What to Do About The Linux COC

(An open letter to the Linux community.)

You need to decide for yourself how dire your circumstances are now that the Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct (CCCOC) is in place. If you think the Social Justice capture of the Linux kernel is all-well-and-good, you need do nothing. Everything is running right on schedule.

But if you think this heralds the end of Linux as anything resembling a meritocracy (however flawed), as well as the beginning-of-the-end of a project that you love and depend on, then you need to take action. Nobody is coming to save you. You’re going to have to save yourselves.

Whereas the Social Justice Attack Survival Guide is a good defense, playing only defensively leaves the non Social Justice cohort of the Linux community indefinitely vulnerable to attack, individually and collectively. To end that vulnerability, you will need to achieve something very difficult. You will need to drive the rejection of the CCCOC, and demand restoration of the Code of Conflict (or perhaps the outright rejection of anything resembling a Code of Conduct at all).

You may ask, “Why should I have to do anything? They’re the ones who suck! They should do the right thing themselves, I shouldn’t have to make them.” And in a way, that’s all true – but it doesn’t matter. You can’t wait for “the management” to “come to their senses.” They have no incentive to change. You have to motivate them to change.

Here’s one form of motivation:

You go on strike.

Don’t resign. Don’t delete or disable your accounts. Keep them, because you’ll need them when this is over (if it ever is over). But stop volunteering:

  • Stop donating money. Email them and say how much you have given in the past, and why you won’t give any more.

  • Stop donating time and effort to commits. Email the project and list your commits, fixes, and features, and say why you won’t be committing any more.

  • Stop answering questions and writing documentation. Instead, respond along the lines of “I’d love to help … once the CCCOC is removed.”

  • If you are paid to work on the kernel, stop doing that work. Tell them why you are going on strike.

Go on strike, and speak up about having gone on strike, until the CCCOC is reverted and the Code of Conflict is put back in place. The longer you keep volunteering, the longer it looks like you are OK with the CCCOC.

They cannot survive (at least, not as easily) without your volunteer efforts. Stop volunteering, and speak out as to why you are stopping. Be prepared to do it for longer than you think you’ll have to.

Threats to their cash flow, to their free-resource flow, will be a serious motivator for them to listen to you.

That’s a starting point. If they need further motivation, their actions between now and later will make the followup approach more obvious.

Do it today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not “later” – today. The longer you wait, the more inertia will build up against you.

Now, I have to warn you: the consequences for you going on strike might be overwhelming. You are likely to find yourself the target of Social Justice, with all that entails. Each of you has to decide for yourself if you want to deal with that kind of fallout, and I’m not kidding when I say it is psychologically and emotionally draining. But you also have to decide for yourself if you want to just sit back and let Linux be co-opted in this way. The choice is yours.

And if you see someone else going on strike with you, support them.

Good luck.

Social Justice Attack Survival Guide

With the recent Social Justice capture of the Linux kernel, many in the open source world may find this guide from Vox Day to be useful. I present it here as a public service; you can find the original PDF here. If you are interested in how to resist the introduction of the Contributor Convenant and other Social Justice derived Codes of Conduct, you may wish to watch this presentation or see the slides for it.


This survival guide is intended for the use of the individual who finds himself under attack by Social Justice Warriors for standing up against them and their ever-mutating Narrative. It may be freely distributed so long as it is correctly credited to SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police by Vox Day.

The eight stages of the SJW attack sequence are as follows:

  1. Locate or Create a Violation of the Narrative.

  2. Point and Shriek.

  3. Isolate and Swarm.

  4. Reject and Transform.

  5. Press for Surrender.

  6. Appeal to Amenable Authority.

  7. Show Trial.

  8. Victory Parade.

The rest of this guide consists of the correct way to respond to an SJW attack once it has been identified, ideally at the earliest stage possible. Please note that the eight stages of response do not correspond directly to the eight stages of the SJW attack sequence.

