MENU

Reason.com

Free Minds & Free Markets

The Google Memo Exposes a Libertarian Blindspot When It Comes To Power

It's not just the state that wields power and squelches good-faith debate.

HotAir.comHotAir.com[This piece has been edited to correct Peter Singer's ideological orientation. Explanation at end of article.]

The "Google Memo" (read it here) raises at least two big questions from a specifically libertarian perspective: When does an employer have a right to fire an employee and how do social pressures work to shut down speech that makes powerful people uncomfortable?

The answer to the first question is pretty clear-cut, at least when talking about an at-will employee: Google (and other employers) should and do have extremely broad rights to fire any worker at any time. Exceptions rightly exist (and depending on the state one lives in, there may be fewer or more legal exceptions recognized by the courts) but they are narrow. Critics fear that at-will employment will result in chronic job instability, but no firm thrives over time by firing its workers on a regular basis and without good reasons (at-will employment also gives workers the not-insignificant ability to leave a situation without having to explain themselves or negotiate out of contractual obligations). The vast majority of Americans have never signed an employment contract (in nearly three decades of adult work, I know I never have) and are not the worse off for it.

Shortly before the memo's author was fired, Google's vice president of diversity, integrity, and governance wrote

Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul. As Ari Balogh said in his internal G+ post, "Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. 'Nuff said."

You might think that such values would have meant that James Damore, who penned the memo, might have been lauded for raising the issues he did, if not necessarily the way he did. Just earlier this year, at a shareholder meeting of Google's parent corporation Alphabet, chairman Eric Schmidt told an audience, "The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking."

But whether you agree with Google's specific decision in this case, there should be no question that it has the right to fire people. If a company does that consistently for arbitrary and unconvincing reasons (ranging from enforcing ideological consistency in non-ideological organizations to erratic management to whatever), it will have huge trouble attracting and keeping talent. But in a free society, every company should have the right to put itself out fo business through bad management practices.

James Damore says that his most-recent performance review at Google rated him as "superb, which is the top few percentile" at the company. Supporters of the firing say that nobody at the company would want to work with a person who publicly questioned the announced demographic diversity goals at Google, a fact belied by reports that "over half" of Google employees don't think he should have been let go. If his firing causes more morale problems than it solves, that's Google's problem and it shouldn't erode confidence in the system of at-will employment.

The second question raised by the Google Memo—dubbed "an anti-diversity screed" by Gizmodo, the site that posted it in its entirety apparently without reading it—is a more-complicated and interesting topic from a libertarian point of view.

Damore titled his memo "Google's Ideological Echo Chamber," and management's quick response to it underscores his titular implication, which is that political correctness has in many ways stymied any sort of good-faith conversation about issues touching on race, class, gender, and other highly charged topics. If libertarians instinctively only think about state power as worthy of critique, such a myopic perspective misses all the ways in which power asserts itself in society. As linguist Steven Pinker tweeted in response to Damore's firing, Google's hair-trigger response actually gives the supporters of President Donald Trump a juicy talking point in their war against the tyrannical ideological orthodoxy that Trump specifically said he was running against. From Pinker:

The situation is compounded by the fact that Damore's text is not in any sense the screed or rant that detractors call it. In fact, it starts with the statement, "I value diversity and inclusion, am not denying that sexism exists, and don't endorse using stereotypes" and continues

People generally have good intentions, but we all have biases which are invisible to us. Thankfully, open and honest discussion with those who disagree can highlight our blind spots and help us grow, which is why I wrote this document.

The result is a discussion of possible causes, including genetic and cultural influences, for why Google's attempt to hire more women and minorities is going so badly despite massive and ongoing efforts to change that. I suspect that the real problem with the essay's logic (as opposed to, say, Damore's personality and reputation within Google, of which I know nothing) is calling attention to the costs and effectiveness of diversity programs along with their benefits, which are simply taken for granted. Additionally, he makes a plea for ideological diversity, which never turns out well in most places that say they value "diversity":

I hope it's clear that I'm not saying that diversity is bad, that Google or society is 100% fair, that we shouldn't try to correct for existing biases, or that minorities have the same experience of those in the majority. My larger point is that we have an intolerance for ideas and evidence that don't fit a certain ideology. I'm also not saying that we should restrict people to certain gender roles; I'm advocating for quite the opposite: treat people as individuals, not as just another member of their group (tribalism).

At Quillette, a website whose editor says suffered a denial-of-service attack after publishing stories critical of Google's actions, Rutgers psychologist Lee Jussim writes:

The author of the Google essay on issues related to diversity gets nearly all of the science and its implications exactly right. Its main points are that: 1. Neither the left nor the right gets diversity completely right; 2. The social science evidence on implicit and explicit bias has been wildly oversold and is far weaker than most people seem to realize; 3. Google has, perhaps unintentionally, created an authoritarian atmosphere that has stifled discussion of these issues by stigmatizing anyone who disagrees as a bigot and instituted authoritarian policies of reverse discrimination; 4. The policies and atmosphere systematically ignore biological, cognitive, educational, and social science research on the nature and sources of individual and group differences....

This essay may not get everything 100% right, but it is certainly not a rant. And it stands in sharp contrast to most of the comments, which are little more than snarky modern slurs.

That last point is indisputable, as the more charitable negative assessments of Damore include only calling him a "shitball" and the like. And of course, the near-immediate firing of Damore, thus at least superficially proving his large point that Google's commitment to "freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking" is a joke.

Even self-described Marxists leftists [*: see below] such as Princeton philosopher Peter Singer have criticized Google for its actions:

On an issue that matters, Damore put forward a view that has reasonable scientific support, and on which it is important to know what the facts are. Why then was he fired?

Again, from a libertarian point of view, one traditional response to Singer's question would be: Who cares, it's none of our business what a private entity does because libertarianism is ultimately about relations between individuals and the state, not individuals and voluntary associations they make, including employment.

The Google Memo controversy reveals the limitations of such narrow or "thin" libertarianism. Political correctness—which is both the enforcement of an orthodox set of beliefs and the legitimization of any criticism of those beliefs—is an attitude that is hardly limited only to state capitols, state agencies, and state universities. It exists everywhere in our lives and should be battled wherever we encounter it since it undermines free-thinking and free expression, the very hallmarks of a libertarian society. We have not just a right to criticize the actions of private actors but arguably a responsibility to do so, even if there is no public policy change being called for (Google should be allowed to fire whomever it wants, though its grounds for doing so are fair game for public discussion). Libertarianism is ultimately grounded not in anything like knowable, objective, scientific truths, but in epistemological humility built on (per Hayek and other unacknowledged postmodernists) a recognition of the limits of human understanding and that centralization of power leads to bad results. That is, because we don't know objective truths, we need to have an open exchange of ideas and innovation that allows us to gain more knowledge and understanding even if we never quite get to truth with a capital T. At the same time, we need to allow as many "experiments in living" (to use John Stuart Mill's phrase) as possible both out of respect for others' right to choose the life they want and to gain more knowledge of what works and what doesn't. Political correctness is not simply an attack a given set of current beliefs, it is an attack on the process by which we become smarter and more humane. That's exactly why it's so pernicious and destructive.

With that in mind, here's Penn Jillette in 2011 talking about why he's a libertarian. It's a provocative and persuasive argument, I think:

[*] Correction: I originally mistakenly tagged philosopher Peter Singer as a "self-described Marxist," which is wrong. Indeed, in 2000, as editor in chief of Reason magazine, I ran an interview of Singer to discuss his new book, A Darwinian Left, which argued explicitly that progressives must replace Marx with Darwin at the center of their worldview if they wanted to remain a viable force in political debates. I regret the error. Read the interview, conducted by Ronald Bailey, here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Brandybuck||

    Just leave politics out of work. You will be happier. I will be happier.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    I agree, but assholes like Google and Faceberg have made billions and billions of dollars spying on us and selling our information to the government.

    So being non-political isn't really an option given their business model, and of course it goes without saying that they're all a bunch of Deep State Obama Mommas.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    You started to make a reasonable point, and then like a dog to vomit you had to go for "Obama Mommas."

  • loveconstitution1789||

    You can reasonably explain dog vomit.

    Its unreasonably explaining dog vomit that you have to watch out for.

  • Quixote||

    What Google really needs to do, is put a stop to the outrageous anonymity that plagues the service. Everyone should be obliged to use their real name, and any inappropriate "parody" should be reported to the police. Surely no one here would dare to defend the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated, so-called judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    http://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Shatterface||

    And maybe they can tattoo a barcode to our foreheads in case anonymous strangers are heard wrongthinking in a public place.

  • Quixote||

    Facial and possibly voice-recognition tools can certainly be used to reduce the number of undesirable elements we see walking around in Wholefoods and other venues, especially online. Let's have a little order in this country for a change.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Embedding a chip on your person is probably the better way to go. Barcodes are on their way out. Of course, one day, chips might be as well.

  • ||

    @Quixote : How ironic that you say everyone should be obliged to use their real name, without using your real name.

    Google and others tried enforcing a real names policy several years ago. It was a disaster, leading to at least one suicide.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymwars

    I loathe the way anonymity enables trolls, but the alternative is even worse.

  • Quixote||

    Surely you are not defending the "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge? A suicide here, a suicide there seems a small price to pay for ridding our society of trolls—especially of the criminal "satirists" who dare to mimic and mock the distinguished chairs of our finest university departments, inappropriately accusing them of plagiarism and other nefarious misconduct in which everyone knows none of them would engage.

  • ||

    Faceberg.

    Good one.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    You're kinda sorta helping them rip you off when you use Google and Facebook. You're not being forced to do this, and I think that people in this day and age who embrace so-called "new technology" without any skepticism are boobs. The government, however, is way out of line. I doubt it really has much to show for all of this intelligence collection, but it does give itself a excuse to grow ever larger and intrusive, even while the political leadership becomes more incompetent.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    True dat.

  • damikesc||

    One of the big concerns is that if he wrote the exact same memo and argued for MORE affirmative action programs, he wouldn't have been fired. "Free speech" but only if your employer and one of the largest aggregators of personal info on Earth like it seems like a horrifyingly bad idea. Companies definitely should have the right to fire people, but if that right is used capriciously and ONLY against certain people while others are free to do what they want, then, yes, Libertarianism has a problem.

    In fact, the media coverage has utterly bastardized what he wrote. It wasn't a "screed" or a "tirade". It was a borderline bland recitation of facts and statistics and suggestions on ways to achieve their goals more efficiently. Business-wise, it is EXACTLY what upper management should want. But this business is so large that it basically cannot avoid being profitable. If they shit the bed in every possible way, their model is so large and so pervasive that, barring massive anti-trust litigation, they can make asinine decisions and not suffer any consequences, which effectively kills a big part of the market's controls on corporate bad behavior.

  • GILMORE™||

    "Free speech"..... but only if.... one of the largest aggregators of personal info on Earth like it

    also: the sole controller of one of the most important outlets used by individuals to express dissent

    https://www.youtube.com/

  • rudehost||

    This is hardly true. There are consequences if consumers choose to create them. I generally try to use duck duck go for my searches. That is my way of voting with my feet for an entity that is not evil. While I greatly admire page rank as a brilliant solution to what seemed like an intractable problem these ideological zealots are not people I want to enrich. If others don't feel the same way then the market has spoken. I may not be a fan of progressives burning heretics at the stake but apparently others dig it.

  • GILMORE™||

    how would you feel about a federal breakup of Alphabet/Google into a dozen smaller companies?

  • rudehost||

    I'm a libertarian so obviously I wouldn't accept it. My point however is that rather than bitching about google everyone reading this thread has other options. Duck duck go is mine as their search is not only just as good but they don't actively spy on you and mine your information. If you are whining about the progistan jihadis at google and still using their service when there are other equivalent options you are part of the problem.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Exactly right. Thank you.

  • GILMORE™||

    I'm a libertarian so obviously I wouldn't accept it.

    is there only one libertarian position on anti-trust law?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Depends. Are we being pragmatic or principled today?

  • GILMORE™||

    you just answered my question with "no" by suggesting there's more than one.

  • rudehost||

    Yes there is only one actual libertarian position on this. You may be mostly a libertarian but still think the state should pay for welfare programs, or forbid sexual contact between people of the same sex or break up companies you don't like. The fact that you consider yourself a libertarian doesn't make your position on this libertarian. Progressives are libertarians too except for the 10,000 statist views they hold.

  • GILMORE™||

    nope

    I also haven't stated an opinion. I asked 2 questions.

  • rudehost||

    The question implied an opinion unless you are saying you don't actually hold that opinion? Your link is irrelevant. Words have meaning.

    For example I can't just say

    "I'm from the libertarian school of thought that believes in authoritarian communism"

    or
    "I'm from the school of catholicism that thinks there is no god"

    Antitrust is a non-libertarian position and that doesn't change because someone forwarding it claims it is a libertarian position.

  • GILMORE™||

    The question implied an opinion

    You mean you just magically made one up to fit your mood.

    Your link is irrelevant.

    "Irrelevant Link":
    The Debate Within Libertarianism on Antitrust Law

    Forgive me if I take Milton Friedman as a more relevant authority than you.

  • Azathoth!!||

    No-there is actually only one valid libertarian position on this.

    If it's an actual monopoly, one that exists because no one else can do X at the best cost to and value from--and it is that way on it's own and not because the power of the state is making it so, then the libertarian position is that it is a valid operation that should NOT be interfered with by the state.

    If it is one of the business/government collaborations we've been taught to call 'monopolies' even though they only exist through threat of force then of course it should be broken up.

    The only disagreement should center around which of these criteria a business meets.

  • GILMORE™||

    here is actually only one valid libertarian position on this.

    If it's an actual monopoly, one that exists because no one else can do X at the best cost to and value from--and it is that way on it's own and not because the power of the state is making it so, then the libertarian position is that it is a valid operation that should NOT be interfered with by the state.

    If it is one of the business/government collaborations we've been taught to call 'monopolies' even though they only exist through threat of force then of course it should be broken up.

    I love how people manage to say no, but then when prodded, say, "no, BUT...."

    and in the "but...." admit exactly the issue asked about

  • ||

    I absolutely DO NOT trust Google with such power. They're on their way to being an Internet Gulag.

    Fuck them and their 'values'.

  • Chili Dogg||

    Or an Internet Goolag...

  • Eman||

    I'm like literally LOLing

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I don't have to like Google, but that doesn't mean I support an attempt to break it up. The reigning politics at places like Google is an effort to kowtow to the authoritarian SJW political orthodoxy that wants to dismantle all corporations and make the government all powerful.

  • Qsl||

    One of the problems with the well-worn libertarian position is it essentially justifies the worst practices of McCarthyism, any type of bigotry, and all manner of snooping as long as it isn't specific to the government. The hardcore could justify making continued employment dependent on how someone voted in an election. Exactly why the right-to-work mantra (and libertarianism by proxy) is ridiculed.

    The sane approach is to leave any employment contracts exclusive to employment/work performance, but thinking of employment contracts in terms of most other contracts is apparently a field too far.

  • jonnysage||

    No one is arguing that the result of freedom will always be the perfect outcome. Rather that freedom allows for corrections to the problems you speculate could happen.

  • p3orion||

    The "well-worn libertarian position" doesn't "justify" undesirable behavior, though it can allow it to occur. There can always be OTHER corrections to societal problems; libertarianism simply recognizes that it is not always appropriate to put the force of the state behind a desired goal.

    "I disagree with you, and I have the power to make you do as I think you should" is more of a Democrat (and to a somewhat lesser extent, Republican) mantra.

  • Qsl||

    Peach.

    Likewise it's not that autocraticism is inherently bad (even if it is limited in scale and only demands a blood offering every third year), it is just that undesirable behavior can occur.

    No sense in bothering with any notion of checks and balances within government (or even open revolt) as there are always OTHER corrections that can be made beyond extending the fraternity of political power... eventually, with enough blog posts and angry letters to the editor, every tyrant will be convinced to give up his 50 concubines in lieu of some sort of representational government ("See? I extended authority not only to me but my immediate family. What more do you want from me?").

    Essentially happy thoughts are the libertarian answer to any critique ("but if racist deny customers, eventually they will go out of business. Except when they don't, and too bad for you it will take 100 years for someone to open a business to serve your kind").

    Oh bother.

  • Bra Ket||

    "Essentially happy thoughts are the libertarian answer to any critique.."

    No, principle is.

    The customer-denying racist is exercising his private property rights. This is the core reason libertarians "justify" his behavior. As odious as you may find him, he violates the property rights of no one else, nor their rights to life and liberty. Whereas your progressive govt laws to control his behavior violate this principle.

