Ability to speak the truth

A topic which pervades many others

Ability to speak the truth

Postby Gavin » 12 Apr 2014, 13:02

It is common knowledge now that many people think one thing and say another. Most comments on multiculturalism, for example, are prefaced by "I'm not racist but" - at best. Many people are very concerned about the state of the UK and that's why they have decided to vote UKIP: "UKIP today, UKIP tomorrow, UKIP next week" - UKIP until the problems are corrected.

At the moment, people who want to say politically incorrect things publicly cannot, mainly because they will more than likely lose their jobs for doing so, as Fjordman did and as many others have. This is despite many people (possibly even their managers) secretly agreeing with them. Thus there is a strange stand-off. But when the truth is repressed, this cannot last forever, as Pat Condell recently said.

What got me thinking about this topic was something I had noticed about some people on the right. What do John Derbyshire, Jared Taylor, Tim Burton and Nigel Farage have in common (probably many more, as well)? They are/were all self-employed. In the case of the first three, they were all computer consultants. I am, too.

Only the self-employed, the independently wealthy, those who expect to be always on benefits, or the retired can currently tell the truth. Anyone else will likely lose their job. Even a contractor could lose their job if their private opinions on multiculturalism or general leftist sentimentality conflicted with political correctness, no matter how well they performed nor how polite they were when at work.

Personally, I always push it as far as I can - I tell the truth as much as I gauge is acceptable, in order to try to push the Overton window a little. I tentatively establish quickly whether people - both colleagues and just people I encounter - agree with me, and very often - indeed almost always - I find that they do. I can tell they are secretly surprised but relieved at my frankness, and thereafter we have hushed conversations in complete and enthusiastic agreement.

Thus, I would argue, there is a very widespread "faux reality" in society currently, a "suspended state".

Work colleagues agree with me, the few decent remaining indigenous service sector staff agree with me. Even my foreign colleagues (for example, those from Ukraine and India) agree with me on general principles (of course I only discuss such matters at length outside work and to the degree that I deem it safe to do so). The English in particular are sometimes a little surprised, and even thrilled, I can tell, that someone is articulating the same feelings that they have, but then, as they gather confidence, they reveal that they completely agree. I take the gamble in hinting at my views in the first place because I have learned that this will often be the case, and I don't like playing some kind of game.

There is a private discourse and a public discourse, then, and the two are very different. I wonder if the bubble will soon burst and if the division will become unsustainable. Of course, I hope then the atmosphere does not go too far in the other direction, and we do not have a totalitarian right, but that seems to be a distant issue given our current predicament.
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Re: Ability to speak the truth

Postby Shaun » 17 Apr 2014, 12:32

I tried to think of some other examples of those who work or worked in computers and, coincidentally, enjoy more-or-less free speech: Paul Graham, Mencius Moldbug... but then I remembered that Paul Graham got into trouble for his essay about female hackers and Mencius Moldbug is protected by his pseudonym and internet anonymity. And Brendan Eich got forced out of Mozilla, which he co-founded, because he committed the crime of having the wrong politcal opinions concerning gay marriage.

So having specialist, valuable knowlegde and skills probably gives a little protection and some freedom to speak; but not much.

Being self-employed would help even more, one would assume. But even then, if your business is successful enough it will eventually depend on good PR, which means it depends on the fairness of media-outlets. A situation similar to the one the founder and CEO of Lululemon Yoga Pants company found himself in might happen. He had to stand down to protect the company from the 'bad PR' (he implied that overweight women wear out their yoga pants more quickly).

Even if you run a small business, you may find yourself having to express politcal opinions you don't have. That yes, though you are a biblical literalist, you are happy to welcome all people, of all sexualities, to stay at your little B&B.

It seems that free speech is something you earn by becoming indispensible. But this may not be anything new.
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