When liberals become tyrannical


Have supposed liberals become the most illiberal of all?

The latest fracas happened at Google. An employee published a note arguing that women and men had different interests and capabilities and that this may account for some of the differences seen in male/female employment in tech companies. The employee has been dismissed.

Sundar Pichai, Google’s Chief Executive, opined that ‘weeding out discrimination was more important that taking a permissive approach to free speech.’ Change ‘discrimination’ to ‘political subversion’ and those words could have come out of the mouths of Presidents Erdogan, Putin or Maduro.

There is much in the memo that one can disagree with. Some of it seems plain stupid (just my opinion). But the suppression of freedom of expression and censorship through enforced political correctness is becoming a hallmark of many who still pretend to be liberals. This is also becoming the norm at academic institutions where speakers with views that do not fit with certain political views are now routinely barred from speaking.

The liberal mantra used to be that while I disagree with what you have to say, I will defend to the death your right to say it. That, it seems, is now a long dead perspective.

Not to mention the hypocrisy and double standards. Under the umbrella of free speech, liberals defended the publication of cartoons that offended some Muslims. But publish anything that might offend or disagree with their own views and perspectives and there is hell to pay. Even political parties that claim to be liberal now suffocate the expression of alternative views.

Maybe liberalism is dead after all and we are headed towards pseudo-liberal authoritarianism with its own thought police and its own intolerance of anyone or anything that might have a different viewpoint.

I know that it’s a futile gesture. But as from today, I have changed my default search engine from Google to Bing.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.


    • Joe Zammit-Lucia says

      Private companies can, of course, set whatever rules they like. But one can’t pretend to be a company with liberal values and then not accept free speech. One or the other. Decide which it is to be.

      Large companies like Google also have an impact on our overall culture. When they pretend to support liberal values like encouraging diversity and then stifle free speech it supports a culture that makes liberalism look hypocritical. It’s cafeteria liberalism – we co-opt what we like and reject what we don’t and still pretend to call ourselves liberal.

      • Paul Griffiths says

        This seems to beg the question. If the liberal notion of protecting free speech applies only to state actors, then it makes no sense to expect it of private companies.

  1. nigel hunter says

    I have noticed that the word Liberal is bandied about left right and centre. It is as if it is the latest trendy word.People male and female do have different abilities and interests it is part of what makes us (another trendy word) diverse.Got more to say but have to go life gets in the way!!

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