A cold civil war

Ironically many people, even in the homosexual community, don’t want this culture war and are dismayed by the Eich witchunt. They don’t want it not only because … but I’ll get to that in a moment … especially since the Eich affair is not about gay marriage, except incidentally, any more than the Summers affair was about racism or feminism; or that Steyn’s suit has anything to do with warmism or denialism or the gunowners map was about school safety; or still less that the 2013 IRS persecution of Tea Party groups was to do with Citizen’s United.

The removal of Eich is about fascism. It’s about one group of people forcing everyone else to bow to their hat on a pole; it s about book burning, compelling obeisance to, as Jame Surowiecki put it, “a universal ideology” in a manner so bald that even those who might gain politically in the short term from it are horrified by its crudity.

Perceptive gays understand now, if they hadn’t noticed before, that a whole mechanism now exists for persecuting people whose views are deemed unacceptable. Today it is directed against Eich; once it was directed against Summers; on other occasions it was employed against Clarence Thomas. But sooner or later, probably sooner, they understand it will be directed against them — or us — or someone. And if it can get a corporate CEO who is widely regarded as the father of Javascript it can get pretty darned anyone.

Peter Burrows at Business Week quotes Joseph Grundfest, a law professor at Stanford University who says “this is a particularly fascinating situation, because it involves an illiberal reaction from a very liberal community. It’s fair to say that this could have been handled differently and better.” But Grundfest misses the point. It was the late Gerald Ford who really put his finger on the problem, which to paraphrase Ford, is that ‘any instrument of social coercion big enough to give you everything you want is an instrument big enough to take away everything that you have.’ Build the bonfire and you too can be torched at the stake. Or as Brian equivalently put it to Max in Cabaret: “do you think you can still control them?”