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Thread: Why isn't the right rejoicing about Brendan Eich's ouster?

  1. #1
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    Default Why isn't the right rejoicing about Brendan Eich's ouster?

    Let me see if I have this right.

    A high-ranking executive (Brendan Eich) of a private company (Mozilla Corporation) donated money to a controversial cause (denial of marriage equality in the form of California Proposition 8 in 2008). Several years later, the existence of that donation became public via legal means. After being named CEO of the corporation, Eich was asked about the donation and the cause--he did not back away from his support for denial of marriage equality. As the issue gained public traction, it became clear that the company's business might be harmed (while Mozilla is more than just Firefox, its signature browser has a market share only on the order of 20%, down from around 30% three years ago). In response, Eich resigned. The parent company Mozilla Foundation's blog provides some interesting elaboration on the departure.

    For some reason, the right, especially the socially "conservative" right, is up in arms over Eich's "firing" (that was in fact a resignation). While I understand that social conservatives and fiscal conservatives make for very strange bedfellows, the fact is, they've chosen to hop in the sack together.

    What has their knickers in such an apparent twist is the following: without any government intervention whatsoever, the market spoke in response to the words and actions of a company's CEO, and the company took steps to heed the market.

    Isn't this what conservatives repeatedly claim to want?

  2. #2
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    An April 7, 2014 article on salon.com writes (emphasis added):

    Quote Originally Posted by salon.com
    ... conservatives implored that people take the battle out of the courts and legislatures and into the market and civil society.

    ...

    The two most elegant explanations of this view at the time came from Cato’s Ilya Shapiro and the National Review’s Kevin Williamson. According to Shapiro, “while governments have the duty to treat everyone equally under the law, private individuals should be able to make their own decisions on whom to do business with and how – on religious or any other grounds. Those who disagree can take their custom elsewhere and encourage others to do the same.”

    ...

    At their root, Shapiro and Williamson are debating about which coercive disciplining institutions are the appropriate ones. They seek to answer the question: If folks do not like it when people engage in certain behavior toward gays, should they seek to discipline those people with legal coercion (anti-discrimination laws), market coercion (boycotts), or civil coercion (shunning)? And they conclude that market and civil coercion are the way to go.
    To be fair, the article doesn't just single out conservatives--liberals are equally selective:

    Quote Originally Posted by salon.com
    The only thing consistent throughout is that one side supports gay-unfriendly things and the other gay-friendly things. Everything else, it seems, is rhetoric.

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