare concern, and I’ve personally gotten over a hundred messages to that effect. Your colleagues are afraid because they know that they — not their ideas — will be attacked. They know that all the talk of “openness to different perspectives” does not apply to causes of “social justice,” immigration, “diversity,” and “equality.” On this issues [sic], you can either keep quiet or sacrifice your reputation and career.
Amerige invited colleagues to join a group called “FB’ers for Political Diversity” and — as the New York Times reports — more than 100 employees have joined. It’s a small fraction of the Facebook workforce, but it’s enough that it can’t be easily squelched.
Indeed, the Times reports that angry colleagues have already tried to appeal to Facebook to shut down the group. So far, they’ve failed
This is something I wrestle with daily – at work (I work at a place with a bit of a political monoculture, as luck would have it, and suffice to say I’m not in the majority) and elsewhere in my life (I’ve changed my church affiliation, and the world of dating is rife with people who just can not tolerate the idea of being around someone whose politics challenge their own). Like most conservatives, I want my politics to stay in my mind, my news, and at the polling station; I don’t want it to eat my entire life.
Which is of course what Big Left wants, and needs; to divide and conquer an inchoate mass of individuals.
And so this is something to follow – and, let’s be honest, emulate in our daily lives.
Much more to come.