James Damore, a recently terminated software engineer at Google, authored an internal paper titled, “Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber,” wherein he outlined six major points within a 9.5 page paper:
- Google’s political bias has equated the freedom from offense with psychological safety, but shaming into silence is the antithesis of psychological safety.
- This silencing has created an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.
- The lack of discussion fosters the most extreme and authoritarian elements of this ideology.
- Extreme: all disparities in representation are due to oppression
- Authoritarian: we should discriminate to correct for this oppression
- 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. Discrimination to reach equal representation is unfair, divisive, and bad for business.
Clearly, Damore is advocating for several things: Firstly, the belief in biological differences between the two sexes, arguing that a component of this is a “distribution of traits,” which would adequately explain why there is not equal representation of men and women in all technology and leadership career fields. Secondly, that Google possesses a political bias that interprets the concept of “freedom” as protection against ideological opposition. Thirdly, Google has manifested both extremism and authoritarianism in their assumption that a) misrepresentation of genders in the work place is due to oppression, and b) that discrimination at the administrative level is necessary to remedy this misrepresentation.
Read the Google Manifesto (Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber):
Although this manifesto has been labeled by some as “sexist” and “racist,” its opening sentence makes it clear that Damore values diversity and inclusion, admitting that he understands that sexism exists and that this paper is not intended to stoke the flames of intolerance in the world. Despite this extremely clear disclaimer, Damore has been fired from Google due to the manifesto “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.” This claim goes unfounded, as the concerns raised by Damore are only proven by Google’s response.
“1101. No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:
“(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.
“(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.”
“1102. No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.”
It is entirely possible that Google has violated the law in violating Damore on the basis of his political action relating to his employer. It is against the law in the state of California to discharge an employee on the basis of his or her “political action or political activity,” moreover, attempting to control employees social and political affiliations by threatening termination is also illegal for businesses to do.
How will the legal discourse of these events pan out? One can only wait and see. But through all of this, the highlight of this phenomenon is that even when one expresses concern regarding discrimination in the workplace to an employer associated with tolerance and radical inclusion, they are immediately doxed with name-calling and doxing.