1. Rely on the Three Rs: RECOGNIZE it is happening. REMAIN calm. REALIZE no one cares.

The first thing to do when attacked by SJWs is to recognize that you are under SJW attack, remain calm, and realize that no one else cares. You need to understand that the attack is happening, accept that is happening, and refrain from the temptation to try to make it not be happening. Do not panic! Don’t go running to others for help or sympathy, don’t try to convince everyone around you how outrageous or unfair the accusation is, and don’t explain to anyone how little you deserve the way you are being treated. They don’t care. They really don’t. Think about how little you cared when someone else was previously being attacked by SJWs and how little you did to support them, let alone take action to stop the attack. That’s exactly how much your colleagues and acquaintances care about you being attacked, and exactly how much they are going to do to stop it.

The truth is that it doesn’t matter why SJWs are attacking you. The only thing that matters is understanding that you are under attack right now and no one else is going to do anything about it.

2. Don’t try to reason with them.

The second thing is to recognize that there is no way you are going to be able to reason your way out of the situation. Most people who come under SJW attack have the causality backwards. They think the attack is taking place due to whatever it is that they did or said. That’s not the case. The attack is taking place because of who you are and what you represent to the SJWs: a threat to their Narrative. In most cases, the SJWs attempting to discredit and disemploy you already wanted you out long ago, and they are simply using the nominal reason given as an excuse to get rid of you. And if the attack is more the result of SJW status-seeking rather than thought-policing, that’s arguably even worse, because if the motivation concerns them rather than you, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

The most important thing to accept here is the complete impossibility of compromise or even meaningful communication with your attackers. SJWs do not engage in rational debate because they are not rational and they do not engage in honest discourse because they do not believe in objective truth. They have no interest whatsoever in talking to you or trying to understand you, indeed, they will avoid you and do their best to minimize their communications with you while constantly talking about you and “explaining” the real meaning of your words and your nefarious true intentions to everyone else. They will also try to isolate you and cut you off from access to any relevant authority, to the media, and to neutral parties, the better to spin the Narrative without your interference. This is why it is vital that you do not agree to any confidentiality agreements or consent to keep your mouth shut while the SJW-driven “investigation” is proceeding.

3. Do not apologize.

The third thing to remember when undergoing an SJW-attack is to never apologize for anything you have done. I repeat: do not apologize. Do not say you are sorry if anyone’s feelings were hurt, do not express regret, remorse, or contrition, do not say anything that can be taken as an apology in any way. Just in case I am not being sufficiently clear, do not apologize!

Normal people seek apologies because they want to know that you feel bad about what you have done and that you will at least attempt to avoid doing it again in the future. When SJWs push you for an apology after pointing-and-shrieking at you, what they are seeking is a confession to bolster their indictment. They are like the police down at the station with a suspect in the interrogation room, badgering him to confess to the crime. And like all too many police these days, the SJWs don’t really care if you did it or not, they’re just looking for a confession that they can take to the prosecutor.

Be aware that once they have launched an attack on you, they will press you hard for an apology and repeatedly imply that if you will just apologize, all will be forgiven. Do not be fooled! I have seen people fall for it time and time again, and the result is always the same. The SJWs are simply looking for a public confession that will confirm their accusations, give them PR cover, and provide them with the ammunition required to discredit and disemploy you. Apologizing will accomplish nothing more than hand them the very weapons they require to destroy you.

4. Accept your fate.

It is psychologically much easier to survive an SJW attack if you accept early on in the process that you are probably going to lose your job or be purged from your church, your social group, or your professional organization. Remember, if the SJWs were not confident they could take you out, they would not have launched the attack in the first place. They prey upon those they believe, rightly or wrongly, to be vulnerable. Even if you survive the attack, it’s highly unlikely that your reputation will survive unscathed as there are simply too many people who are inclined to split the difference in any conflict between two parties, no matter how crazy or dishonest they know one of the parties to be.

Be prepared to be disappointed by the behavior of some of the people you believe to be your friends. But don’t be angry with them or allow the anger you feel for the SJWs to be displaced onto those who have disappointed you. While they may have disappointed you with their cowardice, they are not your problem, they did not put you in the position you find yourself, and they are not your enemy. Don’t take your pain and anger out on them. Reserve that for the SJWs.

