Why ‘Smiley-Faced Fascism’ is Bad for Google (or Anyone)

Google’s firing of engineer James Damore for the thought crime of “advancing harmful gender stereotypes” was a dreadful piece of smiley-faced fascism. Damore, as you’ve probably heard, had written an in-house memo protesting Google’s political “monoculture” that excludes conservative thought. And, while supporting diversity, he pointed out that differences between men and women may account in part for their different career choices and results. Google CEO Sundar Pichai sent a note to employees saying that “we strongly support the right of Googlers to express themselves,” but I guess that means something different in the original German since he then canned the Googler in question for exactly that.

Exactly right.

We live in the age of “smiley-faced” fascism. I define that as nastiness, intolerance and small-mindedness branded and portrayed as their exact opposites.

Smiley-faced fascism is also small. Small minds cannot do great things. Neither can small companies. Whatever great minds or great thinking went into creating a company like Google, no organization can remain that way by engaging in intolerance on the level displayed by the firing of a staff member who made a perfectly reasonable observation about men, women and technology.

Fascism isn’t just a political ideology. It refers to an attitude or state-of-mind. It’s a mindset totally at odds with reason, independent thought, intellectual development and critical thinking. All of these are necessary elements for self-esteem, competence and good will toward others. Progressive fascism is a totalitarian psychology pretending to be just the opposite. It’s a complete contradiction. “If you agree with me, then you’re a like-minded reasonable, thoughtful, sensitive soul. If you do not agree with me … well, you’re out of here.”

A company has a right to hire or fire whom it pleases, at least in a fully free country (which America is not). Of course, a progressive company like Google would never tolerate any company firing someone for reasons other than ones Google approves of. If Google learned of another company firing someone because of gender, race, religion or sexual orientation, it would be the first to demand lawsuits if not criminal prosecution. At the same time, when Google fires someone for failing to be progressive or liberal-minded enough on some issue entirely unrelated to the job, it’s “off with your head”.

How good, healthy and ultimately economic is it for a company like Google only to hire people who share their narrow, uncompromising and increasingly puritanical political-social views? What kind of company will they—and others like it—become under the yoke of unflinchingly enforced political correctness?

Progressives out there, at Google or anywhere: Stop kidding yourselves. You are not liberal. You are not tolerant. You speak in soft tones about liberal-minded things like peace, tolerance and sensitivity. Yet when it comes time to hear out even one person with one opinion somewhat different from your own, you will silence them.

Firing such persons from your company is your right, even if you will not permit this same right for others who fire for different reasons you consider “discriminatory” and therefore wrong. But you cannot get away with pretending to be what you’re not. And the rest of us are no longer buying it, assuming we ever did.

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