Saturday, June 9, 2018

High Tech Oligarchs for Diversity

I expect you know that our tech oligarchs lean decidedly to the left. On political and cultural matters these world leaders in high tech have supported calls for gender equity and diversity.

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg made herself the leader of the band. Apparently, she does not have enough to do at Facebook and bringing up her children as a single parent, so she made herself a feminist heroine. 

And yet, leaning in, as she put it, is about the worst advice you can give. Leaning in is macho posturing. It is a threatening gesture. Most women, by the laws of Darwin, understand that if you are weak you cannot long survive by threatening people who are stronger than you are. Given the choice between leaning in and shutting up, most women will opt for the latter... on safety grounds.

The ideologically driven Sandberg does not care about the results of her bad advice.

Now, she has taken umbrage over the fact that one of the obvious results of the #MeToo movement is that senior males in companies and departments are far less likely to mentor young women. It’s what happens when the war for social justice goes too far. It damages women. Sandberg thinks that men should speak up in favor of women—especially those women who are competing with them for promotions and bonuses.

As normally seems to happen, the ideologically driven Sandberg has lost her sense of reality. If it offends her ideology it will have to change. How many women’s careers will that one cost?

Sandberg is a classical overachiever, but she has certainly achieved great things in the corporate world. We cannot say the same about Melinda Gates. The wife of the world’s richest dupe is a philanthropist extraordinaire. He earned it. She is redistributing it. Now she wants to direct her venture capital investing toward projects led by women and minorities. She has chosen explicitly to ignore white males... because they are privileged, like her husband.

To some it’s called giving back. To others it’s called the wages of guilt.

About these two cultural warriors I would ask a simple question: Did they or their husbands amass their fortunes by following the gospel of diversity? Did they build great companies by hiring for diversity or by hiring for merit? Didn’t Bill Gates once remark that he loved the programmers in India because they seemed to have a programming gene?

In truth, Facebook and Microsoft and Google and many of the other players in this space made their fortunes by hiring a large majority of white and Asian males. It’s the truth. It’s a fact.

So, why are they turning toward diversity?

Do they believe that they can eliminate competition by forcing new companies to adopt policies that will cause them to tear themselves apart over diversity quotas and to hire less qualified staff. If new companies follow the gospel of diversity will they naturally become weaker competitors?

Do the tech oligarchs believe that their own monopoly control of the marketplace will allow them to make a few diversity hires, because they are so rich and so successful that they can afford a handicap?

Within the competitive marketplace, the munificent benevolence of the high tech oligarchs looks to be less about charity and more about destroying the competition.

I doubt that they are motivated by anything other than the milk of human guilt, but still, as a business strategy their promotion of policies that they did not use to make their fortunes ensures that no one will ever build a company as big as theirs, that no one will be able to compete with them, and that they will continue to rule the world.

Of course, the fly in this ointment is quite simply that international competitors have not joined the diversity chorus. In time, the absurd moral preening that the high tech oligarchs have made a signature is going to cost them dearly.

Forget about higher taxes. Maybe it's time to break up the high tech monopolies.


Anonymous said...

As Scott Adams says, "Beware the advice of successful people; they do not seek company."

Unknown said...

They preach diversity because their mostly very liberal employees demand it. It flows from the very conservative idea of "Keeping the Troops Happy".

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

It’s so easy to say yes to that which has no consequence.