5. Document their every word and action

Most of the time, SJW purges are committed at least partially outside the organization’s established rules and forms. You may not be an expert, but some of the people following along will be. Make sure every step in the process, and every piece of communication you receive from them, is documented, critiqued, and publicized. They will pull out all the stops to hide their actions in order to avoid public criticism, and in some of the more egregious cases, ridicule. By forcing them to show their hand in public, you allow others to see and understand what they are really up to. This may not be sufficient to save yourself from the ongoing attack, but it will almost certainly strengthen your negotiating position and will also help prevent the SJWs from blithely repeating the process against you or someone else in the future.

Whatever you do, do not agree to any gag orders or sign any confidentiality agreements that will handicap your ability to use the documentation you have acquired to prevent them from spinning a Narrative about what happened. SJWs rely on secrecy, and once they know you have their actions documented, they will try very hard to tie your hands in a manner that will prevent you from making that information public.

6. Do not resign!

Do not resign! You must always keep in mind that their real goal is not to formally purge you, but to encourage you to quit on your own. That allows them to publicly wash their hands of the affair and claim that your decision to leave was not their fault. They will often enlist more reasonable allies to approach you and tell you that it’s not possible for you to continue any more, they will appeal to your desire to avoid conflict as well as to the good of the organization, and they will go on endlessly about the supreme importance of an amicable departure. Don’t fall for it. Don’t do their dirty work for them. Make them take the full responsibility for throwing you out, thereby ensuring they have to suffer the unpredictable long-term consequences of their actions.

No matter how deeply the deck is stacked against you, the outcome will always be in doubt unless you resign. You always have a chance to defeat them as long as you don’t quit, and perhaps more importantly, refusing to quit buys you an amount of time that you can use to find another job before they manage to disemploy you. Considering how long you can reasonably expect to draw out the process, which will usually take not weeks, but months, you will considerably enhance your chances of finding alternative employment if you do not resign.

Do not resign! There is no advantage to you in doing so. As with apologizing, resigning is only going to make matters worse, not better, despite what the SJWs will promise you. They’ll assure you that it will be best for everyone if you just quietly resign and go away, that it will be better for the organization to which your past contributions are greatly appreciated, and that the one last thing you can do for it now is to avoid making an uncomfortable scene. They’ll promise that if you resign, you’ll be able to quickly and quietly put the controversy behind you—and the moment you resign, they will alert the media, send out a statement to the entire organization, and begin waving your scalp like a bloody flag. This is because one of their primary goals is to maintain the illusion of their irresistible power and inevitable victory, so they need to advertise their victories in order to intimidate other potential crimethinkers into falling into line.

So don’t believe them when they tell you that a resignation will make all the pain and humiliation go away, because SJWs always lie! And whatever you do, don’t resign!

7. Make the rubble bounce.

Whether you survive the attempted purge or whether you don’t, it’s very important to observe who has defined himself as an ally, an enemy, or a neutral party during the process. The choices people make will pleasantly surprise you about as often as they disappoint you. Once everyone’s choices have been made clear, your task is simple. Target the enemy at every opportunity. Hit them wherever they show themselves vulnerable. Play as dirty as your conscience will permit. Undermine them, sabotage them, and discredit them. Be ruthless and show them absolutely no mercy. This is not the time for Christian forgiveness because these are people who have not repented, these are people who are trying to destroy you and are quite willing to harm your family and your children in the process. Take them down and take them out without hesitation.

If you have any SJWs working under you, fire them. If you have an SJW relying upon you for something, play dumb and assure him that he’ll get it on time, then fail to deliver, all the while promising that it’s going to be done next week. Above all, understand that the normal rules of live and let live are no longer in effect. The more you disrupt their activities and their daily routine, the more difficult they will find it to purge you. Assume that you are on your way out—if you’ve followed the previous advice given, you should already have your landing zone prepared and are only waiting for the right moment to exit—and salt the earth. Leave devastation in your wake so that it will take weeks or even months for them to try to recover from the damage of your purging.