    And competing businesses have always arisen to serve minority groups that were discriminated against. Indeed the big battles of that era were in businesses fighting government restrictions on their ability to serve minorities, as well as problems like govt restricting business licenses and shutting minority businesses down and the like. This is not just "happy thoughts", it is documented history through some of our most famous legal cases. So even the non-hyperbolic version of your "100 years" argument is dead wrong.

    As for the tyrant, he doesn't have a right to be a tyrant, and his every dictation of law is violation of everyone's rights to liberty.

  • Qsl||

    Exactly which principle? Exactly what property rights? I can see no property rights as related to employment except for slavery. Is that really the point you were trying to make?

    No my boy, we are discussing contract law. Do try to keep up instead of using it to grandstand a barely related point of what was a hyperbolic analogy to begin with.

    And competing businesses have always arisen to serve minority groups

    That's a bold claim. Any shred of evidence to back it up? Essentially you are arguing that in the whole history of all monopolies, none had even an whiff of segregation except through government dictate, which then had to force those same businesses to not discriminate. Curious.

    And not only that, in those instances where your non-existent existent segregation did exist, capital was instantaneously available to those discriminated against, like manna from the sky, to start competing business! Fuck the velocity of money, markets appear like tachyon bursts, confounding Hayek's coordination concerns.

    And somehow through that morass, we're left with libertarians railing against the evils of monopoly, except when those monopolies are based on race, etc.

    Uh-huh.

  • Bra Ket||

    "Exactly which principle? Exactly what property rights?"

    The principle of property rights: in plain language, the right to do whatever you wish with property you own. In the case of a vendor refusing to do business with someone, that would apply via the vendor having the right to not exchange his property if he chooses not to, or not allowing someone to walk on his property if he chooses not to. Or... deciding to not give your money to someone via an employment contract. It's so obvious that I'm not sure I follow what your point actually is. Why do you feel "contract law" is somehow apart from property rights?

    "That's a bold claim. Any shred of evidence to back it up?"

    Historic examples include so-called "black wall street" in North Carolina, the famous "green book" listing places black travelers could stay. Or the speakeasy's that served blacks during segregation since they were outside the law anyway. You're going to need to move that goalpost some, it's far too easy to list "shreds" of evidence.

    But what's this about monopolies not being segregated or something? Which monopoly? Why do you seem to presume they are at all common much less pervasive or whatever? Are you a communist too?

  • Qsl||

    In the US, you have easements. In Sweden, allemansrätten. Switzerland, freedom to roam, etc. Pointing being nearly every place has different conceptions of "property rights", and unless you are Native American (you are American, right? You have the boorishness and kindergarten simplification of complex issues like most Americans) you or your forebearers violate your own conception of the NAP and property rights just to get here and daily, half-assed mumblings from Rothbard aside. Think about it the next time you set foot out your door; the sheer complexity of contracts that allow you to breath air and move past your doorsill without getting shot (although I'm not convinced you are capable of much deep thought at all). The world is far more complex than a few tired platitudes.

    And in the US, the nature of those laws which define property rights are set by the various constitutions, which themselves are contracts between the people and the government. What does contract law have to do with property rights? You're soaking in it.

    And competing businesses have always arisen to serve minority groups

    Apparently you are too dense to understand the meaning of ALWAYS. A few cherry picked examples on a long enough timeline isn't a refutation, speaking of moving goalposts.

    Are you a communist too?

    And we come full circle with the point about McCarthyism. contracts, and the ridiculousness of most libertarians.

  • ThomasD||

    "... it essentially justifies the worst practices of McCarthyism, any type of bigotry, and all manner of snooping as long as it isn't specific to the government."

    No. Not essentially, not otherwise.

    Insofar as libertarianism recognizes no warrant over such private practices then libertarianism could perhaps be said to permit such practices. But only in an extremely broad sense where silence is deemed permission.

    Otherwise it offers no - zero, nada, nil, nilch - justification for any such practices.

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    I bet that many of the execs in these silicon valley utopias are still fuming over the results of the last election. They think they own the electorate as much as they own the market, and they were proven wrong. That said, employment is a voluntary contract between two parties, though an unequal one. Serfs who get their sustenance, upper middle class respectiability, and sense of self worth from these companies are subject to their every whim, no matter what labor protection laws are passed, because the party that can employ the most lawyers wins. But I doubt that anyone who lands a position at one of these triads would have trouble finding better positions elsewhere. And the people who are constantly seeking more legal protections, whether for gender and racial equality, transparency, worker health, or some other nebulous "social justice" cop-out, they're only making the labor market less free, the government more omnipotent, and lawyers more wealthy.

  • hpearce||

    I "like" to attack business actions like this as a company that doesn't support the SPIRIT of freedom of speech and press.
    Once that is done, one can question whether the company has promised in any way to its consumers/clients that is does support that spirit.

    If specified in TOS or other general agreements, then the possibility of fraud arises - though I probably doubt that will fly. But it makes a good talking point to pose against all these companies involved in diversity etc - particularly when they are involved in social media too.

  • Jevioso||

    This is more of a philosophical criticism than one having to deal with state power.

  • Shatterface||

    Once that is done, one can question whether the company has promised in any way to its consumers/clients that is does support that spirit.

    Does a pledge not to be evil count?

  • Gandydancer||

    No. But maybe a mores specific declaration, like "Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate. We are unequivocal in our belief that diversity and inclusion are critical to our success as a company, and we'll continue to stand for that and be committed to it for the long haul."... preceded in this case by encouragement to post diverse thoughts (including about working conditions at Google) to an internal forum... That might be seen as a promise not to fire on the basis of an appropriate posting and California is, contra Gillespie, only to a limited extent an "at will" state. It has a number of exceptions, including an implied contract of employment which may have been violated here.

    Plus Richard Epstein has suggested a defamation suit, based on the claims made by Google about Damore in connection with the firing.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I read the article. Didn't see the libertarian blind spot. But I saw Nick's lame airball.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    What do you do when a company is so large it is a defacto government? You would need a pretty large contingent of disgruntled employees to start up a rival company...

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Bullshit, you could do it in your garage.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    If Google went bankrupt tomorrow, new browsers would start up because Bing is so horrible. Duck Duck Go is good.

  • Longtobefree||

    What about the gazillion other products of Google? email, server storage, image search, office suite, etc?
    Boycotting Google is actually impossible, because they are lurking on web pages seeming unrelated to Alphabet.

  • Jickerson||

    I don't use any of their garbage products. As for third party connections on web pages, you can manage those with add-ons like uMatrix; that's what I do.

  • ThomasD||

    Don't forget Android.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Try it again. I used to hate Bing, now I use it every day.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Yes, because a dozen years of market dominance means they will be still dominant when the sun runs out of fuel.

    The only way Google is around as a dominant search platform in ten years is if they can continue to convince people their results are objective, and this firing is going to increase scrutiny of their results immensely.

  • CE||

    A de facto government takes your money and raids your house and shoots your dogs. A big company might decide to no longer employ you, leaving you free to work elsewhere. it's not the same.

  • Dillinger||

    the googles know where I am more specfically than the feds do.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    And you are worried about that because?

  • Cy||

    A company owns massive swathes of land and holds employment/goods monopolies in entire regions, they don't allow weapons of any kind to be on your person, provide no security for you or their employees and heavily restrict all speech.

    Meanwhile, they're given welfare by the federal government in the billions and are heavily protected under corporate liability laws.

    This is libertarian?

    If a corporation enjoys all of the benefits of being a corporation, they should have to observe the rights of individuals from a government stand point. I'd like to see a hard set # on a company's value as a trigger for it to observe the bill of rights as if it were a government.

    I've always thought of libertarianism as anti-tyranny. Supporting Corporations who get a lot benefits from our government with little drawbacks, while allowing them to withhold people's rights for political or ideological reasons that have nothing to do with their business is very much tyrannical.

  • Sevo||

    Marcus Aurelius|8.10.17 @ 12:36PM|#
    "What do you do when a company is so large it is a defacto government?"

    Why would I answer such a bullshit question?
    Does Goggle have the guns to make you pay their taxes?

  • Curt2004||

    Defacto goverment? Hyperbole much? Where are the men with guns? Duh!

  • p3orion||

    Apparently, the "libertarian blind spot" is his revelation that if you let private individuals (or companies) do as they want rather than as you think they should, sometimes they will act in a way you don't like. Most people figure this out by the time they leave high school. It's sad to see that this surprised Nick, but better late than never.

  • ThomasD||

    He was distracted by the Marx in his eye.

  • ThomasD||

    He was distracted by the Marx in his eye.

  • Robespierre Josef Stalin||

    We have not just a right to criticize the actions of private actors but arguably a responsibility to do so

    Yes, but I'd say it's a narrow exception. If some google bro gets fired because he's a douche then yes. If some company spews its toxic by-products all over the neighborhood then we should blame government incompetence for failing to regulate and not the company. They're innocent.

  • damikesc||

    What did he write that made him a "douche"?

    Specific examples.

  • ||

    Oh, didn't you hear? Progs think he's a douche without presenting an argument.

    So he's a douche because, well, progressives. Need I say more?

    I saw absolutely NOTHING wrong or heinous in what he said.

    He's just guilty of wrong think is all.

  • p3orion||

    "Somebody told me they read a story that quoted a source who said Google's HR director claimed he had criticized Diversity (all hail Diversity.) So he must be a douche. Good thing all my thinking's been done for me already, so I don't have to actually READ his long post."

  • Gandydancer||

    You're expecting an obvious troll to provide evidence?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That strawman is far too flimsy to stand on its own, but goddamn if you've got anything better to do with your life than keep setting it back up.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I'm sure no one will blame the company while proposing regulations.

  • DJF||

    I thought libertarian was about being able to control yourself and your property.

    If you want free speech then gets some property and stand on it while you speak.

  • mortiscrum||

    If there are qualifiers on free speech than it's not free. This sounds an awful lot like "all free men" actually meaning white, land owning, literal men.

  • DJF||

    Free speech in the Constitution is "Congress shall make no law". It does not say that Free Speech shall be practiced everywhere

    Its freedom from government, not one that overrides others rights

  • mortiscrum||

    For a principle or moral to actually mean anything, people have to actually be able to exercise it in meaningful ways. If a school of thought - say, libertarianism - professes to support a certain belief, the people who call themselves libertarian should be concerned with making sure that belief is honored and available. This "I said you could have, but I never said when" crapola just isn't going to fly.

  • Sevo||

    mortiscrum|8.10.17 @ 5:04PM|#
    "For a principle or moral to actually mean anything, people have to actually be able to exercise it in meaningful ways."

    For a comment to be worth other than insults, it has to demonstrate an IQ higher than room temperature.
    Yours fails.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "But whether you agree with Google's specific decision in this case, there should be no question that it has the right to fire people."

    The flip side of this statement should be that that Google has a libertarian right not to fire people--and I'm not sure that is the case. I'm not sure Google had the legal right not to fire this guy for what he said.

    Google has an ongoing federal probe against it for discriminating against women.

    "DOL Regional Director Janette Wipper told the administrative law judge April 7 that the department has already uncovered "systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce" at [Google's] Mountain View, Calif., headquarters."

    ----Bloomberg, April 19, 2017

    Given that investigation hanging in the background, Google didn't have a real choice from a liability perspective but to fire the guy who wrote the diversity memo. Otherwise, any random attorney who sued Google in the future on behalf of a woman claiming discrimination would use the fact that Google didn't fire this guy as further evidence that they are still actively creating a hostile work environment for women.

    Yeah, employers have association rights and they should be free to fire anyone they want, but freedom of association means Google should be free to keep anybody they want, too. The government routinely violates employers' association rights in this way.

  • Ken Shultz||

  • Nick Gillespie||

    Thanks, Ken. Important context.

  • Jevioso||

    Google def did what it had to do.

    However, it is the regulation that enforces diversity that is really the devil in this situation.

  • Kroneborge||

    agreed

  • DarrenM||

    Feds seem to love probing.

  • Longtobefree||

    Google has a right to fire any employee for any legal reason. It cannot fire an employee in retaliation for union organizing, for filing discrimination complaints with the feds, and the like. And oh, by the way, he did actually file with the NLRB.

  • Petie||

    Ken Shultz wins the thread.

  • Gandydancer||

    "...the fact that Google didn't fire this guy [is] further evidence that they are still actively creating a hostile work environment for women."

    Nonsense.

  • Henry Buttal||

    Google has routinely engaged in illegal practices in hiring, firing, and worker rights violations, the most visible case being the large settlement made because they conspired with other Silicon Valley employers to limit employee compensation and recruitment. Eric Schmidt was personally involved in it, and they fired a recruiter who accidentally violated their little cabal. This is simply another case of Google illegal activity,

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Again, from a libertarian point of view, one traditional response to Singer's question would be: Who cares, it's none of our business what a private entity does because libertarianism is ultimately about relations between individuals and the state, not individuals and voluntary associations they make, including employment."

    Hey Nick, do you mind if I care about it, but also know it's none of my business, or do I have to ride your straw man to the end?

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Well, he also wrote this:

    If libertarians instinctively only think about state power as worthy of critique, such a myopic perspective misses all the ways in which power asserts itself in society.

    I agree with Nick that libertarians should not be concerned only with state power, but all sorts of power that crushes the individual. And no, that does not mean we should support government interference to oversee non-governmental assertions of power.

  • GMATFF||

    Until a corporation has physical coercive power over individuals it is just not even remotely comparable. Google can't put me in prison or serve a no-knock warrant at gun point because I used Bing, searched for "home made bomb," or didn't pay a G Suite bill.

    Being scared of big business is a keystone Bogeyman of the far Left.

  • Cy||

    Google can wield the government to do every one of those things to you. All they have to do is either make some crap up and submit it to the government.

  • ||

    I don't think Danmore should have been fired, it seems like he was trying really hard to express himself in a reasonable polite fashion and to be as inclusive as possible.

    But there's a legitimate role for some sort of "political correctness" - i.e. social norms, in preventing racism and other forms of discrimination.
    Libertarians often advocate for non-government solutions to problems like racism. That non-government solution is essentially political correctness - that is to socially exclude racists so they can't socially exclude minorities.
    To say that racists should have freedom to behave publicly in racist ways an NOT be socially excluded because of them, is basically to tacitly permit the racist to socially exclude minorities, and not do anything about it. You're basically saying you're going to be okay with a society where people are excluded based on race, rather than treated as individuals. Either you act to enforce norms against racism, or you tacitly permit racists to treat others unjustly. You can't really say that you want private social mechanisms to prevent racism, and then not actually help make that private social mechanism work - that would make you a hypocrite.

  • John Thacker||

    That is certainly true, which is why these debates, like others about pluralism, take on a case by case nature. At the same time, we do not want a world where the space for heretical ideas is particularly narrow. Those are hard questions, and I do recommend Jacob T. Levy's recent book on the subject of Rationalism and Pluralism.

    Still, this is not a case of purely private action, any more than the universities which changed their sexual assault adjudication policies in response to the Dear Colleague Title IX letter, or the banks that canceled the accounts of prostitutes and pot companies.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Well, there should be some sort of middle ground available there, Hazel. But it is certainly not easy to verbalize what that middle ground should be.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Racists should have the freedom to behave publically in racist ways. How else could we know who they are.

    And they should face social exclusion from non-racists. But they shouldn't be fired for wrongthink--and they especially shouldn't be fired for wrongthink off the job.

    You shouldn't be punished because you think differently. You shouldn't be punished because you admit that you don't hang out with some people.

    See, I think that racists should be left alone, to hang with racists and have their racist parties, and exclude anyone they want--so long as they aren't physically attacking people. As long as they're not actually hurting people let them do as they please.

    The government should be backing only one thing--that everyone be equal before the law, that the government extend the same rights and privileges to every citizen. That's it. The government should not be advocating modes of thought. It's not their business--teach them HOW to think, not WHAT to think.

    Way too many people seem to favor some kind of punishment be doled out to people who have thoughts that they don't like.

    I keep seeing that scene from Addams Family Values where all the right-thinking kids are chanting 'pun-ish. pun-ish!' when Wednesday, Pugsley and Glicker are caught trying to escape.

  • EscherEnigma||

    But they shouldn't be fired for wrongthink--and they especially shouldn't be fired for wrongthink off the job.
    Why not?

    No, seriously. Consider a hypothetical comic book shop that I own and run. I hire a guy to be a cashier and stocker. He seems nice enough, if a little cold and impersonal. A month later I find out he's actively involved (off the clock) in efforts to annul my marriage, make me a criminal, strip me of my parental rights, and so-on. Why shouldn't I fire him for actively working against my life?

