Regarding what happened at Mozilla, I yield the floor to Ben Shapiro who perfectly articulates the problem with thought-crimes

Firefox logoBen Shapiro has published a post that perfectly articulates everything I want to say about the Mozilla thought-crime purge.  I therefore hope that Ben will forgive me for quoting him at some length.  After detailing the way in which Brendan Eich’s outing and subsequent destruction began with OKCupid, and then spilled over to Mozilla, Shapiro says:

Was OKCupid’s action legal? Sure.

Was Mozilla’s action in forcing his resignation legal? Of course.

Were both of them not only wrong, but morally disgusting?

Absolutely.

This is not about the issue of same-sex marriage. I have personally taken the position that the government should get completely out of the business of marriage. If two men or women want to live together and get married through any private institution of their choosing, I’m fine with that; I hold the same position with regard to one man and one woman. And TruthRevolt is obviously not attempting to crack down on pro-same-sex marriage companies – Google is pro-same-sex marriage, and yet we recommend them as an alternative browser to Firefox.

This issue is far larger than the small and parochial same-sex marriage issue. It is about the chilling of political freedom by small sects of motivated political players. It is the same issue as A&E’s suspension of Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson over his comments paraphrasing the Book of Corinthians. It is the issue of McCarthyistic blacklisting and voter intimidation and ultimately, the issue of utilizing power to silence dissent. In America, we typically prize freedom of speech. And while OKCupid and company may be exercising their market power in fully legal fashion, they’re certainly advocates for quashing freedom of speech.

Imagine a world in which all gay people in America were at risk of firing thanks to religious bigots mobilizing against their perceived sins. Imagine a world in which market power wasn’t just utilized to get gay people fired, but government became a tool of the anti-gay mob. Would that be wrong? Now switch the parties. That’s reality.

[snip]

This is a fight for freedom, whether or not you agree with Eich’s political perspective. Privately-held political beliefs are no excuse for wheeling out the stocks and demanding public canings. To stop such activity, we will have to fight fire with fire.

We are not powerless in this fight. TruthRevolt will not stand idly by. Neither should you.

Sign our petition, and uninstall Firefox today.

By way of comparison and contrast, let me introduce you to the New York Times‘ take on the subject, which is that, because Mozilla wants to market itself far and wide, its best business tactic is to engage in blacklisting:

Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization. Mozilla’s primary mission isn’t to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope ofpromoting “the development of the Internet as a public resource.”

As such, Mozilla operates according to a different calculus from most of the rest of corporate America.

Like all software companies, Mozilla competes in two markets. First, obviously, it wants people to use its products instead of its rivals’ stuff. But its second market is arguably more challenging — the tight labor pool of engineers, designers, and other tech workers who make software.

When you consider the importance of that market, Mr. Eich’s position on gay marriage wasn’t some outré personal stance unrelated to his job; it was a potentially hazardous bit of negative branding in the labor pool, one that was making life difficult for current employees and plausibly reducing Mozilla’s draw to prospective workers.

The post expands on that topic, but it boils down to this:  Because Mozilla employees are activists, they cannot be expected to cope in an environment that tolerates diversity of thought.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Eidolon

    Let me ask you, since if I remember correctly you’re either pro-gay marriage or at least not really against it; maybe you know. It’s not really possible to ask rational questions of this kind of most gay marriage proponents.
     
    Nearly all societies at nearly all times in history have been against homosexuality, with punishments ranging from death, in a wide variety of places and times from the Old Testament through today, to ostracism. What is supposed to have changed in the last ten years which upends this moral consensus? (Consensus is good, right? We’re supposed to believe in things based on consensus?)
     
    Is it that it’s mean to tell people they can’t do something they feel compelled to do or want to do? We do that all the time in a hundred different ways. I guess there’s the modern idea that if it’s not directly hurting other people, it should be allowed; but then Eich’s views weren’t hurting anyone, so it can’t be that.
     