8. Start nothing, finish everything.

Even when the initial conflict is over, the SJWs are not going to leave you alone so long as they believe you to be a potentially vulnerable threat to them. This is why you have to be prepared to continue to up the ante until they finally reach the conclusion that they cannot possibly beat you and they are better off keeping their distance. Fortunately, SJWs are highly emotional, cowardly, and prone to depression, so demoralizing them tends to be considerably easier than you might imagine. They will still hate you, but after repeatedly meeting with staunch and confident opposition, they will usually decide to leave you alone and go in search of less difficult prey.

Reward enemies who leave you alone by leaving them in peace. Reward enemies who insist on continuing hostilities with disincentivizing responses that are disproportionate to their provocations. And never forget, no matter what they do, they cannot touch your mind, they cannot touch your heart, and they cannot touch your soul.

This guide consists of selections from “Chapter Seven: What to do when SJWs attack”

SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police

Vox Day, Castalia House, (2015) 200 pages

Available from Amazon.com and CastaliaHouse.com

The Conquest Code of Conduct

If you’re tired of SJW COCs in open-source projects, try this one on for size:

Conquest’s Second Law: “Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”

tl;dr: No Socialism or Social Justice.


All contributions and communication are welcome, so long as they do not (within this project space) espouse, entertain, advocate for, or otherwise positively discuss the political ideals associated with Social Justice, Progressivism, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Marxism, or anything else generally reminiscent of any political philosophy to the left of Classical Liberals or Libertarians.

If you suspect or are subjected to criminal behavior within this project space, first notify the appropriate authorities; then, if you wish, you may notify the project owner. The project owner makes no promises in advance regarding accusations or complaints.

The project owner is the final arbiter on all contributions and communication within this project space.

An Object Lesson in Conduct Enforcement

Full disclosure: I am acquainted with both Samantha Quinones and Matthew Trask. I have spoken at conferences with Samantha and attended her talks. Note that this post is about how codes of conduct and social expectations are selectively enforced, not about the behavior of any particular individual. If you take this post as an attack on anyone in specific then you are simultaneously “wrong” and “missing the point.”

Over the weekend, a “Concerned PHP User” wrote in to the FIG to remark on the election of Samantha Quinones as a FIG secretary:

Especially in light of the recent Code Of Conduct discussions in PHP I find this selection very disheartening. Samantha was recently outed as saying some pretty offensive things to a fellow PHP conference-goer (http://matthewtrask.net/blog/My-Time-At-SunshinePHP/). She said to this first-time conference attendee: “fuck this guy” and “you need to fuck off back to the Shire”. Matthew is short, so this was a clear insult to his height, not to mention very rude. If a code of conduct was in place in PHP as it should be I can’t help but think Samantha would have at least needed a temporary ban.

Please take these concerns into consideration. In my honest opinion, the insulting of the conference goer alone (and that just within the past month!) is enough to disqualify Samantha from this position.

(You should read Matthew Trask’s full blog post, and Samantha’s reply in the comments there.)

The replies to Concerned PHP User are universally of the form “Samantha is my friend, and I know personally she didn’t mean anything by it; this happened after the conference, so the Code of Conduct didn’t apply; and besides, she apologized, so that should be the end of it.” Here is a representative sample:

Chuck Burgess:

the comments on the linked-to post indicate they have publicly reconciled their altercation without friction.

Chris Tankersley:

looking at the blog post it seems that she immediately apologized and Matthew accepted the apology, and they both agreed to start over fresh. … I think that’s the best result you can possibly get when there is friction.

To be clear, these are all good people with good intentions. But would all these defenders of Samantha be so forgiving if a man of similar community standing had said similarly derogatory things to a woman who was a first-time conference attendee?

  • Would they not see this as somehow indicative that the man had a toxic personality, was misogynist/prejudiced/bigoted/privileged, or that the behavior was a symptom of a larger structural issue of some sort?