  • Azathoth!!||

    That's not wrongthink--that's someone deliberately trying to hurt you personally.

  • Longtobefree||

    Or that is someone being a democrat. Trying to hurt everyone who is not a democrat. Different?

  • EscherEnigma||

    So you're okay with what happened to Brandon Eich at Mozilla, yes?

  • sparkstable||

    Preferring that something happened differently is not the same as saying that something SHOULD have happened differently in terms of justice and one's rights.

    I would PREFER no one do drugs. I have no argument to offer in order to MAKE such a world happen.

    My preference is the guy at Mozilla should have been able to keep his job. I defend the rights of association and property of those who fired him.

    The guy at Google? Same... SHOULD have kept his job in a broad moral, over coffee let's discuss it sort of way. Sucks to be him in a Google is private people with association and property rights way.

  • Azathoth!!||

    So you're okay with what happened to Brandon Eich at Mozilla, yes?

    No. Brandon Eich gave money to support a cause--a cause that won, BTW, in California.

    He was not trying to hurt anyone personally. He supported the idea that marriage should be between a man and a woman--that idea was supported by a majority of Californians and one that has been the most basic norm throughout most of human history(plural marriages include a single marriage at their base). Did all of them want to hurt you personally? Did they even know you?

    He won. California agreed. But the will of the voters was overturned. And then people started attacking individual voters personally--quite a few lost jobs because they'd been overturned in court.

    THAT is what was wrong.

    And, for the record, when I had the chance to vote for the issue, I voted for legalization. So I don't even agree with Eichs. That doesn't change the fact that what was done to him was wrong.

  • MarkLastname||

    So should one be allowed to fire someone for supporting gay marriage?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Sure, if my previously-stated conditions are met†.

    But frankly, I'm not a Libertarian/libertarian, don't share libertarian/Libertarian views on the subject, and am more interested in the nuance of Azathoth!!'s view then in re-hashing my own.
    ________
    †I've discussed my feelings on non-discrimination laws elsewhere‡. I believe you people variously called me "Tulpa", "Progtard", "Statist", "Slaver" and so-on. Long story short, if we repeal "religion" from the CRA (1964), then I'm fine with not adding sexual orientation and gender identity. But until that happens, I'm going to continue to argue for adding sexual orientation and gender identity to federal non-discrimination laws.
    ‡Not this comment section, but other ones here on Reason.

  • BYODB||

    How about repealing the CRA? I'm guessing you're not 'for' that because carve outs are the way to go.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "How about repealing the CRA?"
    So long as you restrict your repeal to the parts that apply to the private sector?

    Knock yourself out.

  • BYODB||

    ...you are talking about the Civil Rights Act and not, for example, the Community Reinvestment Act right?

    Because you can't just 'repeal the parts that apply to the public sector' when talking about the Civil Rights Act.

  • EscherEnigma||

    That sounds like your problem, not mine.

  • MarkLastname||

    "But frankly, I'm not a Libertarian/libertarian, don't share libertarian/Libertarian views on the subject..."
    By which you mean what? That you do support public accommodation laws?

    Do you mainly object to the imposition of morality on the public because you think it's the wrong morality being shoved down everyone's throat?

  • Bill||

    Yes, but the political correctness has gone way beyond racism
    such that you can't call Caitlin Jenner by her former name or have
    the "wrong" views on a countless number of issues without getting
    the full blown emotional response, name calling, etc. It's ridiculous.

  • Bill||

    That was supposed to be a response to your comment, Hazel.

  • p3orion||

    Idiots should be given the freedom to be idiots, even if that means listening to their rants that someone is a "racist", a "bigot", a "homophobe." Even at Evergreen College and Cal Berkely, the only problem with the protests was that they were given the color of law when clearly illegal acts were not stopped or prosecuted.

  • sungazer||

    Idiots are completely free to find less cushy jobs when they get fired for demanding their bosses be more sexist in the company chat room. I mean, I know that might violate the uber-paleo-libertarian union bylaws, but if you swap out "women" with "blacks, latinos, and jews" and... actually that's about all you really need to do to the letter, and it reads like a member of the KKK is internally demanding that Google change its diversity policies to reflect the superiority of the white race. I mean, are you guys just upset every day when sports commentators don't point out that top notch women aren't performing as well as top notch men in sports every time women "participate" in a man's sports world? I fail to see how this makes Google any less desirable of a company to work for, and I find it amusing that this is being taken up a "classic liberal" cause.

  • Praveen R.||

    No one seems to talk about PCness when the right engages in it. Example: COLIN KAEPERNICK

  • Gandydancer||

    The question is whether Google violated its employment agreement with Damore. Its desire to enforce a social more does not give it that right.

  • ||

    The libertarian who thinks that nobody should be socially shamed for racist speech would effectively be tacitly supporting systematic inequity. And in the long run, the minorities who are being excluded and discriminated against would not quietly accept it; as they shouldn't - they would be perfectly right to object to being unjustly treated and have nobody say anything about it. Thus, libertarians have a moral responsibility to act in anti-racist ways and advocate and enforce social norms against racism, because the alternative is going to be federal anti-discrimination laws, and/or a police state in minority communities when those minorities get fed up with being treated like second class citizens.

    In other words, some of this social shaming behavior is necessary for a libertarian society to function. Absent social norms that strongly forbid racism, which entails social shaming of racist speech - we would end up with a society where some people are systematically excluded and put at an unjust economic disadvantage, and they would justifiably be angry and would rebel. it would not be a stable system. Like it or not America is a culturally and ethnically diverse place, and people have to get along with one another. The only way for that to work is to have social norms that force people to treat each other equally regardless of race or ethnicity.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Like it or not America is a culturally and ethnically diverse place, and people have to get along with one another. The only way for that to work is to have social norms that force people to treat each other equally regardless of race or ethnicity.

    The solution is individualism. Treat every person you encounter as a person, not as a member of some category.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    It's ridiculous to judge someone by the color of their skin when there are so many valid reasons to hate people on an individual basis.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    ^this

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Comment gold, right there. I want to print that comment out and frame it.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Put that on a t-shirt and sell it.

  • p3orion||

    ++++++++++

  • Cy||

    I feel sorry for all of the victims who run around thinking that every thing that goes bad in their day is because of some other reason other than A: they're an asshole or B: the person their interacting with is just being an asshole.

    It must suck going through life trying to climb up on some bullshit cross every time something bad happens.

  • ||

    Well, right, obviously. But you also want to have norms to ensure that OTHER people treat others as individuals.
    If my local grocery store is run by someone who hates black people and refuses to serve black people, my response is going to be that I'm going to stop patronizing that store, and I'm going to encourage others to do the same.
    Now, I'm organizing a boycott. So does that make me a SJW, and an advocate of political correctness, who is just virtue signalling and excluding the nice racist who should be left alone to privately discriminate?

    Ultimately you have to ask yourself which is worse - treating black people like dirt, or boycotting racists? Personally, I'd rather have a society where black people don't get treated like dirt. If that means that racists are made to feel like they can't express themselves in public, I'm ok with that.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I don't think driving collectivist [removed]racist, sexist, whatever) underground - thereby giving it a patina of rebelliousness - is helpful at all. Do you want YouTube comments? Because that's how you get YouTube comments.

  • ||

    if driving it underground helps racial minorities get treated more justly, then it's helpful in my book.
    You have to include the effect on people who are actually harmed by racial prejudice in the equation somewhere. it's not all just about eliminating racism n some ideal future - it's preventing racists from systematically oppressing minorities in the here and now.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I don't know if that is true. If people can't have express certain views that are viewed as incorrect, they don't then stop having those views. They simply stop expressing them. People learn how to hide them, and learn how to express them in a less obvious way.

    Moreover, it prevents the issue from being discussed openly, which is how you effect change. While shaming people intensely and driving them away does not, it simply hardens their hearts.

  • Longtobefree||

    Whose definition of 'more justly'?
    Is treating all people the same just?
    Or is preferential treatment, based on skin color alone, required?
    Isn't eliminating preferential programs 'preventing racists from systematically oppressing minorities'?
    Is BLM racist? Is the black caucus racist? Is Title IX, as currently implemented, sexist?

  • MarkLastname||

    Given that people are racist against white people (and me being white) are exempt from the standard social, economic, and legal consequences of their racism, I positively oppose these pressures. If I have to put up with people talking about eradicating white people in public, then others can learn to deal with cartoon frogs. If comfort means that much to ethnic minorities and women then they should be willing to forfeit their special exemption to be bigoted in order to achieve it, no?

  • Social Justice is neither||

    You do realize this is exactly how you get to microagressions and "systemic" racism don't you?

    If you know the racists are out there and trying to get you but they're just being sneaky about it then you look at every minute detail to expose the hidden racists hiding among you.

    Good job, you just increased the polarization and distrust.

    Let idiots be idiots in full view and people will treat them like the crazy preacher at the edge of campus.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    The obvious way to address that situation is to stage a fake robbery of the store owner with white robbers, and have a black guy come in and save the store owner.

  • Bill||

    That might work!

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Ultimately you have to ask yourself which is worse - treating black people like dirt, or boycotting racists?

    Except in this case your default choice is standing aside and allowing others to treat black people like dirt. Not quite the same thing as you yourself treating them like dirt. I'll agree that they're similar in effect, but still distinct, and it's an important distinction when you're talking to leave-me-alone libertarians.

    I partly agree with you and think X is avoiding the hard question here - what's the line between upholding good social norms and "political correctness" shutting down dissent and creating resentment? - but you have the bad habit of setting up false dilemmas.

  • ||

    Now, I'm organizing a boycott. So does that make me a SJW, and an advocate of political correctness, who is just virtue signalling and excluding the nice racist who should be left alone to privately discriminate?

    That depends. Is there another grocery store (or online grocery delivery service) in this construct, or just the one and all the black people starve to death without it?

    Dirt *removal* is exceedingly rare, especially from government or large collectives. Overwhelmingly, it's dirt displacement with some free deception (and fees) thrown in. Forcing racists (just the white ones?) underground or into silence doesn't prevent the black people from being treated like dirt let alone approach their feelings about being treated like dirt.

  • Azathoth!!||

    The boycott is the problem.

    Deciding that you have a right to force people to think like you is the problem.

    Can't you see that?

    Let people do what they want so long as everyone is equal in the eyes of the state and crap like this will sort itself out.

    You'd wind up with gradually diminishing homogenous enclaves and a freer society overall.

    You need to stop thinking this--" treating black people like dirt" and understand that most racists don't want to treat people of other races any way at all. They want them somewhere else. They want them not there.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "The boycott is the problem"
    Wait, so the "problem" isn't that a grocery store threw out a black guy, it's that non-black guys and girls refuse to go into the store after this is made public?

    That's pretty fucked up. They can do whatever they want, but if I don't patronize an asshole's store suddenly I'm "the problem".

  • Azathoth!!||

    The grocery store should be allowed to not let black people in. They should be encouraged to have a big sign that says 'whites only'.

    And then, people who like that will shop there.

    And people who don't will shop somewhere else.

    And the one who sees green will make more money.

    "gradually diminishing homogenous enclaves' See?

    But NO ONE should be forced to serve anyone.

  • WakaWaka||

    When people like Alan Dershowitz, David Rubin, and Richard Dawkins are accused of either being racist or 'alt-right' (with the implied connotation that one is racist) no one is listening anymore and 'political correctness' is no longer about advocating for equality and more about furthering Leftist doctrine.

  • grrizzly||

    I actually agree. That's why I continue to shame anyone who supports discriminating people based on the color of their skin. Namely, I call people racists if they support affirmative action or vote for politicians supporting affirmative action.

    HazelMeade, have you ever voted for a politician supporting affirmative action? If you ever cast ballot in this country then you most certainly did. How should we drive a racist like you from the polite society now?

  • MarkLastname||

    Indeed. We hear so much about supposed latent racism in society, especially on the right. But there's a major party that supports requiring and incentivizing public and private employers to actively discriminate on the basis of race and sex. It that's not racost and sexist, nothing is.

  • p3orion||

    Thus the progressive reaction to redefine racism in such a way as to specifically exclude actions by or for minorities, such as the argument that racism can only exist where there is "institutional structure" or "economic power" or "white privilege" backing it up, so QED blacks (or policies that help them) can't be racist.

  • ||

    The libertarian who thinks that nobody should be socially shamed for racist speech would effectively be tacitly supporting systematic inequity.

    The libertarian arguing against tacit support for systematic inequity is arguing in favor of either an active (full-throated, non-tacit) system, systematic(all generated) equality, or both.

    Seriously, Hayek covered this. Either the system or idea (racism) is too big and policy one way or the other is pointless/futile/equally effective or we aren't talking about libertarianism.

  • Azathoth!!||

    When you say 'justly treated' you're really talking about interactions with government.

    You mean that people should be forced to do business with people they may not want to do business with. Forced to hire people they may not want to hire. Forced to rent or sell to--or work for people who they might not want to deal with--and all with the gun of Big Government pointed right at their heads.

    That is not libertarian in the least. It is social justice identitarianism.

    A libertarian would let those businesses crash and burn on their own. They would worry about the businesses not cheating their customers--they would never think of dictating who those customers had to be.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    The libertarian who thinks that nobody should be socially shamed for racist speech would effectively be tacitly supporting systematic inequity.

    You are entitled to your stupid opinion.

  • Shatterface||

    The libertarian who thinks that nobody should be socially shamed for racist speech would effectively be tacitly supporting systematic inequity.

    If it's systemic inequity, it's a systemic problem: shaming an individual will do fuck all to address it.

    If the problem is racist individuals who can be shamed into changing their behaviour the problem isn't systemic.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Political correctness—which is both the enforcement of an orthodox set of beliefs and the delegitimation of any criticism of those beliefs—is an attitude that is hardly limited only to state capitols, state agencies, and state universities. It exists everywhere in our lives and should be battled wherever we encounter it since it undermines free-thinking and free expression, the very hallmarks of a libertarian society. We have not just a right to criticize the actions of private actors but arguably a responsibility to do so, even if there is no public policy change being called for (Google should be allowed to fire whomever it wants, though its grounds for doing so are fair game for public discussion).

    I would hope that awareness of the above is a lot more common among libertarians than Nick seems to think it is.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    It doesn't help that he can't point to libertarians suffering this blindspot.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    (err, not necessarily "can't", but does not point to examples in this post)

  • WakaWaka||

    Must I defend Nick? I think he just meant that libertarian principle at its absolute minimum would have no opinion on this issue as it involved private groups, but that we should probably feel disturbed by a culture that is actively silencing dissent (even fair and genuine criticism).

    That's how I understood it, at least.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And that's been understood for 300 years, so I don't see how it's a "blindspot."

    There probably are some "thin" libertarians out there who are too dismissive of the criticism aimed at Google (though given the specifics of this case, I imagine there are fewer than normal), but even one example would be nice. The thrust of the piece is that this case shows the limitations of thin libertarianism, but it's not clear if self-described thin libertarians are responding to this case in this way.

  • WakaWaka||

    Stop taking my job, MJ. I'm suppose to be the only one who 'never complains'. Stop making me defend Nick Gillespie of all people!

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I am a little shaken by the role reversal here.

  • WakaWaka||

    As you should be

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I think Nick wrote this article for a very different audience to show (apologize to) them that libertarians are trying to be better people (but we still have a long way to go).

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    If he turns off the base with a weaselly appeal to nitwitted outsiders, he can suffer the consequences.

    There is no libertarian blindspot in this issue, there is only Nick's inability to discover the root cause or his chicken-shit avoidance of the root cause if he does know it.

  • Azathoth!!||

    It doesn't help that he can't point to libertarians suffering this blindspot .

    Here--

    HazelMeade|8.10.17 @ 11:20AM|#


    The libertarian who thinks that nobody should be socially shamed for racist speech would effectively be tacitly supporting systematic inequity. And in the long run, the minorities who are being excluded and discriminated against would not quietly accept it; as they shouldn't - they would be perfectly right to object to being unjustly treated and have nobody say anything about it. Thus, libertarians have a moral responsibility to act in anti-racist ways and advocate and enforce social norms against racism, because the alternative is going to be federal anti-discrimination laws, and/or a police state in minority communities when those minorities get fed up with being treated like second class citizens.
  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Um, no. Hazel's point is just plain stupid.

    If you fight Jim Crow laws with public accommodation laws you get this exact situation. Neither law is libertarian.

    Libertarians who supported public accommodation laws because of Hazel's reasoning sold out their principles. I'm not suggesting it was knowable that public accommodation laws would bring us to this level of absurdity, but it was known that public accommodation laws were anti-liberty.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Um, Hazel was pretty clear about socially shaming and shunning folks. She did say that failing to do so will likely lead to non-discrimination laws, but she didn't advocate for those laws.

