Over in the People’s Republic of California, people aren’t gaga over free speech. They’re into it about as much as they’re into the idea of Kevin Spacey as a troop leader for Cub Scouts. But most people don’t realize just how bad things really are.
Sam Altman, a Silicon Valley CEO, has you covered. He’s come to the opinion China, yes that China, has freer speech than San Francisco. Yes, really.
Earlier this year, I noticed something in China that really surprised me. I realized I felt more comfortable discussing controversial ideas in Beijing than in San Francisco. I didn’t feel completely comfortable—this was China, after all—just more comfortable than at home.
That showed me just how bad things have become, and how much things have changed since I first got started here in 2005.
It seems easier to accidentally speak heresies in San Francisco every year. Debating a controversial idea, even if you 95% agree with the consensus side, seems ill-advised.
This is the same China that banned Pooh Bear and Justin Bieber. Okay, that last one wasn’t such a bad thing. Bieber is a hemorrhoidal blight on the planet. But still, China is hardly a poster child for free expression. Or toilet paper availability. That they’re preferable to the leftist soy aficionados in California speaks volumes.
American leftists have opposed free utterances from pieholes at every turn. Even going so far as to advocate for a bit of the old ultra-violence to combat it. Which brings us to now, where Silicon Valley types live in fear of having their head cratered in with a Louisville Slugger if they say guys and gals have differences.
Welcome to that brave new world they were talking about.