  • Would the apology have become a starting point (instead of an ending point) leading to further demands that the man continue to prostrate himself before the mob of public opinion?

  • Would they not have cried out that “this is what keeps women from attending conferences!” and demanded further action against the man?

  • Would there not have been concerned emails sent to the man’s employer, asking if that’s really the kind of person they wanted representing their company, one who would be so rude and dismissive to a fellow community member, especially a woman?

I opine that if the event were effectively identical, but with the sexes switched, there would be a very different discussion going on now. If the roles had been reversed, an apology would not have been sufficent. If a man of Samantha’s standing had said the exact same things to a woman who was a newcomer to the conference, there’s no way the issue would be left at that. It would be taken as yet another sign of the privilege that men have in the PHP community, that they think they can treat a woman that way. He’d have been vilified, shamed, hounded, and otherwise had his life made miserable on Twitter and elsewhere. Someone would have called his employer and asked if that was really the kind of person they want representing their company.

To be clear, I am not calling for Samantha to be fired, denied a position, or otherwise have her life made miserable. I am pointing out that allowances are being made based on who the offender and offended are.

This goes back to something I’ve been saying about Social-Justice-derived Codes of Conduct in general, and the proposed Code of Conduct for PHP in specific, for a long time now: the “rules” apply differently to different people, especially depending on who is doing the enforcing. Some rule-breakers will be forgiven their transgressions, and others will be prosecuted as much as possible, merely by fact of who they are and what they represent. My shorthand for that attitude is “That’s just Joe being Joe!” – Joe’s actions, when performed by George, will result in banishment for George and forgiveness for Joe. There’s always some reason that Joe can be forgiven that will never apply to George.

So either you are in favor of all people treating others with equal respect and dignity at all times, under a Code of Conduct or otherwise, or you are in favor of some people being more equal than others and being given allowances based on who they are and what narrative they fit. If you would have punished a man for Samantha’s behavior, you should punish Samantha too; if you do not punish Samantha for her behavior this time, you should not punish anyone else in the future for any behavior resembling hers.


Finally, a side note. One commenter in the PHP-FIG thread opined: “If a code of conduct was in place, for PHP internals, then that code of conduct would have no bearing here. It is entirely a different organisation.”

There is plenty of reason to believe that it would apply here, and at any time PHP community members gather together or speak with each other, regardless of location or channel.

Further, if PHP as-a-project ever adopts a Code of Conduct, that code will metastasize (through voluntary action or otherwise) across the entire PHP community. PHP user groups, projects, conferences, etc., will adopt it merely because it is “The PHP Code Of Conduct.”

So don’t believe for a moment that a PHP-project-level Code of Conduct won’t be applied to you in some fashion. It will. Prepare yourself accordingly, and speak out against it if you can.

UPDATE: Some quotes removed at the request of the quoted persons, who have since deleted their comments on the FIG thread.


You Do Not Have A Right To Contribute

(Another in a series on the proposed PHP code of conduct, itself a work in progress in at least one other place.)

Over the weekend I listened to a recent episode of the Dev Hell podcast, hosted by Chris @grmpyprogrammer Hartjes and Ed @funkatron Finkler, and guest-starring Amanda @AmbassadorAwsum Folson. (Full disclosure: I have been a guest on the podcast previously.)

The episode is #70 “Anti-Canuckite Leanings”, and in it, they discuss the proposed code of conduct starting around 26:00. You should listen to the whole discussion, which ends after about 30 minutes (and really the whole episode if you can).

There’s a lot to address in the discussion, but I’m going to concentrate on only one point. Chris Hartjes says, at about the 30:17 mark:

I think fighting against the code of conduct is a losing battle, because it will get passed. And you have a choice, you can either keep contributing to PHP, or move on and do something else. It’s as simple as that. You do not have a right to contribute to PHP, it’s a privilege. It sucks how that privilege is handed out, and it sucks how sometimes that privilege is wielded as a stick by which to beat other poeople, but at the end of the day, despite it being an open source project, it is a private project, and nobody has to take your contributions. It’s as simple as that.