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    Yes she did. She specifically said "enforce":

    libertarians have a moral responsibility to act in anti-racist ways and advocate and enforce social norms against racism,

    Defiance of Jim Crow laws is advocating non-racism.

    Enforcement of non-racism requires anti-liberty laws.

    In a libertarian world there are whites-only establishments, blacks-only establishments, anyone-welcome establishments, anyone-but-whitey establishments and nobody-darker-than-quadroon establishments - if there is sufficient market demand for any of them.

    If social norms really did swing massively in favor of anyone-welcome establishments then the restrictive establishments would shrink to the point where nobody really cared as there would be too few of them to get upset over.

    How could you "enforce" a non-racist norm onto a blacks-only establishment without trampling over property rights? If your heart-surgeon was a racist, would you decide you'd rather die than have your life saved by a racist?

    The worst part about Jim Crow laws isn't that they were racist, it's that they were laws.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    You "enforce" social norms through boycotts and junk, the efforts she keeps referring to.

  • EscherEnigma||

    ... you can enforce social norms without the law. That's what shunning, shaming and ostracization are. So if that's the word you're hinging on? You're over-stating your case.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Uhh... Hazel's calling for Nick's program on overdrive.

    Some of the new commenters below are making the thin case.

  • John Thacker||

    Let's also not ignore Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and how that creates an incentive, some corporate counsel would say a necessity, for Google and other companies currently being sued for sex discrimination to fire a guy whose post might be taken as evidence of a "hostile work environment" for women.

    It's not just a case of a company using their private property rights or at will employment. Like with universities and Title IX, it is difficult to know what would happen without the government thumb on the scale. The same is also true of banks and financial institutions that refuse to do business with drugs or with prostitutes - so long as the government has official Know Your Customer programs, it's inaccurate to present them as just business choices.

    In some odd cases, like with Cooper Tire and the union member yelling racial slurs at strikebreakers, a company may be put in a Catch 22 of being guilty for firing but also guilty of a different offense if they don't fire.

  • John Thacker||

    However, yes, aside from that, it is perfectly reasonable for libertarians (and others) to have opinions about morals, ethics, decency, traditions, and customs while still not thinking that they should be or could be effectively enforced by law.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This guy potentially has a claim that his internal memo pointed out Google's violation of laws that lefties implemented. Since it is against federal labor law to fire someone whistleblowing on company's violations, this guy might win some kind of separation package settlement after all.

  • posmoo||

    It seems obvious to me Damore was complaining to his co-workers and employer about facially illegal title vii sexual discrimination promulgated by his employer, Google. That was the purpose of the memo.

  • brokencycle||

    If I have this whole story straight, a guy responds negatively to a corporate policy/executive memo. Said company then fires him.

    What's the problem? Free speech doesn't mean freedom from consequences. It is only the freedom from government regulation.

    Is Google being hypocritical? Sure, but they've made a conscious decision that they rather risk upsetting one group of people over another.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    He was pointing out company violations of law, so he might be protected as a whistleblower.

    Ironically, the same laws that lefties push for will be used against them in this case.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Eh, not really.

    He didn't publish his memo publicly, he posted it to an internal network. So he can't argue that he was trying to publicly reveal anything. So step 1, he would have to argue that he'd intended it to leak to the public or had publicly leaked it himself.

    Second, he would have to successfully argue that he was fired not for his views, not because of the PR storm it's leaking caused, but because he collected the information in the memo and then leaked it to the press.

    So there's strong doubt about whistleblowing intention on his part, and it would be easy for Google to argue that they fired him for permissible reasons (views, becoming a PR liability).

  • MarkLastname||

    The problem is: the reason why google is more worried about upsetting one group than another group is largely a result of the discriminatory enforcement of workplace regulations. You're more likely to be successfully sued by a woman spuriously claiming to be a victim of sexism than by a man who really was the victim of sexism. This means companies have a strong financial incentive to engage in sex and viewpoint discrimination against males and people critical of affirmative action, respectively.

    Imagine a feminist googler wrote an internal memo claiming women were inherently better coders than men. Does anyone seriously imagine she'd be fired over it?

  • WakaWaka||

    What have you guys done with Nick Gillespie?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    We have not just a right to criticize the actions of private actors but arguably a responsibility to do so, even if there is no public policy change being called for (Google should be allowed to fire whomever it wants, though its grounds for doing so are fair game for public discussion).

    Absolutely, 100% agreed. My contribution to the public discussion:

    Zzzzzzzzzzzz

  • WakaWaka||

    "Who cares, it's none of our business what a private entity does because libertarianism is ultimately about relations between individuals and the state, not individuals and voluntary associations they make, including employment."

    Tell that to Gary Johnson and his opinion on cake bakers

    Low blow?

    This was actually a thought provoking and nuanced article. I thought Matt Welch wrote it, at first.

  • JFree||

    Google's vice president of diversity, integrity, and governance wrote

    Teldar Paper has 33 different vice presidents each earning over 200 thousand dollars a year. Now, I have spent the last two months analyzing what all these guys do, and I still can't figure it out.

  • Jerryskids||

    Eric Schmidt told an audience, "The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking."

    Holy shit, how did this blatantly racist, sexist, xenophobic, and othering remark get by the SJW police? "Science-based"? We all know that's code for "Western white man's way of thinking" and privileging that form of social construct is simply a way for the patriarchal hegemony to oppress the different ways of knowing available to women and minorities and other cultures. For shame, Google! You need to get rid of this horrible monster immediately!

  • ||

    We have not just a right to criticize the actions of private actors but arguably a responsibility to do so, even if there is no public policy change being called for

    Which private actors?
    Supposed Danmore had been some alt-right advocate of the theory that black people are on average less intelligent than whites.

    Ultimately it is ALL private actors criticizing other private actors. Nobody's getting thrown in jail for anything they say.
    And private actors get to decide for themselves where the boundaries of speech they want to accept in their social sphere (or private workplace) lie.
    Sometimes those boundaries can affect people you have or want in your social sphere, so you have to choose - you either invite the bigots to feel welcome, or you invite the people the bigots are against. They aren't ever both going to feel welcome at the same time.

  • John Thacker||

    But Google could pay an enormous fine for not firing him. It's not all about private actors, but I agree it is incredibly difficult to know what Google would do in the absence of currently being sued and existing legal and regulatory precedent about hostile work environments.

    Perhaps they still would, perhaps they would not. Same applies to so many of these cases. The current system makes it difficult to assign precise blame.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Why would Google pay a fine. This guy didn't say anything racist, sexist, or otherwise illegal.

    Its the FEELZ that got him fired.

    The few people who read what he said and are fem-Nazis starting blasting their SJW networks about this guy and many bandwagoneers never read what he wrote. All they knew was that he questioned the narrative and he must go.

    Women's differences cannot be openly discussed or you are sexist. "Equality" is all that matters to these people and yet they are not clamoring to force hundreds of thousands of women into fields like plumbing, construction, and sewer pumping.

    These fields need women!

  • Longtobefree||

    If only we could get women back to just equal!

  • WakaWaka||

    The ironic thing is that people like HazelMeade will defend Google's decision to the end and yet they want to use the state to force bakers to make cakes for events that they morally object to (which she has argued before).

    No one criticizing Google has said that the state should prevent them from making this firing, nor have they denied that Google had the right to fire this employer. They've only criticized the decision.

    A lesson that the HazelMeades of the world should learn from.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    you either invite the bigots to feel welcome, or you invite the people the bigots are against. They aren't ever both going to feel welcome at the same time.

    And you leave people alone to make that decision for themselves. If you don't want to deal with racists, don't. And feel free to shun them to your hearts content. And while you're shunning them, leave them alone to hang out with other racists.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    I like it when racists are openly racist. It lets me know right off the bat, "hey, this guy is a retarded asshole." Saves a lot of time and disappointment.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Exactly.

  • ||

    Yeah, except in the process of finding that out, you just let the retarded asshole insult and offend a friend. So do you invite the retarded asshole to your next party, where he can feel free to keep on insulting and offending your friends, or do you shun him so he doesn't express those views in public again?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Yeah, except in the process of finding that out, you just let the retarded asshole insult and offend a friend.

    That's the way life works sometimes.

    So do you invite the retarded asshole to your next party, where he can feel free to keep on insulting and offending your friends, or do you shun him so he doesn't express those views in public again?

    I personally would call him a retarded asshole and throw him out. I don't care what he does after that and I'm not going to try to control his behavior. I'll shun him and anyone else that behaves like him but I'm not going to stop the retarded assholes from having a retarded asshole party. Not my job.

  • Azathoth!!||

    NO--you must find a way to force him to think correctly or lose his job, hoi home and his family. He must be marked with the crimsom R until he bows down and begs to be allowed to love Big Diversity--there are only brown lights!!!11!elevenses!!

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Why it's almost like you were thinking of someone particular, Citizen X.

  • ||

    Absolutely. And Google would probably say that's exactly what it's doing. So do you criticize people for shunning racist or for not shunning racists?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    What lefties call racist is typically not racist.

    rac·ist
    ˈrāsəst/
    showing or feeling discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or believing that a particular race is superior to another.

  • Chipper Morning, Now #1||

    Again, why with the either-or thinking, Hazel? Would you shun me for having a racist friend, even though I am obviously not racist?

  • EscherEnigma||

    (not Hazel here, but thought I'd throw in my two cents)

    First up, if you have a "racist friend", you're not "obviously not racist".

    Second, it depends. If it's an old friend you barely see anymore? That's one thing. If it's your best bud, the guy you had a threesome with for your girlfriend's birthday? That's another.

    If it's a guy that sometimes makes an off-color joke? One thing. If he actively avoids all Mexican restaurants because they attract "those kinds of people"? Another.

    If they can keep a lid on it and be polite in mixed company? One thing. If he can't get through a dinner party without offending my Hispanic husband? Another.

    And of course, there's whether or not you call out your friend for their behavior. If he call my husband a wetback and you laugh along? If he can go off on a racist tirade and not get so much as a "dude, really?" from you? If, in fact, you never give any indication that you don't actually agree with him other then asserting "I am obviously not racist"?

    It's possible to have "racist friends" and not be racist. But it's not trivial.

  • Mmmmmm||

    Policing other people to your satisfaction isn't my job, and a failure to do so doesn't make me a racist.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Policing other people to your satisfaction isn't my job, and a failure to do so doesn't make me a racist."
    True and true.

    But depending on the details, it'll move you out of "possible friend" and into "shunned" territory.

  • MarkLastname||

    I bet you always call out friends who refer to straight people as breeders.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Dude, I argue with you guys on the internet. You think I have friends?

  • Cy||

    At what point is this all just a witch hunt? If these are the things that you're worried about at your parties, than I feel bad for your guests.

  • MarkLastname||

    I like how, above, you're all about social shaming, but now, you're skeptical social shaming of google for firing a guy for stating empirically demonstrated facts in a calm and reasonable manner in response to a solicitation for feedback.

    Don't want to be too principled.

  • MarkLastname||

    Also, there's nothing 'alt right' about the notion that IQ distributions are different for different races.

  • jdgalt1||

    This controversy is another good litmus test to distinguish true, cultural libertarians with the narrow-minded "property rights libertarians" who unfortunately are more common in the movement.

    The "property rights libertarian" says that Google should do what it wants, period, and we should all shut up there.

    The true libertarian says that government force should not be used to make Google treat its employees fairly, but that other means such as boycotts should be.

    At any rate, I don't see the problem persisting long. Google has adopted the same form of governance that ruined United Motors in Atlas Shrugged. I predict that within 5 years, Google is either bankrupt or gets acquired by owners with non-SJW governance policies.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I hope you're not a betting man.

  • DJF||

    """""he "property rights libertarian" says that Google should do what it wants, period, and we should all shut up there.""""

    I don't think we should shut up, its just that our words may or maynot persuade them but not force them.

    Freedom of speech includes the freedom of others to listen or not and to ignore if that is what you want

  • ||

    But Googles action could *in itself* be seen as a private effort to enforce norms against sexism.
    So at what point would boycotting Google for firing Danmore really just become a mirror image of SJWs boycotting Google for NOT firing him?

    In Danmore's case, I don't think what he said was that bad. But there's clearly going to be a gradation between slightly sexist, and really really sexist. So where is the dividing line? Where do we flip from boycotting a company for firing someone, to boycotting them for not firing them?

    A true libertarian would advocate a socially inclusive society, because we want people to be treated as individuals by one-another and given an equal chance to succeed. And that inclusion would have to be privately enforced via norms against racism and sexism. So at some point, the libertarian has to say "You know what? I want black people to be treated equally and included more than I want racists to be treated equally and included, so I'm going to come down on the side of private actors who don't choose to tolerate racist speech, and I'm not going to tolerate it myself."

  • ||

    You're so cute with your sexism-heap paradox. -- Oh, damn, sexist again.

    "So where is the dividing line? Where do we flip from boycotting a company for firing someone, to boycotting them for not firing them?" Pareto principle.

  • ||

    In other words, everyone should just defend the norms they believe in, and everyone should just shut up about what other people choose to tolerate, or not tolerate.

  • ||

    No. It means that you shouldn't try to get to 100%. Stop at 80%. -- Do you annoy people, Hazel?

  • RenaD||

    Do you annoy people, Hazel?

    No kidding.

    A true libertarian would advocate a socially inclusive society, because we want people to be treated as individuals by one-another and given an equal chance to succeed. And that inclusion would have to be privately enforced via norms against racism and sexism . . .

    The only time I'm concerned with anyone being treated equally is if the government is involved. Otherwise, none of my business. People have every right to be assholes, they have the right to DISCRIMINATE, regardless of the reason, so long as offensive violence is not involved.

    And what exactly are these "norms" you're talking about? Who defines them? Am I out of the "norm" if I don't invite the one Hispanic family in my neighborhood to my Christmas party? If I don't say hello to the Pakistani who delivers my mail? Where does it end?

    "Treated equally so they have a chance to succeed." WTF does that mean? Again, the term has no meaning to private individuals—it cannot be qualified or quantified.

    I simply don't have the time to continually patrol my fellow libertarians and try to persuade them to conform to societal norms. And if I did, then I'm the one who would be the asshole.

  • Longtobefree||

    "But Googles action could *in itself* be seen as a private effort to enforce norms against sexism."
    But they are not enforcing norms against sexism. They are enforcing norms (their own) against questioning sexism (their own). What was questioned, in the current vague corporate way, was the validity of several company programs that openly discriminated for/against employees based on illegal markers of race and sex. (God help us when it gets to whatever 'gender' means now)

  • MarkLastname||

    Except Damore wasn't being sexist. Full stop.

    Is it wrong for google to fire someone who isn't sexist in order to stop sexism? Yeah, yeah it is.

    Christ, you will just grasp at anything to come down on the side of little Maoists here.

  • Cy||

    "At any rate, I don't see the problem persisting long. Google has adopted the same form of governance that ruined United Motors in Atlas Shrugged. I predict that within 5 years, Google is either bankrupt or gets acquired by owners with non-SJW governance policies."

    This is a joke right?

  • Mickey Rat||

    First off, government is involved in these types of issues due to Title VII which how the government judges compliance has a great deal to do with the shape of corporate diversity policies (though not necessarily tbe deciding factor).

    These policies are based on premises that their supporters do not want examined or debated, just meekly accepted. An ideological position that cannot bear scrutiny is a problem for someone who values freedom of thought, whatever the level of involvement the government has in shaping it. The Google VP quoted in the article was spewing meaningless, feelgood pap that did not defend what Google's actual policies are.

    Most of the media mischaracterizing or out and out lying about the content of the memo and the points it brought up in order to discredit it and the author is slander, libel and gross journalistic malpractice apparently to protect the ideology of Title VII. The fact that we again have proof much of the media is taking sides with reckless disregard to honest presentation of facts is a terrible development. An organization can have a point of view, it cannot lie to support that and claim to have any integrity.

  • ||

    Here's the complete memo, with sources and graphics: https://diversitymemo.com/

    A point I've also raised regarding alerting employers to fire/firing someone ("sandwich"): under Titles IX and esp. VII (in their current incarnations), this is not an "at will" system, not a free market. Olson on it, on occasion of the Google memo.

