Paul Graham is a smart guy who consistently writes essays that are thoughtful and powerful, and sometimes dumb as fuck and transparently demonstrate the weird bubble he lives in.
Today he wrote one of those, interestingly linking the term heresy to a new emerging, non-religiously-based set of views that can serve to make one persona non grata in some circles (while also guaranteeing you a lifetime of funding from the Mercers and Peter Thiel alongside the adoration of their funded lackeys).
It’s just incredible how during a time of widespread book banning led by the Evangelical right and “Don’t Say Gay” laws that this statement was made as though it were fact,
There are aggressively conventional-minded people on both the right and the left. The reason the current wave of intolerance comes from the left is simply because the new unifying ideology happened to come from the left. The next one might come from the right. Imagine what that would be like.
The “wave of intolerance” Graham points to seems to be coming from the left these days because Silicon Valley individualism demands it— that’s why he ignores anti-trans and homophobic laws and anti-Blackness and racism. I don’t quite know why he ignores the xenophobia that bristles Silicon Valley because they want plentiful, inexpensive foreign labor in the US. I know he ignores misogyny because he’s spent his life literally building and profiting off of a “good old boys” network and can’t understand any critique that it’s been something less than a meritocracy.
The more left driven intolerances challenge Paul Graham to be better. The right wing ones affect other people.
I don’t love the lack of repentance and forgiveness in our world. I think we all have a right to redemption. I think we have a right to have our worst moments be forgotten, or at least to have them fade and let their stench dissipate. I think “call out” and “call in” culture have real limits and challenges we haven’t worked out. But while the right wing is literally using the power of the state, often in minoritarian governments assisted by gerrymandering, to spread a chilling effect on speech among professors, teachers, and doctors, I’m not sure it’s the dirtbag left on Twitter or a few college student protests that we should be concerned about.