He reiterates the point a few times:

(48:09) If you don’t like it, go on and contribute to another project.

(48:44) The people who complain, well they either get with the program, or they just go do something else with their time.

(51:45) If you don’t like it, just don’t participate in the project.

To be sure, Chris does not specifically say he is either for or against the code of conduct as presented in the RFC, which currently uses the language of the Contributor Covenant.

Even so, I have heard variations of this from Contributor Covenant supporters. These kinds of comments strike me as interesting in two ways.

First, “If you don’t like it, just don’t participate in the project” and its variations do not seem in the spirit of “fostering an open and welcoming community.” I see this as revealing part of the true intent of Contributor Covenant supporters: to wit, they wish to set themselves up as judges of who is to be accepted, and who is to be rejected.

Second, and more importantly, the very same argument applies in favor of the status quo; that is, not having an explicit code of conduct. Let’s take a look at the same wording, but against having a code of conduct:

If the project does not have a code of conduct, you have a choice, you can either keep contributing, or move on and do something else. It’s as simple as that. You do not have a right to contribute, it’s a privilege. At the end of the day, despite it being an open source project, it is a private project, and nobody has to take your contributions. It’s as simple as that.

So the argument is simultaneously made for not-having a code of conduct, using exactly the same wording. If you don’t like that there’s no code of conduct, “go on and contribute to another project.” After all, “you do not have a right to contribute.” You can “either get with the program, or just go do something else with your time.”

This means to me, among other things, that the burden of proof remains on those who support the Contrbutor Covenant, proof which they sorely lack, or are unwilling to put forth.

For the record, this is not an attempt to hammer on Chris, whom I count as a friend. It is an attempt only to point out one of the many flawed arguments of some who support the Contributor Covenant.

Finally, for the record, I continue to be opposed to the Contributor Covenant and anything substantially similar to or derived from it. Having no code of conduct is better than having the Contributor Covenant.


On the Proposed PHP Code of Conduct

Recently, Anthony Ferrara opened an RFC for PHP internals to adopt and enforce a code of conduct. Even leaving aside for the moment whether this is an appropriate use of the RFC system, the RFC generated a lot of discussion on the mailing list, in which I participated at great length, and for which I was hailed as abusive by at least one person in favor of the RFC (a great example of a kafkatrap).

To restate what I said on the mailing list, my position on the RFC is not merely “opposed”, but “reject entirely as unsalvageable” (though I did make some attempts at salvage in case it goes through). I continue to stand by everything I said there, and in other channels, regarding the proposed Code of Conduct.

Normally, if you had not heard about this particular discussion, I would say you were lucky, and probably the happier for it. In this case, I have to say that you should be paying close attention. The Code of Conduct as presented enables its enforcers to stand in judgment of every aspect of your public, private, professional, and political expression. I understand that’s a bold assertion; I will attempt to support it below.

The Contributor Covenant version on which the RFC is based is authored and maintained by intersectional technologist and transgender feminist Coraline Ada Ehmke. Ehmke believes that open source is a political movement:

From the onset open source has been inherently a political movement, a reaction against the socially damaging, anti-competitive motivations of governments and corporations. It began as a campaign for social liberty and digital freedom, a celebration of the success of communal efforts in the face of rampant capitalism. What is this if not a political movement?

Why Hackers Must Welcome Social Justice Advocates

Whether or not this description of open source is accurate, it is true that Ehmke thinks of open source as a political arena. As such, one must read the Contributor Covenant as a political document, with political means and political ends. Specifically, it is a tool for Social Justice.

As a tool for Social Justice, it recognizes no boundaries between project, person, and politics. This attitude is written into the Contributor Covenant with the text, “This Code of Conduct applies both within project spaces and in public spaces when an individual is representing the project or its community.” So, when is a project participant not representing the project? The answer appears to be “never.”

That is, a project participant is always representative of the project. We can see one example of this from the “Opalgate” incident. In reference to a Twitter conversation where Opal is not the subject, Ehmke opens an Opal project issue, and then attempts (with a Social Justice mob of backers) to intimidate the project managers into removing one of the Twitter conversants from the project because of his non-project-related speech.

This is Social Justice in action. Remember, it is the author of the Contributor Covenant acting this way. To look at this incident, and simultaneously opine that the Covenant as a tool of Social Justice is somehow not political, or that it does not intend to police speech unrelated to the project, reveals that opinion as obviously incorrect. This kind of behavior is not “abuse” of the Contributor Covenant; it is the intended application of the Covenant. The Covenant is designed specifically to enable that behavior under cover of “safety” and “welcoming” and “respect”.

But “safety” and “welcoming” and “respect” are the primary goals of the Covenant, aren’t they? I assert they are the curtain behind which the true goal is veiled: power over persons who are not sufficiently supportive of Social Justice. I think is it appropriate to mention the motte and bailey doctrine here:

[The doctrine is compared] to a form of medieval castle, where there would be a field of desirable and economically productive land called a bailey, and a big ugly tower in the middle called the motte. If you were a medieval lord, you would do most of your economic activity in the bailey and get rich. If an enemy approached, you would retreat to the motte and rain down arrows on the enemy until they gave up and went away. Then you would go back to the bailey, which is the place you wanted to be all along.

So the motte-and-bailey doctrine is when you make a bold, controversial statement. Then when somebody challenges you, you claim you were just making an obvious, uncontroversial statement, so you are clearly right and they are silly for challenging you. Then when the argument is over you go back to making the bold, controversial statement.

Sentiments like “safety” and “welcoming” and “respect” are the motte of the Covenant: the defensible tower from which challengers are ridiculed. (“It’s nice! Who doesn’t want to be nice? Why do you think we should enable harassers and abusers? Why do you want to exclude women, LGBTQ, etc?”) But the real purpose of the Covenant is to enable work in the bailey: that is, to gain power over the political enemies of Social Justice, by using project membership as a form of leverage over them.

We saw that bailey-work in the Opalgate example above. As another example of attempting to use leverage, we have the following incident in the Awesome-Django project, run by Roberto Rosario. Rosario turned down a pull request, and thereafter received this demand to adopt and enforce the Contributor Convenant. (Interestingly enough, Github deleted the issue entirely, as far as I know without comment, and without notification to Rosario; the archive.is link appears to be the only evidence of the issue’s existence.)

After Rosario declined, the issue-opener ended the conversation with an attempt at intimidation: “You are a member of the Django Software Foundation and are supposed to be setting the example. I will be forwarding the content of this issue to the Chair to evaluate your continued presence in the DSF.”

Thus, the issue-opener began in the motte (“welcoming” and “respect”) but ended on the bailey (threats to leverage refusal of the Covenant into rejection from a project). Again, this is not an abuse of the Covenant. As a tool of Social Justice, that is its author’s intended purpose: to give cover for threats and intimdation against those who do not support the author’s politics.

Since threats and intimidation are the end-game, consider what else might be threatened by being insufficiently supportive of Social Justice in general, and the Contributor Covenant in specific. Any project leader, any conference organizer, any publisher, or any employer, might be approached regarding your politically-incorrect opinions as expressed on any non-project forum or subject, and be threatened and intimidated into distancing themselves from you. This leads to ejection from projects, denial or disinvitation from conferences, rejection of manuscripts, and refusal-to-hire or outright firing, based on political (not professional) concerns.

This is not the kind of behavior found in a free and open society. It is instead the behavior of a society that is totalitarian, even fascist-with-a-smiley-face. You are not allowed to disagree with the Social Justice proponents, in any capacity. You are not even allowed to “not care” – you will be made to care.

As such, I assert that the Contributor Covenant, and any other codes of conduct originating in Social Justice, are to be opposed out of hand, both in PHP, and in any other place they are suggested.

Postscript

While reading in preparation for writing this piece, I came across a lot of information that didn’t really fit, but might still be useful. Here’s a partial list of links.

Social Justice In Action

Discussions About Codes of Conduct

Alternative Codes of Conduct