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I’d Like To Call Human Resources On Hostile HR Thought Police

The nation’s current deficit in the tools of discourse paved the way for a cultural capture of the West at the hands of confessional Marxists.

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The theme of my career over the past year has been the transition of departing military service and reintegrating among the civilian populace. As I approached this season, I have heard one particular phrase frequently circulated among much of corporate communication: “Bring your authentic self to work.”

But more recently I have heard cautions for those of us in uniform to be anything but open as we return to the society from which we were drawn. I find this deeply concerning. The nation should beware of prioritizing deception as social currency. 

Last summer I began attending the transition briefings required prior to separation from the service. At one particular event, a retired military man — now working for a large national company — warned us that it’s very important to keep a low social media profile because of perceptual risk from hiring managers. He told of unfriending his sister on Facebook because he didn’t want anyone from his workplace to associate them with each other. That moment got my attention.

If the sister posts deviant content, I would probably keep some distance in online spaces for the sake of my sanity. But what if the sister is merely someone who expresses facts that just happen to be inconvenient to the current sociopolitical moment? We have seen time and again that facts disputed by corporate media, social media companies, and government officials frequently turn out to be true.   

The call to sacrificially appease the human resources syndicate renewed itself in another employment seminar I attended this year. Again, I encountered the caution through a LinkedIn discussion. I was warned that employers fear that an employee who expresses a thought on his or her own time might also express a thought in the workplace. Such thinking from clearly well-intentioned people seems backward to me, as if we should not encounter ideas and ways of thinking that might challenge our own.

People of faith-directed moral principles routinely encounter rhetoric that is contrary to their own beliefs and sometimes condescending. The reality is that many companies, corporations, and government institutions tolerate “politically correct” expressions in the workplace while shaming voices aligned with a traditional worldview. My time in the U.S. Army contains such instances, and I’m not alone.

This is in spite of protections offered by the U.S. Constitution, civil law, and military regulation. Culture and political sway always trump the rules. When you look at where people are being pressured, disciplined, or fired for sharing their beliefs at work, it is usually an incident of discrimination against speaking the truth by military commanders or civilian managers who have adopted a form of leftist social orthodoxy.  

Part of the argument for why we should present as neutral in online spaces revolves around a belief that people cannot be taught how to engage productively on tough issues. Society has lost the ability to think, reason, and respectfully debate. Shall we then remove anything related to thinking skills from educational curriculum? The point of identifying a deficiency is so that it can be addressed. We should not accept a lack of skills in dialogue and thought as normal and then strike them from the list of disciplines to be pursued. Because one generation has not been taught something important does not mean people should abandon it entirely.  

Rather than calling for an end to societal discourse, we should work to recapture the skill. I am not advocating that we bring cable news-style fights to the job site or that everyone abandons all expressive caution, manner, and restraint. But we must end the fear and spirals of silence that have become too frequent across workplaces, especially for workers who hold to a morality that was understood to be normal until 15 minutes ago.

By overusing a mantra that demands we avoid talking about religion or politics at the dinner table, we have robbed entire generations of the chance to develop the intellectual discipline that is foundational to reasoning and thought. These skills were expected of all citizens in the early republic. The nation’s current deficit in the tools of discourse paved the way for a cultural capture of the West at the hands of confessional Marxists. In their own words, such people aim to deconstruct and dismantle rather than defend and preserve.  

Deliberately or unwittingly, those who argue in favor of self-neutrality demonstrate a worldview that places all power and personal allegiance in the hands of employers. Of course, there is wisdom in avoiding individuals who demonstrate a lack of restraint or courtesy in their manner of expression. But telling people that their employment is purchased with a lifestyle of silence is an elevation of employer to magistrate and priest. It turns employees into quieted servants and enables a soft social credit system that reduces human beings to machines. Such thinking is among the reasons my transition is focused on finding a mission rather than a corporate role.

The Greek general and politician Pericles is quoted as saying, “We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own affairs; we say that he has no business here at all.” The problem is not so much that managers have an aversion to politics. It is that secularists generally have an aversion to ideas that contradict the prevailing winds of culture. They live convinced that policy advocacy on matters in alignment with their belief is not a matter of politics but of principle. The two, however, are inseparable. When one tells you to keep your principles to yourself, that itself is an ideological competitor’s political act of silencing you.

Beliefs turn into expressed ideas, which beget social doctrines. The First Amendment is of little meaning if we make it inferior to social demands of the moment. As a nation, we should beware of allowing momentary fears to become anchored going forward, and we should refuse to cede moral principles to satisfy the increasingly leftist human resources syndicate.  


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