Joseph Shaw on the Eich affair

If you hadn’t heard, Brendan Eich, CEO of Mozilla, resigned after an uproar about a modest donation he made in support of an anti-gay marriage referendum (which passed!) six years ago in California. The ostensibly-right-wing response to this was as anemic and ineffective as it is to everything else; they objected that liberals were behaving illiberally, exhibiting intolerance, silencing free speech, etc. Libertarian useful idiot Nick Gillespie went so far as to generously qualify his “ambivalent” feelings about Eich’s resignation by adding that it was a clear case of the market responding to consumer signals (presumably he is either ignorant or lying about the fact that these “signals” are deliberately coordinated by the government).

Now, non-liberals accusing liberals of illiberalism for demanding the resignation of a “homophobe” strikes me as being rather like atheists berating Christians for being “un-Christian” on account of their not hugging half-naked gay men in public with sufficient enthusiasm. It’s worse than incorrect, it’s hubristic for the average non-liberal (which, yes, excludes present company) to imagine that he somehow intuits the demands of liberalism better than those who are psychologically and socially conformed to it. Most of them aren’t exactly free thinkers: if liberalism demanded differently of them, they’d do differently. But it doesn’t, so they don’t.

But don’t take my word for it. Listen, instead, to Joseph Shaw, who chimes in with an excellent four-part series (one, two, three, and four) on the futility of non-liberals trying to restrain leftist excesses while operating within the leftist consensus — a futility which arises from the non-liberals’ own failure to fully comprehend the monster they’re dealing with. He also has some useful conclusions: namely, quit acting as if liberalism is the only intellectual game in town.

Go check it out.

8 thoughts on “Joseph Shaw on the Eich affair

  1. Pingback: Joseph Shaw on the Eich affair | Reaction Times

  2. I would state it more simply that, although liberalism supposedly allows for a variety of different beliefs, it actually allows for a variety of different personal preferences while demanding uniformity of belief. Christianity as a personal preference is really no different than outright apostasy.

  3. I suppose I might be guilty of what you are describing here. I posted my remarks on the Eich affair (and the Phil Robertson affair of several months ago) last week under the title “The Illiberality of Liberalism” and even initially mistyped “illiberalism” for “illberality” into the title box, which I was able to correct after posting but is still visible in the url: I think and hope there is a difference between my argument, i.e., that liberalism does not practice the virtue whose name it has filtched and the arrogant presumption to know the implications of their own system better than liberals do themselves.

    • I think it’s a worthwhile point to make that the ultimate meaning of tolerance is liberals tolerating no one but themselves. That this is what liberals themselves have concluded their principle means makes our case much stronger. Our claim is that they correctly interpreted their own principle, and that therefore those who are not doctrinaire Leftists should give this principle no respect.

      • It doesn’t make sense to conclude “Liberalism” a “principle” as opposed to a very primitive desire. “Liberalism” is a primitive desire under euphemistic disguise. “Liberalism” has a physical/material origin. It CANNOT have a spiritual or intellectual origin. All the “spiritual” and “intellectual” creation myths are just after the fact justifications and rationalizations of the radical liberationist.

        A liberal is one who desires radical sexual autonomy, ie., one who believe they can “love” whomever they please, including themselves.

  4. I believe that the term “liberal” was first used by a Spanish political party in the aftermath of the Napoleonic campaigns. The self-appellation was meant to imply a program that repudiated the monarchic principle and affirmed various revolutionary and republican principles, but with a promise of moderation. The relation of the term “liberal” to another, closely cognate word, is worth noting. The original “liberalism” was the Revolution, as Burke insisted on calling it, which dissimulated its destructive program under the banner of the liberation of so-called oppressed peoples from various anciennes regimes. It is this zealous impulse of “liberalism,” to annihilate everything that comes to us from the past, that links the Jacobins to the Bolsheviks and to the current North American Gnostocracy. As it turns out, the program of fanatical liberation is the single most destructive program since Islam, which it resembles in no few ways. I have occasionally referred to liberalism as a sacrificial cut. The symbolic lynching of the hapless Mr. Eich is a perfect example of what I mean.

    • This is correct. One often reads that there was a “classical liberalism” that was founded on tolerance and minding one’s own business, or that liberalism was entirely a matter of economics (i.e. “Manchester liberalism”). This “classical liberalism” is largely a myth, at least so far as the use of the word “liberal” is concerned. A “liberal” was always an enemy of what was established and a friend of the revolution. Like our modern conservatives, of whom he is the ancestor, he was leftist who thought radicals were simply taking society to the left too fast.

      Before 1800 the word liberal was applied to a man who was broadminded and generous in his sympathies, however his broadmindedness spread entirely to the left. This is evident in this line from a newspaper in 1791: “The mortal deist who zealously preaches up no future state, treats all religion with a sneer, and laughs at priests and prayers, heaven and hell, is, by many of our liberal gentlemen, reckoned an excellent member of civil society.” In other words the liberal was, then as now, a defender of the left, but not officially a member of the left.

      By the 1820s the word liberal was used mainly to describe extremely loose forms of Christianity, in which biblical interpretation was, we might say, exceedingly “free.” In fact it would not be going too far to state that, in the United States, “liberal” as a political term first meant anti-Christian and anti-conventional. It was, for instance, written of the Universalist minister L. S. Everet that he “preached the Universalist doctrine . . . because it was the most liberal he could preach—and he hoped gradually to convert his hearers into believing nothing without more substantial evidence than Holy Writ or tradition.”

      In 1850s an agnostic of “irritable temper” named Gilbert Vale, who had written an admiring biography of Thomas Paine, erected a monument at Paine’s grave, and edited a radical magazine called Citizen of the World, also ran what was described as a “liberal bookstore” on Chatham Square in New York City. It sold books by religious skeptics, socialists, feminists, positivists, and advocates of free love. In other words, a left-wing bookstore.

  5. “Liberalism” is the homo-sexual “nature” (“feminism” = dyke “nature”).

    Homo = same = EXACT same = Self…

    Homo-sexual = sex with Self = self-annihilator.

    Liberalism is a ideology of self-annihilation like all the liberationist movements.

    No more “spiritual” or “intellectual” creation myths for this “thing” which has metastasized by diabolical euphemism.

    A liberationist — Jewish, jihadist, “white,” “black,” dyke, homosexual, migger — is one who desires radical sexual autonomy, i.e., one who desires to pleasure one’s self to death by “loving, f$&king, screwing” whomever he pleases.”

    This is “Liberalism,” hear it pant.


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