    What happens here with Google mirrors what happens at universities, including the rhetorics of speech coding (harm; claiming to be for free speech; inclusiveness; safe places/spaces, ...) and of (some) women staying home because they are devastated by the "critique" (and possibly the "self-care" centers ran out of coloring books and cats). Since "perpetuating harmful gender stereotypes" is now officially a fireable offense at Google (and the like), I wonder whether these stay-at-home women will get fired. (Note that perpetuating "beneficial" stereotypes may not be cause for termination. I'm not sure whether the assumption is that no trade-offs can exist, meaning that traits can't possible have specific advantages *and* corresponding specific disadvantages. Certainly, stereotype accuracy - truth - is no defense, however.)

  • ||

    Almost needless to say that Google recreates left-dominated academia. And here, as there, people fail to account for affirmative action. There is talk of largely ephemeral "patriarchy" and "gender roles". But no systematic review of all the measurable and designed affirmative action and social engineering, neither in nature, nor in scope or financial sum. Attempting a comparable worth analysis of "gendered" advantages and disadvantages is a daunting (somewhat impossible) task to begin with. Such deliberate ignorance makes the analysis pointless. Well, not in a planned economy of the sexes, the economy of (selective) parity, a parody of economy.

    This ethos of Silicon value bodes badly for truth. The attempts to adjust algorithms so they do not reflect reality, so that they do not "perpetuate (accurate) gender stereotypes" are cause for concern, and part of this consistent whole: the planned information economy about the sexes, see here and here

    I recommend this exchange regarding sex differences and Google memo: http://slatestarcodex.com/2017.....fferences/

  • chemjeff||

    "Almost needless to say that Google recreates left-dominated academia."

    It does seem that they are trying to run their company as if it was a college campus. Which isn't going to work out in the long run.

  • ||

    That reminds me, was it Google who is trying to offer housing to its employees?

  • ||

    Correction: Here's the link to Olson

    "(...) hostile-environment law is not content-neutral. It plays favorites on topics and it takes sides in debates.

    By 1997, when I wrote my book, there were already dozens of reported cases in which liability claims cited anti-feminist statements, such as generalizations, stereotypes and loaded language about females.

    The speech of this sort that got employers into legal hot water was "frequently not at all obscene but often highly political and analytic in content."

    Meanwhile, a search then found not a single case in which the reverse type of statement — generalizations, stereotypes, or loaded language unfriendly toward males — had been ruled to contribute to a hostile environment."

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Is it sexist if I point out how many management level females at my company have departments that are 100% (or close to it) female?

  • ||

    On a higher level of abstraction, they may call it "sexism": "you fail to see that these women are oppressed (in all facets of their lives), which this minor boon doesn't compensate in the least; being critical of it shows your disregard for their plight as women, which is sexist."

  • MarkLastname||

    1st rule of feminism: if a good thing is disproportionately male, it is evidence of sexism.

    2nd rule of feminism: if a good thing is disproportionately female, it is evidence of how much more awesome women are than men.

  • And you believe that why?||

    Thank you for posting a link to the full text.

    Nick makes the same mistake most other journalists have, assuming that the piece Gizmondo ripped from Motherboard actually is the full text. It most certainly isn't. The Motherboard piece did not include citations or charts. This has lead to a lot of vague claims about Damore making vague claims without citations.

    Hopefully Nick sees this and updates the link. A second option would be to edit the article to make it clear that the Gizmondo piece does not actually include all of the document.

  • chemjeff||

    I come at the whole PC issue from this point of view:

    There are always going to be standards for acceptable public behavior depending on the context. No sane person is going to tolerate rude boorish behavior at their solemn events, no matter how much they pretend to be shitburgers online. Since there are going to be standards, the only questions remaining are, (1) who sets the standards, and (2) who enforces the standards? We absolutely do NOT want the state setting or enforcing social standards. That would be a 'cure' far worse than the disease. So that means we, as private individuals working voluntarily, have to do so. Of course setting and enforcing social standards should not involve violating anyone's rights. But there is nothing inherently wrong with individuals exercising their own rights to enforce those standards - again, in a voluntary manner - such as their free speech rights, free association rights or their property rights. Yes this does mean that once there is a certain level of consensus behind a particular standard - like, say, one against telling racist jokes in public - then it can feel stifling and conformist to those who dissent. It can feel a lot like mob rule even though there is no state coercion involved. I get that. But nonetheless, no one is deprived of the liberty of breaking social standards if they so choose.

  • chemjeff||

    In general I don't think people should be moral scolds or busybodies in public. But that is simply my preference. If people DO choose to be busybodies, as long as they are not violating anybody's rights, I don't think we have great room to complain. The speaker has a right to be a jerk, but the listener also has a right to be hysterically outraged.

  • ||

    Exactly right.
    At some point, you're either going to have an environment where racial minorities (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome, or you're going to have one where racists (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome and stifled.
    Yeah, there are going to be some people who feel like they can't express themselves because their views are verboten, but I think it would be much worse if we created an environment where racial minorities are made to feel like they aren't equal members of society. Ultimately, it's all just a matter of what social standards you support. You're totally entitled to object to speech you think violates those social standards.

  • chemjeff||

    "At some point, you're either going to have an environment where racial minorities (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome, or you're going to have one where racists (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome and stifled."

    Actually it doesn't even have to come down to this. Simply enforce, vigorously, free association rights. That means people can hang out with like-minded people as much as they want, and feel as welcome as they want within their own social sphere, and they don't have to feel unwelcome at all regardless of whatever beliefs they have that contradict mainstream views. Sure the bigots and the non-bigots are going to feel unwelcome around each other. But *they don't even have to interact with each other if they don't want to*, unless there is some state coercion involved (like overly expansive public accommodation laws) that forces unwilling parties to associate with each other.

    As always, it all boils down to just letting people be free to do their own thing.

  • EscherEnigma||

    "Actually it doesn't even have to come down to this. Simply enforce, vigorously, free association rights."
    You should look into the history of White Citizen's Councils. Free Association can be brutal.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Can you go further back in history for an example? Perhaps something cuneiform?

  • MarkLastname||

    How about the Black Panthers?

  • EscherEnigma||

    Go for it.

    My entire point was "Free Association can be brutal".

  • BYODB||

    So can forced association, what's your point?

  • EscherEnigma||

    That "it all boils down to just letting people be free to do their own thing" is naïve.

  • MarkLastname||

    Not really. You don't seem to understand that most libertarians don't imagine that a free society will lead to some utopia where everyone loves each other. It's not naive to insist that people not try to murder, enslave, or rob people they don't like.

    "Naive" is a cop out. People say free speech naive; they said it about sexuali freedom as well; about democracy (what could be more naive than letting the masses choose their own government)?

    The problem is the alternative supposition - the belief that some public official or bureaucrat is going to be both competent and ethical enough to be fair in regulating our loves and determining what association is kosher and what isn't - is far more naive

    It's a common problem with your 'critiques' of libertarianism. What's the alternative? Trust a politician or some random government employee to make my decisions for me?

  • ||

    You may want to actively support pluralism, spheres, and polycentricity. Ladies' nights. Gentlemen's nights. Nights for ladies and gentlemen. Don't make it so that skin Rawls.

  • ||

    Blacks only clubs, whites only clubs? Catholic bars vs. protestant bars?

    I think that leads to bad places in the long run. Too much tribalism leads to intergroup conflict and a loss of social cohesion. I want peace and harmony. I want to not have to worry about my kids getting shot because they are wearing the wrong skin in the wrong neighborhood.

  • WakaWaka||

    But...but...you're already promoting tribalism by focusing on people as parts of groups rather than individuals. If individuals want to separate withing groups on their own that's their choice

  • chemjeff||

    "Blacks only clubs, whites only clubs? Catholic bars vs. protestant bars?"

    Just let people be free to do their own thing.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    I prefer to socialize with people that think like me, and have similar morals (don't litter, don't blare your music in public, don't swear around kids). Often that sorts itself out largely by people of similar ethnic upbringing/experience. Call me racist, but there are reasons tribes developed in the first place...

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "I want to force on people peace and harmony"

    FTFY

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It's unfortunate that the PC ideology is obsessed with tribes-- and preserving them.

  • ||

    Women have much to offer, men will engage with them. Social cohesion? That's what sports teams and patriotism are for. And the Tocqueville thing.

    "Wearing skin"? Well that's slightly disconcerting.

  • ||

    Women have much to offer, men will engage with them. Social cohesion? That's what sports teams and patriotism are for. And the Tocqueville thing.

    A"Wearing skin"? Well that's slightly disconcerting.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Or you'll have an environment where completely reasonable, non-racist people are made to feel unwelcome and stifled because they're repeatedly slurred as racists.

  • ||

    I agree that the PC crowd goes way too far at times. The problem is that if you do away with it entirely, your going to end up with, well, the alt-right. PC exists for a reason.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    PC exists for a reason.

    As does the alt-right (whatever the alt-right is). I really thought Nick nailed it with this statement:

    Political correctness is not simply an attack a given set of current beliefs, it is an attack on the process by which we become smarter and more humane. That's exactly why it's so pernicious and destructive.

    What you're describing are reactions to immovable ways of thinking. Neither are things that really have any kind of net positive on discourse.

  • grrizzly||

    The alt-right is less racist than people who support affirmative action.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It seems to me that the alt-right describes a group of people, whereas PC describes an ideology.

    As best as I can tell, the alt-right is a mish-mash of people who are-- anti-PC (I think), strongly nativist, want to close up borders, strongly suspicious of Muslim cultures etc. There are a lot of people who share some intersectionality with those beliefs. Some people may want to close up the border-- or tighten them, but aren't hyper-nativist or spend a lot of time worrying about Muslims. Some may only be concerned about Muslim refugees, but may not feel a need to tighten the borders to all foreign newcomers. Some people are just strongly anti-PC (I put myself in this camp) but are perfectly fine with open(ish) borders and have really no predilections towards nativism.

    Unfortunately, the PC ideology takes a religious view which brooks no question or discussion on a series of topics (most of which are identity politics-based) and slur anyone who does as either Racist or 'alt-right'.

  • MarkLastname||

    We need to make sure anyone who isn't a feminist can't get a job because alt-right?

  • WakaWaka||

    Case in point: David Rubin, Richard Dawkins, and Alan Dershowitz

  • grrizzly||

    I wouldn't mind if anti-white racists like you felt a bit more unwelcome and stifled.

  • MarkLastname||

    Again, why is it that you persist in this fallacy that one can only be racist against minorities? And why should a self-interested person like me care to enforce social norms against white racists when others are happy to tolerate anti-white racism? The absence of symmetry eliminates any reason for me to participate in this game.

  • Shatterface||

    Exactly right.
    At some point, you're either going to have an environment where racial minorities (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome, or you're going to have one where racists (etc.) are going to feel unwelcome and stifled.

    As we've seen from campuses, those feelings of 'unwelcomness' are far from inversely related.

    As free speech has become more and more stifled racial minorities have found more and more subtle ways of feeling unwelcome.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Let's see...

    *looks at picture*

    Nope: fire the white cisgendered heterosexual shitlord.

  • Rhywun||

    Right? If that pic doesn't scream "Hitler" I just can't even anymore.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Google (and other employers) should and do have extremely broad rights to fire any worker at any time.

    They do, even when they're aggressively hypocritical about the reasons.

  • Rhywun||

    Yeah, Google can fire who they want when they want but it's still fun to criticise gargantuan whoppers like "The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking."

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    The second question raised by the Google Memo—dubbed "an anti-diversity screed" by Gizmodo

    It was described as "vile" by Mediaite.

  • ||

    Finally, some diversity.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    Which libertarians have advocated government intervention? Being a libertarian doesn't mean you're forbidden to criticize.

  • Rhywun||

    Which libertarians have advocated government intervention?

    Brink Lindsey?

  • WakaWaka||

    If the question is: "who's in favor of (blank) war". The answer is always Brink Lindsey. In this case, I'm not sure

  • MarkLastname||

    Actually, Hazel will inform you that even criticizing them is unjustified, because something something racial minorities something something Jim Crow.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Political correctness is not simply an attack a given set of current beliefs, it is an attack on the process by which we become smarter and more humane. That's exactly why it's so pernicious and destructive.

    Very well said. Thank you Mr. Mxyzptlk.

  • paranoid android||

    Great piece, Nick.

    I think this controversy is a microcosm of how completely dysfunctional political discussion has become. How can we even discuss the issue when people refuse to agree on what Damore was even saying? Because the line from his detractors is that all that stuff about how he values diversity and wants to help improve Google's policies is some sort of secret misogynist code.

    How do you try to persuade people in good faith who refuse to believe that those who disagree with them are doing so in good faith?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Lack of "good faith" being the key words.

    Ignorant SJWs do not act in good faith. To them its a war against whitey, men (other than them), Liberty, reason, logic, etc.

    Fine. That is what civil wars are for.

  • Eric||

    Your utter lack of awareness is hilarious. I'll bet you start a lot of sentances with "Well, you all know I'm not a racist, but...."

  • MarkLastname||

    I bet you start a lot of sentences with drool spilling out of your mouth.

  • Eric||

    Ouch. (snif)

    Well pla (snif)....played.

  • cjcoats||

    What is the contract situation here? When Eric Schmidt told an audience,


    The company was founded under the principles of freedom of expression, diversity, inclusiveness and science-based thinking.


    he was certainly setting up a verbal-contract situation which Google subsequently broke.

    What is the written-contract situation? I don't know,. but I strongly suspect that there was one, which Google also broke.

    Enforcing contracts is certainly appropriate from a Libertarian point of view, and the "Google should be able to do whatever it wants" response ignores that fact.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "he was certainly setting up a verbal-contract situation"

    ORAL CONTRACT, g'dammit. A written contract is also a "verbal".

  • BYODB||

    Look, Google can fire whoever it wants to for almost any reason that isn't covered by law.


    I think the thing most people are bothered by is the blatant misrepresentation of what this guy said by pretty much everybody up to and including Google itself. It's hypocrisy, plain and simple, and they ABSOLUTLY MUST keep that false narrative running in order to make sure they aren't painted as the hypocrites they are.


    At least that's my problem with this. He points out a valid critique of diversity policy, and it's taken as-read that it's against diversity itself. If Google or the Media were being even borderline honest about it, then they might actually suffer the market consequences of their actions. Since they're going to lie up a storm about the memo, people are all going to simply go with the talking heads version of what they say it says as opposed to what it actually says and it all gets shoved down the memory hole.


    Diversity simply for the sake of diversity is retarded, plain and simple. There is no benefit when the only diversity you value is what is obvious on the outside. Anyone who is capable of rational thought realizes that diversity of viewpoint and thought is the only thing that actually matters. Hiring someone because they are brown, or because they are a woman, is the antithesis of real diversity and is the very thing people claim they are against.

  • GILMORE™||

    Google can fire whoever it wants to for almost any reason that isn't covered by law

    actually.... now that you mention it....

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    It'll be legal. Google had planned to fire him the moment that memo appeared. And unlike their normal firings, they spent hours in closed-door meetings with their top lawyers crafting his firing that met legal muster. The decision to fire was instantaneous. The process took some time (as we saw).

  • ||

    Process, correct. Result, not supported. The decision makes sense even if there is considerable risk that he will be vindicated.

  • GILMORE™||

    My point was just to note that California labor law is pretty expansive

    i don't think labor law *should be*, obviously. i support googs right to fire whomever for whatever. but assuming that they are legally 100% in the clear is... probably wrong. Of course they have the more-expense (and therefore better) lawyers, and the far-deeper-relationship with the state, and they have local popular support ... etc etc. pretty much everything on their side.

    But i'll still enjoy watching progs fight against their own ridiculously expansive labor-laws as though they were some conservative invention.

  • BYODB||


    But i'll still enjoy watching progs fight against their own ridiculously expansive labor-laws as though they were some conservative invention.

    I absolutely agree. Eventually they're going to run into the laws they've created and think 'gosh, what retard thought this was a good idea?'

    Example: a white man who declares they are a black woman subverts every last one of their carefully constructed systemic racism/sexism artifacts. This is what happens when you abandon empiricism and rationality in favor of subjectivity and post-modern philosophy.

    You end up with rule of man; a king ruling by diktat and fiat. Plain and simple.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That sort of has already happened. RFRAs were originally not terribly controversial to the Left when they were protecting Native American religious rights to use peyote. They got up in arms when RFRAs were used to protect Christians from social engineering regulations.

  • BYODB||

    It happens all the time, but the underlying lesson is never learned. The lesson that is always learned is 'we need more specific carves outs and more overt racism and sexism'.

  • MarkLastname||

    They won't have to fight them. The bureaucrats responsible for enforcing the regulations are almost certainly on Google's side in this one.

    This is the problem with such regulations: they're dnforced at the discretion of the officials, and which ever group for which they disproportionately enforce the law, they inevitably incentivize discrimination in that group's favor.

