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Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed

From: Taylan Kammer
Subject: Re: Why the "social contract" should not be endorsed
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 2020 20:30:35 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:68.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/68.4.2

On 25.02.2020 19:45, Alexandre François Garreau wrote:

> Also I was commenting on the fact supporters of CoC don’t even abide by 
> them.  So it is likely they’re subjective enough not to realize they just 
> want to impose more burden to people they disagree with, without added 
> burden on them (in other words: they just want more enforcement power, CoC 
> serving as a justification for it).

At face value I 99% agree with the proposed "GNU Social Contract" and
even the CoC you're talking about here, yet I find myself agreeing with
what you're saying.

I've seen too many smart people turn to witch hunting or at least
shunning other people based on them being deemed "heretics" of some sort
according to dominant narratives on this or that social justice topic.

It's not just people who are edging on right-wing/conservative ideals
who get targeted with this.

It's not just moderate/centrist people either.

There's currently a really big mass of life-long feminists, lesbian and
gay rights activists, Jewish activists, Black activists etc., who are
deemed heretics by white, middle class, male liberal ideologues.

(If anyone wants details, I can provide them.)

I've seen this behavior from the maintainers of two very high-importance
GNU projects.  Two guys who I otherwise really like, and trust on their
kindness and desire to improve humanity.  Obviously, they're strong
endorsers of things like this Social Contract or the CoC, but I'm
worried about how they'll ultimately apply it.

I fear that with the direction these guys want to take GNU, it will
become a project aimed primarily at white middle class mostly-male
liberals who fear and shun members of minority groups when they don't
conform to their idea of what those minority groups should believe.

(This isn't really a new thing judging by what e.g. Malcolm X wrote
about white liberals or what Andrea Dworkin wrote about liberal men.)

It's supremely ironic, and several years ago in my naivety I wouldn't
ever have believed that such an absurd state of liberal politics could
be reached.

Personally, I admittedly wouldn't have a problem with it if the GNU
project and/or the FSF took a more "officially" left-wing and/or liberal
stance on politics, but if they're going to do that I don't want it to
become this super-narrow cult-like group of relatively privileged people
who are completely convinced that their stance on how to improve society
is unquestionably the most enlightened one, while they silence not just
people with more moderate politics but even many who are essentially on
the same side or at least have the same core values.

I hope this mail reaches the right people.  I was preparing a more
in-depth one but pulled back when I saw that the discussion is on fire
so my input may not be heard.  Then I read your mail and it just made me
want to pour it out there.  Maybe I'll finish up the other email too
after the discussion has chilled out a bit.

In any case I believe this is a really serious issue that needs to be
talked about.

- Taylan

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