OkStupid: The Progressive Conservatives' Leftist Attack on Morality and Freedom
April 7, 2014 by Paul McKeever
The freedom to speak ones mind without being fined or imprisoned does not imply the freedom to speak ones mind without being shunned, publicly humiliated, or condemned. So long as the misguided advocates of alleged “free speech” make that false inference, they will serve only as enemies of morality and freedom. And, for that, they must be shunned, publicly humiliated, and condemned…as follows.
Mozilla Firefox is an Internet web browser. Until a few days ago, Brendan Eich was the new CEO of Mozilla. After becoming CEO a few weeks ago, it was discovered that he had contributed $1000 to a 2008 California ballot initiative against the recognition of marriages between same-sex couples. Public condemnation was wide and swift. As a result he has resigned as CEO.
Derek Hunter styles himself a Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist. In his recent column titled OkFascist, he writes:
The website OkCupid posted a letter that appeared only when users accessed the site using Firefox as its browser that said, “Mozilla’s new CEO, Brendan Eich, is an opponent of equal rights for gay couples. We would therefore prefer that our users not use Mozilla software to access OkCupid… it concludes, “OkCupid is for creating love. Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”
It reads pretty much the same in its original German.
Hunter’s quip about “the original German” is an unoriginal way of implying that statements like that made on the OkCupid website are like those that appeared in Adolph Hitler’s book, “Mein Kampf”. In other words, Hunter is implying that one is a Nazi if one publicly discourages using a product made by an organization that is led by a person who supports a given position on a political issue. Lest there be any doubt about it, Hunter continues:
The Eich case was summed up perfectly by Andrew Sullivan when he wrote, “Will he now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”
Let the reader take note of the key phrase: “tolerant and diverse society”.
Decent human beings have limits – and the idea of people being targeted and destroyed because they disagree with those in power is abhorrent. Unfortunately, none of those decent human beings seem to be working for OkCupid…
Hunter clouds his condemnation of OkCupid with a mention that the federal government of the USA violated privacy laws by releasing to the public the fact that Eich had made a contribution to an anti same-sex marriage campaign. He cites with approval a privacy-related decision by the U.S. Supreme Court – NAACP v. Alabama – saying the decision “was important because it protected people from being targeted because of their views and allowed them to work for their objectives anonymously if they wished.”
However, by condemning the conduct of the non-governmental website OkCupid, Hunter makes it clear that his reference to government leaking private information about Eich’s $1000 contribution is a red herring. By condemning a private organization, his essential point is laid bare: he thinks that one should be shielded from the social and economic consequences of holding or expressing ones beliefs, and from pursuing ones associated objectives, no matter what those beliefs and objectives are.
To condemn a view, or to condemn a person for pursuing an objective, is – to Hunter – “fascism” (or, as he implies, Naziism). In other words, Hunter is implying that to express moral condemnation, or to call for it, is to be a Nazi.
Notice the hypocrisy of it all. On one hand, Hunter is condemning the folks at OkCupid by calling them fascists or Nazis. On the other hand, Hunter is stating that moral condemnation – in the form of public condemnation, humiliation or shunning – makes one a Nazi.
Yes, progressives typically have no qualms about banning speech, not only with criminal code provisions for making Internet postings that might cause some individuals to be hated, but also with private sector university speech codes and workplace policy manuals. Hunter is indisputably right about that. Yet, in condemning OkCupid for discouraging the use of Firefox, he is condemning free speech itself, just like the leftist progressives about whom he whines.
And so we have the so-called “progressive left” meeting some self-styled “conservatives” in their mutual embrace of moral subjectivism and equivalency. Both condemn the proponents of the views they dislike, or the opponents of the views they champion. The difference between them: the leftists are being honest. Whereas the leftist progressives do not pretend to be champions of free speech – indeed, one can often hear a leftist progressive condemn the very concept – some conservatives somehow believe that they are championing free speech when they condemn folks (like OkCupid) for calling on others to shun, humiliate, condemn, or boycott the products associated with people who express certain views (not uncommonly, views rooted in Christian beliefs).
There is a name for such self-styled conservatives: progressives. Or, perhaps to be more precise: progressive conservatives.
Observe that Mr. Hunter condemns OkCupid’s conduct on the basis that it is contrary to a “tolerant and free society”. The folks who work for OkCupid are not “decent human beings”, he says, because they condemned Eich for his views. They are, he says and implies, fascists and Nazis. There we have it: the full flower of the progressive conservative attack against moral judgment. To classify as better or worse – to praise or to condemn – is to be a “fascist” or a Nazi…unless you are condemning the recognition of gay marriage, apparently. This, of course, implies that the very notion of “better” or “good” is meaningless to both types of progressive. Whether one is in favour of, or opposed to, the recognition of gay marriage has nothing to do with morality, implies Hunter, and everything to do with anonymously building electoral support for ones own whimsical position the issue.
The purpose of defending free speech is not to create a “tolerant and diverse society”. It is to secure a free society. By its very nature, a free society is not a tolerant one. It does not tolerate the taking of a person’s life, liberty, or property without his consent. Accordingly, it does not tolerate communism, socialism, fascism, Naziism, Islamic totalitarianism, or any form of theocracy.
Nor does a free society have a government that assists people to undermine the prevalence of a free society. The government of a free society is, at all times, at war with anyone who – motivated by beliefs of any kind, religious or otherwise – attempts to take a person’s life, liberty, or property without the person’s consent.
Freedom does not imply freedom from criticism, freedom from condemnation, freedom from humiliation, or freedom from the loss of customers. Freedom does not imply that everyone holds his tongue in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity”. Nobody, in a free society, has any obligation to tolerate or accept the views of Mr. Eich, or those of his opponents, on the same-sex marriage issue.
Nor does freedom imply that we hate the sin but love the sinner. In a free society, one judges and prepares to be judged; one accepts and anticipates the fact that when one expresses an opinion, or supports a political campaign, one must bear the social and economic consequences for same, short of having ones life, liberty or property taken without ones consent. One is free to say stupid or hateful things, but one is not free from being called stupid or hateful as a result.
Progressive conservatives: take heed. If you oppose the expression of moral condemnation both for a person’s views, and for the person himself – if you oppose OkCupid’s condemnation of Mr. Eich because it was condemnation – you are not pro-freedom. You are not in favour of free speech or a free society, no matter how many times you call someone a fascist for discouraging the spread of a message you think everyone should hear. You are, in fact, a practitioner of the moral subjectivism that is at the heart of the collectivism of the left; the moral agnosticism that turns a blind eye to such things as wealth redistribution. You are not an enemy of progressivism: you are its most witless and valuable asset, and its most ridiculous exemplar.