  • Gandydancer||

    California has an exception to at-will employment called the implied contract of employment. Google apparently encouraged Damore to post on the internal forum with claims about its supposed openness to political diversity similar to everything posted since but without the "but" endings. That could very well be viewed as a promise not to fire him for a posting such as his.

    Admittedly, he's unlikely to get fair adjudication.

    There may also be a defamation claim.

  • Overt||

    It'll be legal. Google had planned to fire him the moment that memo appeared

    Actually, you may not be correct. That memo didn't just "appear". As is common at Google, this was a collaborative document. They do this all the time at google, you start a document and then you invite your co-workers to comment on your work to make the document better. My understanding is that this document had been shopped around internally for several days or more, and was getting comment from many people, not just sympathizers and even including people IN THE DIVERSITY PROGRAM.

    So, this only blew up and resulted in his firing when 1) it was found by one or two people who wanted to shame the shit out of him, and 2) when those same people in the company leaked it out of the company.

    So google may find themselves in trouble because this actually wasn't a toxic document until a couple cry babies freaked out to the press.

  • BYODB||

    The reasons outlined by CNBC are pretty weak in my opinion, but they could be potentially valid.
    It is pretty ironic though that systemic racism and sexism is mandated by law, as seen in programs like Googles mentoring programs that are only available to people of the correct gender and/or race though. No one talks about that little gem.


    The fact of the matter is that Google fired an employee because he made suggestions that they found unpalatable, and because he was a sacrificial lamb on the altar of diversity because Google is already under investigation for claims of systemic sexism (but not because of their actual programs that are actually sexist, of course).


    The engineer made a lot of incredibly valid points, in that so-called 'modern' thought declares that we must force women and minorities who are not interested in certain career fields to become interested since we mistake aggregate personal choices as systemic sexism and racism. Obviously, the irony is that they are creating systemic sexism and racism in their quest to slay an imaginary dragon.


    In my view, the Libertarian response would be 'Google has the right to fire this guy, but they also have the right not to hire women or minorities if those women and minorities are not as talented as someone who is not a women or minority'. THAT IS THE PROBLEM.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    No one talks about that little gem.

    That's not true. An engineer at Google alluded to them, and now he's cleaning out his desk.

  • Rhywun||

    "Read 10 of the most shocking quotes from the memo"

    Too bad I left my fainting couch at home.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Recycled post from yesterday...
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases .... /2017/08/170807120521.htm

    Largest functional brain imaging study to date identifies specific brain differences between women and men, according to a new report in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease

    See Science Daily web site summary article "Women have more active brains than men" for some statistical / scientific brain-scan results for some male-female differences in the brain. They are there, and they are real. Why are there so-so many more men in jail for violent crimes than there are women? A 1,400% difference, says this article! Can anyone tell me, with a straight face, that this (men v/s women jailed) is strictly an environmental, social, cultural thing, and has nothing to do with biology or genetics? Come now! If a significant percentage of people really believed that, then there should be a huge hue and cry to release more men from jail, and jail more females, till it is all equal! If we really-really believe that a proper role of Government Almighty is to "make everyone be equal", that is…

  • ||

  • MarkLastname||

    Ironically, the UN regards the life expectancy advantage of women to be an indicator of 'equality.' If a country's men live almost as long as its women, the UN considers thus a sign of 'inequality.' Feminists have a rather Orwellian definition of equality.

  • widget||

    Nick,

    Thanks for your take on the GOOGLE MEMO. You waited a couple of days to let it sink in and give it some thought.

    Google CEO Sundar Pichai, on the other hand, panicked and rushed back from a tropical vacation to fire James Dunmore. Google (Alphabet) stock dropped 1.5% today.

    Google being run by social justice jihadis does not bode well for its stock value. This especially concerning as Alphabet takes on the self-driving car problem.

    My programming experience is that gals do just fine, and better on average, than guys on business application software. Gals do not participate much in programming task involving machine interfaces. Statistically! Some do. But its

  • WakaWaka||

    Me: Google car take me to get Chinese food

    Car: Referring to a subset of food as "Chinese" is problematic. There are various dishes common to China and therefore, such a phrase is not specific and perpetuates a negative stereotype that all Chinese people eat the same thing. Further, as a white male, eating so called "Chinese food" would be cultural appropriation...

  • ||

    Car: You chose "accident".

  • BYODB||

    Me: You chose '.357 round to the CPU'

  • JWatts||

    Car: Google gun safety protocols have been engaged. Glove box has been auto-locked to prevent usage of firearm on a public road. Seat belt magnetic lock has been engaged. Car has automatically pulled over to the side of the road. Local authorities have been notified and are responding to the emergency. Thank you for using Google Auto Chrome for your driving software.

  • Cy||

    Car: Be well.

  • widget||

    That's a tab less annoying than the 'trolley problem' problem.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trolley_problem

  • BYODB||

    When faced with a Kobayashi Maru test, cheat.

  • widget||

    rare, very rare. Even writing a driver for a network adapter, let alone a car.

  • Rebel Scum||

    The "Google Memo" (read it here)

    Your link is bs. Read it here, instead.

  • And you believe that why?||

    Thank you for posting a link to the real full memo.

    Motherboard's selective editing, passed on to the Gizmondo piece, have caused more problems than the memo, IMHO.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Recycled post from yesterday...
    SamHell|8.9.17 @ 1:43PM|#

    Some good stuff in here from scientists backing up the soundness of this guy's memo

    (editted by SQRLSY below)

    https://web.archive.org/web/ . . . 20170808013732/http://quillette.com/ . . . 2017/08/07/google-memo-four . . . -scientists-respond

    The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond


    SQRLSY One|8.9.17 @ 1:56PM|#

    Thanks, good link! Will Google listen to a damned thing said here? I doubt it...

  • dantheserene||

    Is there a version of the memo available that doesn't start by calling it an "Anti-Diversity Screed"?

  • Rebel Scum||

    Google (and other employers) should and do have extremely broad rights to fire any worker at any time. Exceptions rightly exist

    Not outside of extenuating conditions stemming from contractual obligations. It's like you don't even libertarian.

  • Rhywun||

    He should be expelled just for linking to that cesspool Gizmodo. Then again they all read WaPo and NYT every day so what are you gonna do.

  • Agnes||

    I am a 'millennial' woman in the workforce. And I always laugh when they say - women aren't equally represented here, here and here! You know why? THEY DON'T CHOOSE TO BE THERE, THERE AND THERE.

    A few months back, I accidentally stumbled into a feminist meeting which actually proved to be quite insightful because they had several local female city council members/ judges etc. speak. The millennial organizer opened the meeting with...it's been 99 days since we marched against Trump... None of the guest speakers got political, but they did say: women discredit themselves more than men. If women have to meet criteria to run for office, they'll rule themselves out if they meet 7/8 of the criteria. Men will rule themselves IN if they meet 1/8. After all of their empowering speeches, they asked for questions: No women initially raised their hands...first question came from a guy....

    We can't be angry at men simply because they have the confidence to ask for more money or choose to go into a certain field and excel at it. Opportunity is there, you just have to figure out how to find it. If you're a woman and you're looking to climb the ladder, look for an opportunity and company where there is a lot of room to grow. If you take a position where you can only graduate to one more position...you aren't going to be making a million dollars just because you've been there for 5 years.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Men will rule themselves IN if they meet 1/8."

    Which proves Hillary is a guy. Her only criteria was a vagina (allegedly).

  • widget||

    It's interesting to look at the other end of wage earner pay scale. I don't need an academic study to find that most (all that I have ever seen) roofers are men and that most hospice caregivers are women. The pay's about the same and not very good. For some reason gender diversity is only importand as it applies to good paying jobs.

  • BYODB||


    For some reason gender diversity is only importand as it applies to good paying jobs.

    This is how you know they aren't serious. It's all just a leverage gambit to reduce the standards and/or open up litigation options for the litigious. Nothing more, and nothing less.

    It is illegal to discriminate based on sex and that must necessarily flow both ways for equality to exist.

    Equality is not the forcing of an industry to be equal in numbers, it is the freedom to be considered based on your merits rather than your sex or on some other equally irrational basis with no bearing on the job.

    And make no mistake, there are situations where the very nature of a job will mean that one sex simply will not be considered. Some examples would be a Hooters waitress, or a Chip'n'dales stripper. You are literally paying based upon the sex of the 'performer' or 'wait staff' so it becomes a consideration.

    You can not say the same for a coder, or a home health aide, or really the vast majority of employment options.

  • Rhywun||

    Equality is not the forcing of an industry to be equal in number

    Unfortunately, we are very rapidly moving toward a situation where "equality" means exactly that. Have a look at the machines that run Blue America and you'll notice that this is the society they want.

  • BYODB||

    I disagree that we're rapidly moving towards it, because it's something people won't accept.

    Since the lie is based on an aggregation of individual personal choices, the only way to truly 'fix' it is by changing the individual choices so we would need to find a way to force people to apply for jobs they have zero interest in.

    While there probably is a way to do that, there won't be a way to do that in a sufficient number to actually reach 'equality'. Hell, now that I mention it that's probably the overall goal. Create an impossible to fix problem that creates a perceived need for never-ending government intrusion into the market.

  • Mickey Rat||

    That is the reason the income gap between men and women is an evergreen issue for the Left. It is an intractable problem because in the aggregate men and women will not make the same choices as to the type of jobs sought and home/work balance. It is forever an issue to be aggrieved about.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Excellent post.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Yes, the mania hasn't set in yet, so she is clearly not a regular.

  • Dillinger||

    agnes excels.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And I always laugh when they say - women aren't equally represented here, here and here! You know why? THEY DON'T CHOOSE TO BE THERE, THERE AND THERE.

    And they might choose not to be there because there is unwelcoming to women.

    I obviously agree with your general point, but there can be many reasons for what we observe. I know 'the other side' goes to ridiculous extremes in their arguments here, but that's no reason to go to our own extreme. Workplace environments and norms can be a teeny-tiny reason women stay away from X (or men from Y), and conceding that does not mean endorsing expensive or wrongheaded diversity initiatives.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    a teeny-tiny reason women stay away from X

    :'-(

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Maybe it's not that tiny.

  • BYODB||

    Have an example you might care to share of an industry that would be unwelcoming to women?

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I once worked in a stone quarry where there were porn magazines all over the place, and there was a daily ritual for some men to leer at FedEx women as she made her daily delivery.

  • BYODB||

    Hell, as a guy I would feel uncomfortable working in an environment with porn magazines all over the place so I don't think that's a uniquely female thing necessarily.

    Also it's something of a chicken and the egg question. What came first, a so-called sexist environment that makes women not want to work there or a job that overwhelmingly interests men that becomes more sexist as fewer women enter the field.

    As an addendum, is it sexist to assume that all women would find porn magazines unappealing before they go out and cut some stone?

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Don't know why the chicken or the egg is a problem here - it's a dynamic process with a lot going on - but considering women were discouraged from most kind of jobs until the last century makes the answer appear obvious.

  • BYODB||

    So it's a complex thing but the answer is really just very simple; sexism.

    That tracks with how deep of a thinker I think you are.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    "there can be many reasons for what we observe"

    "it's a dynamic process with a lot going on"

    Yes, I gave a simple answer.

    Or I guess you're referring to what came first. My point is that a) that doesn't really matter for the issue we're discussing, and b) that most jobs were deemed unsuitable for women for so long suggests which came first. If an industry had few or no women to begin with, and you think that promotes a sexist environment, then...

  • BYODB||

    Well really the question was if you could provide a single example of an industry where women are not welcome. That was the question. You answered that you could not, fair enough.

    The entire question is illogical to me because in the chicken and the egg both answers are wrong. Or, more correctly, it's a misleading question since the 'true' answer is the egg came from a third choice that is not listed among the available choices.

    It's basically question begging.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    So why'd you ask the question?

    I'm lost as to what question is the question that's question begging in this question.

  • BYODB||


    So why'd you ask the question?

    I'm lost as to what question is the question that's question begging in this question.

    What??

    What came first, a so-called sexist environment that makes women not want to work there or a job that overwhelmingly interests men that becomes more sexist as fewer women enter the field.

    Both sides assume sexism must be the cause.

    Does that clarify? It's admittedly not my best work. It's been a day.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    So we're on the same page? I also think that was an illogical question, since it answers itself the moment you look at history. I'm not sure what the 'true' answer in your mind is, but again, I don't think the origins of any suspected sexism are relevant, so the answer (or lack of answer) is boring.

    I'm dizzy.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    And the question is not how "all women" might react to this or that, but how women on the margins react.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Hell, as a guy I would feel uncomfortable working in an environment with porn magazines all over the place so I don't think that's a uniquely female thing necessarily.

    Pussy.

    I was just giving a fun example. I make the natural assumption that there are douche-laden industries from which a woman could easily be intimidated by, like construction and investment banking and who knows what else. That doesn't mean that women could not succeed in those fields, its just that it would be understandable to me if a woman was reluctant to join them because of their reputations as douche-laden industries. However, I am sure the doucheyness will tamp down over time, without or without a diversity department.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Replace intimidated by with "reluctant to join."

  • BYODB||


    Replace intimidated by with "reluctant to join."

    And this is why more women should be forced to join those industries. It's really for their own good, because 'equality' is really just a measure of how many people with a vagina are in a given occupation.

  • lap83||

    That doesn't mean that women could not succeed in those fields, its just that it would be understandable to me if a woman was reluctant to join them because of their reputations as douche-laden industries.

    You mean stereotypes? I guess it's stereotypes all the way down.

    Incidentally, I have worked a few places managed by women that had workplace cultures that were perceived as anti-men by the guys who worked there. Bottom line, this emphasis on the effects of stereotyping of women in the workplace is too narrow. There is a rich, diverse tapestry of shitty, biased manager types out there. I'm not sure anything can be done about it except to spread the word and avoid the bad ones like the plague.

  • Overt||

    And being specific to technology, I have worked in Network Ops Centers that were EXTREMELY hostile to women. They were essentially like construction yards. And it wasn't really a problem because they were walled off behind glass windows and no one knew what kind of vile shit they were spewing in there.

    This was all very understandable- you had a bunch of early 20's young men sitting around for hours at a time in a room, with only minor supervision, 24x7. What would you expect would happen?

    Nevertheless, it was very common knowledge among people in the company what a sexist shithole that org was, and no one cared because no one figured there was a woman who wanted to be in there. Of course how much of that was a self-reenforcing cycle- no women wanting to be in the NOC because they knew the culture.

    So, even though I believe that the lack of females in the tech industry has more to do with preferences, I also think people are crazy to suggest that there is no component of sexism involved.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Thanks for sharing, Overt. Now that's what I'm talking about!

  • BYODB||

    Fair enough, although honest question here: How would a woman know what a sexist shithole it was from outside the organization? Or do they only transfer people into that area internally?

  • Sevo||

    "So, even though I believe that the lack of females in the tech industry has more to do with preferences, I also think people are crazy to suggest that there is no component of sexism involved."
    So
    .
    .
    .
    .
    what?

  • lap83||

    What came first, a so-called sexist environment that makes women not want to work there or a job that overwhelmingly interests men that becomes more sexist as fewer women enter the field.

    Sexism is pretty subjective though. Not all women perceive it the same way. I say this as someone who has worked in offices and bars/restaurants.

  • EscherEnigma||

    It is my dream that if I ever start my own software company, my office door will have a life-size print of Zeb Atlas† on the inside of the door. I will never have closed-door meetings in that office, and it will be my little secret.
    ________
    †I do not encourage you to google this name unless your interests align with mine, and you're in a place where depictions of such interests won't cause issues. Or, in short-speak: gay porn actor, google at your own risk.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I dunno. Google?

    I'm not a woman, and I have a boring work history, so I can't offer much here.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'd argue that these days more industries are unwelcoming to men than women; men just don't care as much about 'welcoming' as women, and instead care more about money.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    Perhaps.

  • ||

    epistemological humility built on ([...]) a tremendous amount of epistemological humility.

    It's epistemological humility all the way down.

  • Kroneborge||

    Also interesting is how much speech is now getting shut down through the round about workplace discrimination rules


    So government has put their hands on the scales after all.

    also, can we not post links anymore?

  • Kroneborge||

    see Jonathan Rauch "Offices and Gentlemen"

  • Kroneborge||

    see Jonathan Rauch "Offices and Gentlemen"

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Heavens to Besty you all really like this story.

  • Steve_E||

    Can you change the link to be this one instead, since it has the full memo, with citations and charts, and without the virtue signaling and ad hominems?

  • Tearfang||

    //The "Google Memo" (read it here)//
    You are linking to a gimped version of the memo. Gizomdo deceptively removed all graphs, sourced links and graphics from their version.