    If views are based on anything, they should require evidence or some sort of changed situation to be changed, should they not? Is it really just that the proponents of gay marriage have no moral foundation for any of their beliefs, and are distressed to discover that not everyone immediately goes wherever the wind is blowing like they do? What exactly is supposed to have occurred which should have changed e.g. my mind, and which I am immoral for not having responded to, other than that popular culture and elite opinion have decided that they’re in favor of gay marriage?

    • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

      The later Romans and the Greeks didn’t punish homosexual activities. Neither did Hitler for his personal guard.
       
      All of history, yours, is missing quite a large chunk of geo time there.

      • Eidolon

        Well, I said nearly. And I’m pretty sure those societies were at least nominally against it, whether they particularly enforced anything against it or not. As far as I can tell they went about as far as “let’s not actively punish this, it’s not that big a deal,” which is still being against it.

        • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

          I don’t think Nero and Caligula having homosexual orgy parties counts as just ignoring it. Homosexuality for the Greeks was considered a purer and more equal love, than love between man and woman, given that many women weren’t considered the intellectual or physical equals of the educated warrior philosophers.
           
          All the Christian condemnation of homosexuality came from the Roman examples. That’s also including crucifixion. 
           
          So most of the Western civilization’s dislike for homosexuality came from an era when homosexuality was considered a virtue or a luxury top political leaders could afford. This was paired with sin and prostitution, since Rome had slaves and many of them were slaves bought for sex, male and female, for Rome’s upper class. This got worse over time since Romans lost their edge and their ability to sacrifice blood for noble goals, sort of like the US.

          • Ron19

            All the Christian condemnation of homosexuality came from the Roman examples. That’s also including crucifixion. 
             
            Actually, the Christian condemnation of homosexuality, in writing, came from the very first book of the Bible.
             

          • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

            Old Testament is NOT about Christianity. In fact, Christianity or the advent of Jesus Christ was all about modifying the Old Testament in ways the Old Testament probably never knew about.

          • Ron19

            Old Testament is NOT about Christianity. In fact, Christianity or the advent of Jesus Christ was all about modifying the Old Testament in ways the Old Testament probably never knew about.

            In the Christian Bible, Luke 16, v 17 – It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for the smallest part of a letter of the law to become invalid.

            Luke 24 v 25, 27 – And he said to them, “Oh how foolish you are!  How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! . .   .  ”  Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them what referred to him in all the scriptures.

            John 4 v 45 to 47 – Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who will accuse you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.  For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?
             

          • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

            The Pope came into power in Rome after the fall of Roman power to Atilla. That’s all you need to know about that, since the Pope is your source of authority.
             
             

          • Ron19

            That’s all you need to know about that, since the Pope is your source of authority.

            My authority is the Roman Catholic Church, founded by God and guided by God the Holy Spirit. 

          • Mike Devx

            This is the first I’ve heard of Nero and Caligula engaging in “homosexual orgies” or supporting them within their government.  As bad as those two may be.
             
            I’ve always been of the impression that the Romans widely disapproved of homosexuality but allowed it, including the very odd (to me) practice of older men pursuing and selecting willing teenage boys for sexual relationships.  I think the phrase “ignoring it” is probably apt.   I wouldn’t equate the Romans and the Greeks of those days; in those ancient times, the Greeks were much more accommodating and approving.

    • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

      I wasn’t ignoring you, eidolon.  I was taking a break from the internet and thinking about your question.  I’ve always had a somewhat conflicted take on gays.  Being a single woman in a gay city wasn’t fun.  Tons of men, too few boyfriends.  Being a rather traditional woman in a gay city wasn’t fun.  Too many orgies, too few traditional heterosexual relationships.  But….

      Growing up in the nation’s premier gay city also means that I had many dear friends who were gay.  I learned that their ideas of long-term relationships, fidelity, and loyalty were very different from my old-fashioned, Judeo-Christian views, but they were still real.  I knew a few straights with Open Marriages (leading to the inevitable “why bother to get married?” question), but all my gay friends were in Open relationships.  To them, the emotional part of a marriage was separate from the sexual part.  The former was for life; the latter was for the next minutes.

