Posted on | April 9, 2015 | 133 Comments
So says a Silicon Valley CEO, describing the liberal echo chamber inside the tech industry that frigthens Republicans into silence:
One startup CEO who has worked in Silicon Valley for more than a decade says that while it’s popular to talk politics in the workplace, the underlying assumption is that everyone has similar views.
The CEO, who generally votes Republican and donates to GOP candidates—he spoke on background to conceal his right-leaning views—said that in 2012, “you wouldn’t want to say you’re voting for Romney in the election.” At the same time, openly expressing one’s support for Obama was “incredibly common.”
His opposition to raising the minimum wage is just one area where he diverges with most of his colleagues. “If you say something like, ‘We need a higher minimum wage,’ you don’t get critiqued,” he said. But he would never reveal his more conservative outlook on the matter.
“They can’t fathom that somebody disagrees with them,” he said. “And I disagree with them. So I’m not going to open up that box.” . . .
You can read the whole thing. How do these bubbles develop? It’s the universities, stupid. Go back and read William F. Buckley Jr.’s God and Man at Yale. In 1951, Buckley described the way liberalism had become an unquestioned belief system inside elite academia. Once liberalism had attained hegemonic authority on university campuses, its intellectual prestige was assured. If it is “smart” to believe in, say, Keynesian economics, then impressionable young people who want to seem smart will parrot the Keynesian orthodoxies. Bad ideas that become fashionable in academia are thus diffused into the larger society, as all the smart young people are herded off to college and indoctrinated in these ideas, before entering careers with other college-educated people.
“In the hands of a skillful indoctrinator, the average student not only thinks what the indoctrinator wants him to think . . . but is altogether positive that he has arrived at his position by independent intellectual exertion. This man is outraged by the suggestion that he is the flesh-and-blood tribute to the success of his indoctrinators.”
– William F. Buckley Jr., Up From Liberalism (1959)
What happens is that people who never encounter doubt develop a fanatical certainty in their beliefs, and confuse these mere opinions with moral virtue. Consider again the question of Keynesian economics. I am not a government official and thus have neither influence over nor responsibility for our national economic policy. So my opinions about economics — I happen to be a devotee of the Austrian School — are nothing more than opinions. While I can urge others to read Mises and Hayek, and support politicians whose positions are more consonant with these views, it’s not as if doing this makes me better that other people. One sometimes encounters people who strike a “More Libertarian Than Thou” posture, but advocates of economic freedom tend to be tolerant people generally. By contrast, the advocates of interventionism (Keynesians, Marxists and Welfare State socialists) are invariably bullies possessed by a fanatical certainty in their own moral superiority. They expect to be admired and praised for their liberal zealotry, and are insulted if you fail to genuflect in their presence.
Liberalism is to academia what Islam is to Iran. If your worldview is decisively formed within the insular climate of an elite university, the equation “liberal = smart” is a formula you can never permit yourself to doubt, unless you are willing to admit that you have been hustled, scammed and bamboozled. A fellow with a diploma from Harvard or Stanford cannot confront the possibility that he has been swindled like an ignorant hick playing a carnival game at the country fair. This would inflict an irreparable injury to his self-esteem. He therefore seeks to avoid encounters with people who do not share his child-like faith in the Gospel of Liberalism. Thus, in any environment where liberals obtain power, they use that power to exclude and silence dissent. This is how liberals gained hegemony in our colleges and universities, in journalism and the entertainment industry, and how in the Obama Age they seek to institutionalize a Permanent Liberal Regime in government.