    Read with its graphics and links here:
    https://diversitymemo.com/

    Note that the original version was a Google doc so none of the leaked version includes the comment threads that were on the original doc.

  • CE||

    When they say "inclusiveness" and "free expression" they don't mean that kind of inclusiveness and free expression.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Yep.

    Just like everyone else.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    I think Hazel and chemjeff get to Nick's own limitation here. Libertarians need to uphold certain social norms and apply them to private actors as well as the state. That's fine and relatively uncontroversial (some confused thin libertarians aside). But he's saying it's vital we fight for our social norms in the domain of public opinion... in order to battle the dangers of Political Correctness, a set of social norms fighting for space in the domain of public opinion. He tries to separate PC as particularly pernicious because of its rigidity and response to dissent, but it's not clear to me that that's inherent in the values promoted by PC. It strikes me as a human flaw, one endemic to any ideology or set of norms, which likely worsens as the norms' popularity increases. This flaw is associated with PC today because PC is perceived as the dominant set of norms among the educated class. But the same rigidity can be applied to other sets of dominant norms, can't it?

    I mean, just look at libertarians! How many of us dismiss certain positions as verboten, as obviously wrong, as evil? How often is dissent shut down as apostasy? If libertarians are going to be our salvation from stifling ideological uniformity, liberal society is doomed!

    Because people suck, and Hayekian humility is an ideal we all fall short of.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Shut up, Tulpa.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Political correctness is not simply an attack a given set of current beliefs, it is an attack on the process by which we become smarter and more humane. That's exactly why it's so pernicious and destructive.

    Excellent.

    Also, fun fact about the above linked Steven Pinker: he is a member of the Luxuriant Flowing Hair Club for Social Sciences.

  • ace_m82||

    When does an employer have a right to fire an employee

    Always.

    how do social pressures work to shut down speech that makes powerful people uncomfortable

    Through the same mechanism peer pressure functions.

    we don't know objective truths

    Then you're an idiot. A cannot be true and ~A true at the same time. Find the logical inconsistency and find the incorrect theory. (That doesn't imply the remaining theory is true, the true one may be a theory not yet thought of.)

    I'm thinking my articles would be much shorter than they are supposed to be. They would be quicker to read, however.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Find the logical inconsistency and find the incorrect theory.

    You must not talk to many people.

  • ace_m82||

    To be fair, when talking like this, I'm mostly pissing people off. But then again, most people don't like it when you prove them wrong.

  • ElDuderino||

    While I am glad that Nick has highlighted a "weakness" in libertarian ideas I think there is a bit more to it than a simple weakness. There is a reason why this PC hectoring is pursued with such zeal and it has everything to do with State power. PC is a political agitation effort, not simply a bunch of misguided college kids who don't like to debate uncomfortable topics. In fact, the inability to debate uncomfortable things is arguably a symptom of this political effort, not a feature. The goal of PC cultural programming is to keep the masses in line with the preferred political ideology so that when time comes to vote for candidates and policies of the STATE, those politicians and policies that provide the most ideological COMFORT to the now well programmed PC masses will gain power while having the added benefit of having those non-PC suckers left in the dustbin of history because they are racists, sexists or some other deplorable human. If there were less power at stake than the current Federal behemoth, with all of its coercive capabilities, regulatory powers, tax power etc… there would be lees incentive to create such a socially corrupt means of brainwashing whole segments of the population such as PC.

  • ElDuderino||

    CONT from above... In a relatively free State, where employers are not constantly hectored by State regulators to comply with various social agendas, there would be little need for these employers to sacrifice valuable money and time to the various PC causes that come along, because there is no way the State can force them to do anything that does not make sense to their bottom line. PC is a symptom of a decrepit political system that has grown out of control. It is the first lump to be found when a political system turns into cancer.

  • EscherEnigma||

    Counterpoint: business boycotts to NC last year over the state's "bathroom bill".

  • ElDuderino||

    Not sure how this is a counterpoint to anything. First, businesses are free to boycott anything they want, it may or may not be beneficial to their business, but then again, you are not required to do business with them if you don't want to, which is not true of the State. Businesses in NC cannot boycott NC so easily, but can attempt to move out if it is too onerous a regulation. When you get to a Federal level of power, businesses have very little means to leave the US, especially those businesses that have public restrooms, since they generally serve a specific local community. But the fact that a state found it necessary to make rules regarding public toilets and impose it on its citizens highlights just how corruptible this level of State (Federal) power is and how much is at stake for those who hope to bend the public to their ideals through PC brainwashing just so they can have a piece of the State Power Pie.

  • ||

    All I'm gonna is say is:

    I'm glad I'm self-employed and get to keep my middle-finger up if need be.

    Bunch of mental cases out there.

    /goes back into cubby hole.

  • BoZimmerman||

    Not even considering the NAP makes this article at bit tone deaf. Libertarians don't "only care about state power", they prioritize it over other kinds because the state is institutionalized violence, whereas Google is not. Being fired is very inconvenient, but is not the same as war or prison.

  • Vernon Depner||

    It can be more than inconvenient. In the Information Age under a powerful, intrusive State, being fired for certain causes can render one not just unemployed, but unemployable. When losing a job for expressing an unapproved opinion means losing the ability to make a living at all, then getting fired does become an act of aggression.

  • BoZimmerman||

    Hmm.. aren't you just making my point though? Notice you said "under a powerful, intrusive State", and I suggested State power IS the biggest problem.... so it sounds like we agree.

  • Vernon Depner||

    If we disagree, it's over whether at this point there is a meaningful distinction between the State and a megacorp like Google.

  • Sevo||

    If you're asking that question, you're probably not bright enough to understand the answer.

  • EscherEnigma||

    So employers are obligated to tolerate employees they want to fire because google search results are forever?

  • Sevo||

    Vernon Depner|8.10.17 @ 4:48PM|#
    "It can be more than inconvenient."

    So can catching a cold. So what?

  • Dillinger||

    Diversity and inclusion are a fundamental part of our values and the culture we continue to cultivate

    people who want to cultivate me can fuck right on off.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Well then maybe consider bathing once in a while.

  • JeremyR||

    The problem is that the giant corporations in Silicon Valley, especially Google, are becoming the government, at least in the US.

    And we are getting to a point where if you have an opinion that isn't left, then you are unemployable.

  • Vernon Depner||

  • Sevo||

    "And we are getting to a point where if you have an opinion that isn't left, then you are unemployable."

    Aw, did someone not give you the the job you deserve?

  • Dillinger||

    If libertarians instinctively only think about state power as worthy of critique

    is someone proposing this as fact?

  • Fuck You - Cut Spending||

    When does an employer have a right to fire an employee and how do social pressures work to shut down speech that makes powerful people uncomfortable?

    1: Anytime they want.

    2: Social Pressures are another word for "culture". Stanley Milgram expanded on Sol Asch's conformity experiments to see how conformity differed between people of different nations. The only ones I know of were Norway and France, but there may have been further studies done beyond that.

    The real problem is that we already know governments WANT censorship, but how does government influence/encourage private censorship to skirt around government itself doing any censoring? "PC" is a thing even though government just enforces discrimination.

    Seems like we're back to public accommodation laws - which were NEVER a libertarian blind spot - and the unintended consequences of those laws building upon each other having the effect of changing the culture.

  • Barry Gold||

    I agree that this memo is not "a rant," but I do have some issues with it. Primarily that the writer makes several statements of "fact" but without actual data (or reference to peer-reviewed research) to back them up.

    Examples:
    + They(*) often have clear biological causes and links to prenatal testosterone
    + Biological males that were castrated at birth and raised as females often still identify and act like males
    + The underlying traits are highly heritable
    Similarly for his list of differences, headed "Women, on average, have more:"

    That said, as a libertarian I also oppose discrimination (including "reverse discrimination") because it is against the spirit and quite possibly the letter of the relevant Civil Rights laws as well as contrary to the spirit of the Fourteenth Amendment.

    I think his list of "Non-discriminatory ways to reduce the gender gap" is well reasoned and should be given a trial before using the more discriminatory methods that may have undesirable side-effects.

    (*) these differences between men and women]

  • Mark22||

    the writer makes several statements of "fact" but without actual data (or reference to peer-reviewed research) to back them up

    I understand your desire for even more references, but those statements are pretty uncontroversial in biology and you can easily find materials yourself on Google scholar.

  • David Sims||

    Some of us smelled this particular skunk in the Libertarian/Objectivist woodpile since about the time Ayn Rand wrote The Virtue of Selfishness.

  • Sevo||

    "Some of us smelled this particular skunk in the Libertarian/Objectivist woodpile since about the time Ayn Rand wrote The Virtue of Selfishness."

    And some of us have noticed your oder.
    What "skunk"?

  • Empress Trudy||

    GOOGLE should fire all the straight white men who work there and resolve to never hire another one.

  • mpercy||

    Really? All this fluff to boil down to ignoring the rational libertarian response: Google has a right to fire him if they want to, but I have a right to criticize them for for so because I also think their reasons for doing so are stupid and wrong-headed.

    I guess I don't see the blindspot? Either there is no blindspot or it's in my blindspot. Sure, large, well-funded corporate entities can wield power over aspects of society. Was that ever a question?

  • AlmightyJB||

    Yeah, I'm not seeing a Libertarian blindspot. Google, like every other corporation these days, are focused on appealing to millennials. What better way than to behave like one? They'll win or lose by their decisions but probably not by that one. This will be out of sight, of of mind in a couple weeks

  • MarkLastname||

    I think you're correct; the consequences won't be. Jen by google, but by the polity in general. Those of us who aren't leftists will take the message to heart and keep quiet about politics outside of the anonymous internet. Leftists will therefore be led to believe everyone agrees with them because silence implies consent, and they will continue to be mystified by the growing silent backlash against their worldview that rarely seems to surface in the outside world due to their use of institutions they control to penalize disagreement.

    Until they can punish people for what they do in the voting booth, the leftist 'if I sweep it under the rug it doesn't exist anymore' approach to political opposition is destined to fail.

  • Mark22||

    Those of us who aren't leftists will take the message to heart and keep quiet about politics outside of the anonymous internet.

    Short term, yes. Long term, we change jobs. I've done it.

    Talented software developers are really hard to find. And Google's actions may appeal to the hard left, but they make moderates, conservatives, and even many women and minorities uncomfortable. Google did some real damage to themselves with this.

  • MarkLastname||

    I'm not that optimistic. Google dominates the market, and who else is out there? Is google going to face a boycott? Everyone going to start using Bing? That is, until Microsoft fires someone for similar reasons (I have a hard time believing the culture at Microsoft is much different)? With regulations being enforced the way they are in our litigious culture, it's still cheaper and safer to run afoul of non-leftists and 'oppressor groups' than to run afoul of leftists/'the oppressed.'

    I just don't see this making a dent. If anything, with the media rallying to google's defense, their leadership is liable to feel galvanized by the whole affair.

  • Mark22||

    Google dominates the market, and who else is out there?

    Google dominates the market because they constantly update their software. They need an entire city of developers for that because they apparently aren't very good at using developers effectively. Furthermore, advances in AI have made a lot of their past investment in software worthless.

    In addition, Google's revenue comes from ads. They are seriously threatened by a repeal of net neutrality, and they are also seriously threatened by systems like Ethereum and AI running on the desktop rather than in the cloud.

  • sparkstable||

    Did Google violate the NAP?

    No.

    Then this is easy. No legal action to be taken against Google. Any action by any private people that does not violate the NAP against Google is also acceptable. To join in such behavior is optional.

    What happens next is called life. It's messy. The end.

  • Sevo||

    By George, I think you have it!

  • Bruce 6225||

    What is necessary is to keep a hierarchy of rights in these issues. I think we all understand that employment is conditional and while it would be nice of our employers to be perfectly clear about what is not tolerated, it makes no difference. The employer can fire at will. The rest of the article is moot. I'm surprised that this fake controversy is making its way into Libertarian discourse.

  • ||

    This is not a freedom of speech issue. As Googler Paul Cowan wrote, "Freedom of speech is the right to freely express an opinion. It is most assuredly not the right to express an opinion with freedom from the consequences." Anthony Scaramucci had the freedom of speech to say whatever he wanted to New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza, but not without consequences.

    Damore put Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an untenable position: do nothing, and dozens of talented people at Google, mostly female, would look for jobs elsewhere; fire Damore, and be pilloried as PC.

    The fact is that Damore was a stereotypical arrogant nerd, who could be a jerk. He lied on his LinkedIn profile, claiming to have a PhD in systems biology when he in fact had a MS. One of his fellow students at Harvard commented, "He was clearly socially maladjusted... When you're really smart you're prone to thinking that you can solve these big issues if you just think real hard on them, and if you don't have the social skills to navigate a dicey issue, it can go wildly awry."

  • MarkLastname||

    Cool as hominems bro.

  • ||

    @MarkLastname : It seems that you understand neither the meaning of, nor how to spell ad hominem.

  • MarkLastname||

    Autocorrect; and you're argument amounts to insulting the person who wrote the memo and lying about what was in it. Ad hominem.

  • Mark22||

    Damore put Google CEO Sundar Pichai in an untenable position: do nothing, and dozens of talented people at Google, mostly female, would look for jobs elsewhere; fire Damore, and be pilloried as PC.

    If a posting from a single person can cause such a shitstorm, the problem is not with the person posting it, it's with how the company is managed: Pichai screwed up.

    As for "dozens of talented people at Google, mostly female, would look for jobs elsewhere", I doubt it. Most of the vitriol comes from activist and white knights, not "talented women". In fact, Google comes across as patronizing, chauvinist, and intolerant, and they are going to lose a lot more talented hires over the bad press they are getting.

  • waypasthadenough||

    Good faith? Really? Are you still that effing naive?

    Let met keep it simple for simple minds:

    Google, or rather, 'Alpahbet' head honcho worked to get Hitlery elected.

    Numerous articles online point out that 'silicon valley' votes heavily demonscat.

    They're communists/globalists. They know they're waging war! WHY DON'T YOU??????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welcome to a nation of morons: http://www.freekentucky.com/we.....of-morons/

    A new birth of Liberty, or death: http://www.freekentucky.com/a-.....-or-death/

  • waypasthadenough||

    What does 'We the People' actually mean?

    It means we are responsible...

    We have a representative republic, guaranteed to every state, not a democracy.

    We have a Bill of Rights that acknowledges rights we are born with, not granted or created by any government.

    We vote with the knowledge that voting is the most violent act anyone can participate in because voting is electing someone to hire someone to stick a government gun in our neighbors' faces and force our version of reality on them at the threat of their very lives.

    We stand ready to protect our Liberty and the Liberty of our neighbors, not destroy it, via any version of authoritarianism, of any age or place.

    We are prepared with knowledge and force of arms to make war against and kill if necessary those who would destroy our Bill of Rights whether they represent domestic or foreign enemies.

    We do not lie to ourselves, our families, our friends, our business associates, our descendants, our enemies, about these things and do not EVER tolerate those who would have us do so.

    If the troops were fighting for our freedom they'd all be here.

    The only real reason for the militia: http://www.freekentucky.com/th.....e-militia/

    What is a man, really? http://www.freekentucky.com/what-is-a-man-really/

  • waypasthadenough||

    What does 'We the People' actually mean?

    It means we are responsible...

    We have a representative republic, guaranteed to every state, not a democracy.

    We have a Bill of Rights that acknowledges rights we are born with, not granted or created by any government.

    We vote with the knowledge that voting is the most violent act anyone can participate in because voting is electing someone to hire someone to stick a government gun in our neighbors' faces and force our version of reality on them at the threat of their very lives.

    We stand ready to protect our Liberty and the Liberty of our neighbors, not destroy it, via any version of authoritarianism, of any age or place.

    We are prepared with knowledge and force of arms to make war against and kill if necessary those who would destroy our Bill of Rights whether they represent domestic or foreign enemies.

    We do not lie to ourselves, our families, our friends, our business associates, our descendants, our enemies, about these things and do not EVER tolerate those who would have us do so.

    If the troops were fighting for our freedom they'd all be here.

    The only real reason for the militia: http://www.freekentucky.com/th.....e-militia/

    What is a man, really? http://www.freekentucky.com/what-is-a-man-really/

  • Sevo||

    OK, you use this as an opportunity to spread whatever is buried in those links.
    You have been ID'd as spam.

  • Butler T. Reynolds||

    Not a libertarian blind spot. Google and their employees are free to no longer be cool and start wearing pink p-hats instead. I'm free to think of them as closed-minded prudes and use Bing or Duck Duck Go instead.