      All of which is a wandering way of saying that, while I don’t understand the relationships, they are real.  My main concern about gay marriage is the coming, inevitable constitutional class as the made-up right of gay marriage clashes head-on with the real First Amendment right to religious freedom.  They said it would never happen, but it’s already happened in England, which has no constitution, and it’s happening in America, with the abortion v. First Amendment fight before the Supreme Court.

      As for the speed with which views have changed, fascism moves fast.  And what’s going on here isn’t about newly opened minds, it’s about people too cowed to dissent.  That’s a disturbing trend that is manifesting itself with the gay marriage non-debate, but that is a much larger societal problem than gay marriage (or civil unions) will ever be.

      And yes, that was one of my more wandering, discursive responses to your excellent query, a query so good I’m not quite sure how to answer it intelligently.

  • jj

    “In America we typically prize freedom of speech.”  A nice concept, and a proposition liable to face continued testing.  It’s also happy-face baloney.  I’d amend it to: “in America we typically say we prize freedom of speech.  We really don’t much more than anybody else.  In practice it has always been a sometime thing, right from the start.  Those of our neighbors who opined that maybe it would be okay to stay a part of England were lynched in numbers far greater than those to which most history books ever have or will admit.”  (That’s a little long for a slogan, your version is much pithier.)
     
    Societal… what?  Ambitions?  Goals?  Intentions?  Evolution?  Society’s whichever-term-you-like has pretty much always collided with somebody’s right to think freely, act freely, and speak freely.  The events of 1860-1865 should have demonstrated that for all time.  I had never heard of Mr. Eich before yesterday, which was fine with me.  But now he serves as the latest example – in a long line of examples, beginning with those loyal to George, those Texans who thought Mexico had a better claim to Texas than anybody else,  continuing through the entire confederacy, on up to the Americans of Japanese descent  – of someone opining in opposition to societal… whichever-term-you-like.  Free speech?  You must be kidding.  It’s national and historical routine for any bunch that can swing some weight to drop it on those who disagree with them out loud.  The GL-BLT-AMFM-whatever-the- hell-they-are lobby are merely the most recent exemplars, but they are the most recent of a long, long line which has more than once included the government.

  • Matt_SE

    I was using Firefox…no longer. But I can’t bring myself to use any Google product, as they are well-known data miners, and I suspect have had a very close relationship with the NSA, government in general and the Obama administration in particular.
    Where do you think the Obama administration got the technical expertise to make their infamous voter turn-out list?

  • johnfoster42

    Agreed and Agreed. But Shapiro’s “Book of Corinthians” cracks me up.

  • Mike Devx

    There’s more at the NYT article than just “activists cannot be expected to cope with free speech”.
     
    What you find, when you read that NYT article, and many others, is that Brandon Eich could have survived if he had chosen to do exactly one thing: RECANT!
     
    Many of his opponents are expressing dismay over his decision to resign. “We never wanted it to go this far”, they lament.  “All we wanted was for him to recant and apologize.”
     
    These people somehow continue to see themselves as oh-so-very-tolerant, as oh-so-very-enlightened.  Even while forcing this famed technologist out of the company for personal beliefs that have nothing to do with the job, they claim to celebrate inclusiveness and diversity of thought.  What UTTER hypocrites.  It would be laughable, were it not so loathsome.
     

  • Mike Devx

    While I am none too happy with Google’s data mining and lack of privacy concern, I signed Ben Shapiro’s petition and I will be switching from the Mozilla Firefox browser to the Google Chrome browser this weekend.
     
    I’ve installed it before on other computers.  It’s VERY easy.  Just go here and download it:
    https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/browser/
     

  • Charles Martel

    I uninstalled Firefox this morning and sent a letter to Mozilla telling them that I don’t appreciate people being persecuted for holding unpopular beliefs. I was going to ask them how they’d feel if the shoe were on the other foot, but I remembered something I learned the hard way about the left: Its compassion and empathy are feigned. Casting pearls before swine is no longer my thing, so I didn’t ask.