Don't Even Think About Being Evil
Corporate America has managed to make higher education look like an open marketplace of ideas.
‘Just wait till those campus snowflakes enter the real world—that’ll shape ’em up!” So goes a typical response to totalitarian hysteria at colleges. The firing of a Google engineer last week for questioning the company’s diversity ideology exposes that hope as naive. The “real world” is being remade in the image of college campuses with breathtaking speed.
A conveyor belt of left-wing conformity runs from the academy into corporations and the government, so that today’s ivory-tower folly becomes tomorrow’s condition of employment. Google’s rationale for firing James Damore perfectly mimics academic victimology—the equation of politically incorrect speech with violence, the silencing of nonconforming views, the refusal to hear what a dissenting speaker is actually saying.
After attending a diversity training session, Mr. Damore wrote a 10-page memo titled “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber.” He observed that “differences in distributions of traits between men and women may in part explain why we don’t have 50% representation of women in tech and leadership.” Among those traits are assertiveness, a drive for status, an orientation toward things rather than people, and a tolerance for stress. He acknowledged that many of the differences in distribution are small and overlap significantly between the sexes, so that one cannot assume on the basis of sex where any given individual falls on the psychological spectrum. Considerable research supports Mr. Damore’s claims regarding male and female career preferences and personality traits.
This piece originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal