Deadspin in a Tailspin

The invisible hand of self-interest is the right hand of moral sentiments. The charity we give, the alms we perform, the deeds we do, all this depends on the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. To do otherwise is to see the overly sentimental surrender to the overtly sinister.

To see sovereigns of business act as sovereign nations is the price of faith without acts. 

We pay this price by our silent consent to the terms and conditions of contracts longer than any social contract, whose principal rule is a series of restrictions: to speak without controversy, to write without contention, to be without any concerns except one—not to cause offense.

When a writer belatedly learns these rules, when he takes offense at the obvious, that his freedom to offend offends the sensibilities of the managers of private equity, when he takes to the pages of the New York Times to condemn investors who cannot write anything of substance, save an email about what he must do to save his job, he compels the reader—this reader—to ask: What took you so long?

When the writer in question is Barry Petchesky, former interim editor-in-chief of Deadspin, the question is rhetorical.

That he is the newest cancellation in our cancel culture is irrelevant. That his cancellation is the result of his politics, that his politics are loathsome—that I detest his politics without denying his ability to make the political profitable—is also irrelevant.

Either Petchesky now realizes that conformity is the cost of career survival, or he believes he need only change jobs without changing his politics. 

Either he realizes that unanimity of thought, that working and living among the like-minded is the laziest act of conformity, or he believes he is the nonconformist standing athwart the levers of financial and political control.  

Either he awakens to the reality of his situation, that those who hate his politics do not seek to police his speech, or he continues to believe his critics are guilty of hate speech.

About Bill Asher

Bill Asher is a writer and retired executive. He lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Photo: John Taggart for The Washington Post via Getty Images

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