  • XM||

    Imagine one day if your boss said "This workforce is too white, so I'll fire 30% of the white male workers and replace them with minorities. And I'll place a 40% cap on all white future applicants. You you you and you, you're fired get out."

    Now let's imagine several million other corporations did this. There will be a LOT of white people out of work. Lots of democrats. These people will gnash their teeth and enlist in Trump's army.

    And that in a nutshell is what diversity will look like. I'm not even kidding, that's exactly what it is. To ensure meaningful diversity in certain fields (retail and customer service are already diverse) you would have to engage in some radical social engineering to prevent the formerly dominant class from "undiversifying" the job market. Tech is like 80% white? You wanna decrease that to about 60%, you really have to go out of your way to not hire people if they're white.

    You have to wonder why progs who run tech and finances haven't done this already. They could have super diverse unionized workforce and give them equally high benefits and pensions. It's a puzzle.

  • Sevo||

    "You have to wonder why progs who run tech and finances haven't done this already. They could have super diverse unionized workforce and give them equally high benefits and pensions. It's a puzzle."

    Shall we presume revealed preferences as opposed to stated preferences. I'd betting that Google's "VP of diversity, integrity, and governance" occupies an office, issues memos and otherwise largely gets ignored.

  • Craig J Bolton||

    Nick's point has to do with J.S. Mill's confused conception of "social freedom." Social freedom isn't freedom. In fact, in may respects, it is the opposite of freedom. It is the freedom to "be oneself" without any resulting free negative responses by other people. Mill, of course, had in mind his own rather notorious (in his day) marriage to Harriet Taylor. But the "right" to espouse the value of collectivist based evaluations by a firm that doesn't value that "right" is equally "social freedom."

    Nick points out that the subject memo contains all sorts of protestations as to the libertarian views of the author and as to his disapproval of sexism, racism or any other sort of collectivist thinking. The problem with these protestations is that they are not logically connected to the remainder of the memo. If the ideal libertarian business manager evaluates each employee or potential employee according to their demonstrable traits, then the averages of the various groups to which the employee or potential employee belongs are entirely irrelevant. To contend that these averages aren't irrelevant is to: (1) reinforce the very collectivist thinking that Nick would otherwise denounce as "political correctness" or "quota thinking," and (2) to maintain that the individualist core of libertarianism is only a slogan that we spout when confronted with uncomfortable evidence that we are, in fact, sexist, racist, etc. - just as does the author of this memo.

  • Sevo||

    "To contend that these averages aren't irrelevant is to: (1) reinforce the very collectivist thinking that Nick would otherwise denounce as "political correctness" or "quota thinking," and (2) to maintain that the individualist core of libertarianism is only a slogan that we spout when confronted with uncomfortable evidence that we are, in fact, sexist, racist, etc. - just as does the author of this memo."

    Wanna try this minus the dependent clauses and dependent negatives?
    If they are relevant, do they not reinforce...?
    You might have a point but I can't tell.

  • Craig J Bolton||

    I apologize for any vagueness or ambiguity, but would plead that it is probably due to my having to cut out half of my original post due to arbitrary space limitations on these comments.

    What I am saying is simple. Statistical averages regarding groups aren't relevant to individual assessments, unless you are some sort of bureaucrat designing a social machine. You can't both maintain that you are an individualist and that such averages are relevant. Individualists treat individuals as individuals.

    What this memo does is engage in that contradiction. The author protests that he isn't a racist (someone who believes that comparisons of averages between races are the way you judge the capacities or potentialities of individuals) and he isn't a sexist (someone who believes that comparisons of averages between the sexes (the same as for racists). Nick, after making Mill's fallacious argument about "social freedom" then endorses this contradiction.

  • Craig J Bolton||

    Let me just add one additional point that I had to cut out of my initial post - Nick goes on for some time about "employment at will." He correctly recognizes that this legal doctrine allows an employer to discharge an employee for ANY reason not explicitly forbidden by a statute. Hence, if I don't like your laugh I can discharge you. Period. Yet he then reverts to this Millian fallacy about social freedom to contradict what he just said. (Well, you could discharge this employee for authoring this memo but it would be diminishing diversity and freedom if you did so.) This argument is particularly nonsensical since we aren't talking about society at large but a particular context within a society where an employee has agreed BY CONTRACT to limit his own freedom. In this context the ONLY answer to the command "jump," is "how high, sir?"

  • MaryCanary||

    Dear Reason Eds,
    Please list out and publish Approved Leftist POVs so readers can stay out of trouble with universities, employers and millennial relatives. I need your quidelines to remain within p.c. guidelines.

  • Free Oregon||

    Without government subsidies, contracts and regulations creating and maintaining monopolies there would be far fewer large corporations able to exercise disproportionate power. Often these entities rely on government force and threats of violence to maintain their power.

  • BambiB||

    >> Critics fear that at-will employment will result in chronic job instability, but no firm thrives over time by firing its workers on a regular basis and without good reasons

    I used to think that. But Amazon.com is unquestionably thriving and their hiring process is a revolving door. By the sixth month I'd worked there, I was above the 50th percentile in seniority! Yes, the company was expanding, but churn - the daily firing or departure of employees, was so common no one was even surprised when it happened.

    It was generally accepted that when your time came, you would "never even hear the whistle of the axe before it landed."

    Amazon.com was also the first place where I encountered a concerted effort to circumvent visa laws - to AVOID hiring an American for a position, to skirt the legal requirements. As a manager, I received a visit from a specialist who spent an hour instructing me on how to AVOID interviewing Americans for an open job. At the time I was uneasy about the deceptions - though they were technically legal. The more I think about it now, the more I've become disgusted by the Amazon.com playbook to cheat America.

  • Mark22||

    The Google Memo controversy reveals the limitations of such narrow or "thin" libertarianism. Political correctness—which is both the enforcement of an orthodox set of beliefs and the legitimization of any criticism of those beliefs—is an attitude that is hardly limited only to state capitols, state agencies, and state universities. It exists everywhere in our lives and should be battled wherever we encounter it since it undermines free-thinking and free expression, the very hallmarks of a libertarian society.

    Google can't "enforce an orthodox set of beliefs", they can't "enforce" anything. They can hire and fire, that's all. And hiring/firing doesn't "undermine free-thinking" or "free expression".


    Furthermore, the ability of private individuals and private associations to ostracize people for their speech and beliefs is at the heart of libertarianism: libertarianism is about replacing state imposed rules by privately imposed rules; libertarianism isn't about "the state ensures that anything goes".


    Seriously, Gillespie if this article reflects your beliefs, you are not even remotely close to being a libertarian..

  • MarkLastname||

    I think it's fair to argue that google would be wrong or unfair to try to enforce rigid ideological conformity within their workplace without arguing that it should be legal; couching it in terms of libertarian politics is admittedly a bit confused, as freedom in that context means specifically freedom from coercion.

    I think Nick is trying to make this more political than making it about Google just being a giant cunt.

    I think there is, incidentally, a political angle to cover, but that angle would be workplace regulations, anti-discrimination laws, and the selective enforcement thereof. Since Google is under investigation already for not hiring enough women, it's definitely relevant that regulatory pressure likely incentivizes google to err on the side of discriminating against certain people (by race, gender, or opinion) in order to comply with the way bureaucrats have chosen to enforce the rules.

    This, I think, does make it a political issue. If the government is effectively paying companies to discriminate in favor of certain groups (and therefore against other groups) and/or punishing them for not discriminating in favor of certain groups, that's not just a matter of personal distaste for google's firing practices.

  • Mark22||

    I think Nick is trying to make this more political than making it about Google just being a giant cunt.

    Well, anybody failing to make a sharp distinction between morality and politics cannot be a libertarian; not even libertarianish. A libertarian would acknowledge that it is ultimately up to Google's owners to make the decision whether its anti-male, anti-white biases are moral or immoral, beneficial or harmful, justified or arbitrary, and let the market work out whether they were right or wrong.

    Since Google is under investigation already ... This, I think, does make it a political issue.

    But that would make Google the victim of government coercion, and Gillespie should direct his anger at the government. However, I think Google would be acting like this without government coercion: the people who run the company and work at the company really believe in this crap.

    (And, by the way, you have been blacklisted because you used the "c" word!)

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    They can hire and fire, that's all. And hiring/firing doesn't "undermine free-thinking" or "free expression".

    Yeah, but in this case it went completely beyond such anodyne definitions. This is a colossal corporate tech company with a global reach that's dedicated to hoovering up as much of our personal information as it can. And it was so put out by a single memo that it initiated a witch hunt for the offending employee, fired him, and then ensued a bunch of struggle sessions for the remaining employees.

    If this was a government, we'd be comparing this shit to Maoism and the Cultural Revolution--and Google's actions here show that they intend to act as a quasi-government entity.

    It's dangerous to let companies like Google frame the argument as a simple "free speech" issue, because then they can go on to say that it's only a big deal if the government is doing these things, not a company--so when that company begins acting like a virtual NSA, you're left without any intellectual grounding to oppose them. "It's not a problem when a private company takes your data, that's to prevent government abuse!!"

    Break Google (and Amazon, and Facebook, and ABC/Disney) up, and salt the earth.

  • Flinch||

    Always like listening to Penn, as [agree or disagree] he is a thinking man who usually arrives at the right questions.
    Speaking of questions I have my own having read the allegedly controversial memo from a google employee. Are so called "social justice warriors" ruining America [and Google]? The adjunct to that question is this: what kind of assholes think its cool to put an adjective in front of justice? If we subscribe to equal application of the law, it is not well considered to put any type of qualifier in front - that is a means to arrive at special rights or punishments others do not have access to, and its really anti-American when you get to the nub of it. I think back to the Tennesee workers strike and their plea of "I am a man", and I notice there weren't any qualifiers in front of that - those were people you could respect. It takes a special kind of stupid to be a "[fill in the blank] justice warrior" - kick them out of your boardrooms, off your committees or any place with enough power to spread the infection as it kills common sense. That's where google went wrong: it's the alleged "diversity" team that needed to be let go - they've barbecued millions and produce nothing but wheel spinning and angst, as it solved zero customer problems nor did it expand their business. The reason for the employees firing was the existence of the diversity team itself - his screed would never have been written but for their disservice.

  • Arn0||

    "Even self-described Marxists such as Princeton philosopher Peter Singer..."

    Singer is not really a typical marxist.

    Singer : "Capitalism is very far from a perfect system, but so far we have yet to find anything that clearly does a better job of meeting human needs than a regulated capitalist economy coupled with a welfare and health care system that meets the basic needs of those who do not thrive in the capitalist economy."

  • Mark22||

    You're right: Singer is actually a typical fascist.

  • Praveen R.||

    Both sides of the spectrum have shown their hypocrisy with freedom of expression. If I am a google manager, I would not fire this guy. I would however, put him on probation for inappropriate use of intranet resources. Maybe. It would really depend on what I might have let go in the past with other employees and being a techie, I know we say a lot of shit. However, why arent some of these right wingers outraged by this the same people so quick to defend the NFL in pretty much blackballing Colin Kaepernick? His play dictates that he at least deserves to play as a backup somewhere even if he is in denial.

  • Mark22||

    I would however, put him on probation for inappropriate use of intranet resources.

    The company encourages such use of intranet resources; the forum he was posting to was specifically set up for this purpose.

    If I am a google manager, I would not fire this guy.

    If you were a Google manager, you wouldn't have much of a choice; a sizable rabid minority would force you to do this, and if you refused, they would fire you right along with Damore, all the way up to the CEO.

  • Red Rocks Baiting n Inciting||

    His play dictates that he at least deserves to play as a backup somewhere even if he is in denial.

    No NFL owner is going to willingly deal with the drama associated with Kaepernick because of the very fact that he's a backup talent at best. Like I've said before, LeBron is one of the biggest SJW ninnies in sports, but he gets a pass because he's the best basketball player on the planet. If Kaepernick was as good as Tom Brady, he'd still be employed.

  • Joanne Marinelli||

    On a superficial level, Nick is a better at clarity than poor Damore. I confess I only skimmed the full memo on Gizmodo, quickly bored, but it raises more questions still. I have cerebral palsy, and an extremely mercurial temper due to years of trauma, and through 2005, I nearly made it as an *established* media figure. No more, and though I have given him a break while I learn Reason's culture, I have hit your own Brian Doherty with some high risk pitches, have few sustainable personal relationships, and the scorch of my poverty, after being knifed in the back by former disabled colleagues, tests local libertarian tolerance when I show up at the bar. If I give up, the state will torture me to death, and that isn't hyperbole. I have seen, lived it, but I am 55, and SSRIs do not mesh well with my cerebral lesions. I could never work for Google and can barely navigate Facebook, and I am just "this shy" of a tragedy which didn't have to happen.

    I am, in other words, the bleeding heart of cultural appropriation who had to trample on the backs of severely ill and broken people to be in the middle class. Female, non linear thinker, Damore didn't offend me, and Google may have fired him, but they will not help me re-monetize my blog, and I badly need the ad clicks and don't know how to navigate the problem.

  • Voxpo||

    "The Google Memo controversy reveals the limitations of such narrow or 'thin' libertarianism."

    Right. "Thin libertarianism," or what I'd call "libertarianism," is *limited*. That, I thought, was the main point of it. It is not an all-inclusive philosophy of life. It is a political philosophy. As long as you're for vanishingly small government, you're a libertarian. You can believe in natural rights or be a consequentialist. You can be a fundamentalist Christian or born-again atheist. You can be a teetotaling carnivorous musician or a drunk vegan coder. Once you start draping mandatory non-political hides onto this skin-and-bones political animal of ours, you're bulking it up into just another package-deal worldview like progressivism or conservatism. That's giving up on disarming cultural conflict--a big mistake, in my view.

  • CapitalistRoader||

    "Building an open, inclusive environment is core to who we are, and the right thing to do. 'Nuff said."

    "'Nuff said" means "because shut up".

  • ||

    Seen on a pickup truck in Georgia today:

    I'm offended
    that you're
    offended by me
    taking offense
    of your offensive
    offensiveness!

    Pretty much nails it.

  • TBlakely||

    Back in the 50s and 60s a lot of people in elite companies and organizations thought that hiring blacks would be too disruptive and result in a hostile work environment.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    Relax Nick, you can still be a libertarian and think that Google's rash decision to fire Damore was incredibly stupid and unfair. Just because a company has the right to do something doesn't mean we can't be up in arms about it.

    The irony of this situation is how google has coopted the SJW movement by incorporating their positions and tactics, thus making allies of the very people who would normally be raising hell over one of the largest conglomerates in the world. This is all strategy for them.

    So yeah, google has the right to do this but I'm rooting against them.

  • Reverendcaptain||

    Relax Nick, you can still be a libertarian and think that Google's rash decision to fire Damore was incredibly stupid and unfair. Just because a company has the right to do something doesn't mean we can't be up in arms about it.

    The irony of this situation is how google has coopted the SJW movement by incorporating their positions and tactics, thus making allies of the very people who would normally be raising hell over one of the largest conglomerates in the world. This is all strategy for them.

    So yeah, google has the right to do this but I'm rooting against them.

  • AOL support||

    AOL customer support provides service for us .we are there for you for solving your any query.we are available 24 hours. AOL Support

  • Craig J Bolton||

    Since no one here is paying any attention to what anyone else is saying, this is wasted effort. But as the day is just started, perhaps a little wasted effort is not that significant.

    Another problem with Nick's position (in addition to the several I mentioned above) is that, like Mill, he is just ranting against what he perceives to be the prejudices of the day. We must think independently (he and Mill tell us), and that implies that the prejudices of the day are probably wrong. Curiously, however, the particular prejudices of THIS day are adamantly opposed to much longer standing and pervasive prejudices. So you have the odd result that Nick must argue that the traditional and historically pervasive prejudices should not be opposed because such opposition is the basis of current prejudices. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd much rather NOT be a free thinker about whether women are really bad employees and Blacks are really inferior in every field other than sports. Even if there was some way to "prove" those logically defective generalizations, they would be a bad basis on which to build a polite and civilized society.

  • Sijo Soorya||

    Nice to know more about Libertarianism. I found the video very helpful. Thank you for writing.
    Do visit Elcometer UAE

  • mysmartstuffs||

    I agree that the PC crowd goes way too far at times. The problem is that if you do away with it entirely, your going to end up with, well, the alt-right. PC exists for a reason.
    My recent post: SociViral Review

  • mysmartstuffs||

    Is there a version of the memo available that doesn't start by calling it an "Anti-Diversity Screed"?
    My recent post: Refuelr Review
    My recent post: Freedom in Forgiveness PLR Review

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online