Topic: Hyperbola Social Contract §10 Hyperbola and anti-discrimination
From the site and the wiki, Hyperbola seems to be less of an operating system than an ideology or a way of life. I admit I was somewhat surprised by this, since it was recommended to me for its security, privacy and anonymity, not for its libre ideology, which seems to be rather more front and center. But I'm happy to take that in my stride, even if it's laid on somewhat thicker than I'm used to.
Something that I'm more wary of is the hyperbola social contract, an edict that Hyperbola likewise set an enormous, in my opinion inordinate, amount of store by. It's unquestionable status as the be-all and end-all strikes me as going rather against the spirit of the libre ideology itself. But since I don't hold that ideology in quite the same regard as Hyperbola seems to, I'm content to let most of that slide as well.
Except for the tenth of the eleven commandments:
Hyperbola and anti-discrimination: All of Hyperbola community are to respect the ethics of freedom and free software and are demanded to show the deepest respect among themselves. Under no circumstances discriminate against people based on age, gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, ideology, ideas, social class, nationality, race, intelligence, or any analogous grounds. Hyperbola encourages freedom of speech. However, do not curse or use offensive language while debating within the Hyperbola community. Do not under any circumstances attack, bully, stalk, or harass any individual (the personal turn) or a certain group. Play the ball, not the man. Any disregard of any of these points will lead to moderation by The Support Staff, including, but not limited to, temporary ban of the person(s) in question. Severe and repeat instances may lead to permanent ban if deemed necessary by The Founders.
A lot of this seems sensible enough, or at least no more silly than the other commandments, but there are a few contradictions.
Firstly, "Under no circumstances discriminate against people based on [...] ideology, ideas". What about when ideologies or ideas (such as communism, fascism, nazism and other forms of socialism) are fundamentally incompatible with the libre ideology, are irreconcilable with the philosophy of free knowledge, preclude respect for the ethics of freedom and free software, and violate the sanctity and sovereignty of the individual?
This clause protects those who violate the social contract, and worse, prevents anyone (including the founders and support staff) from applying the contract in its entirety. It's a catch 22 that leaves everyone (in particular the founders and support staff) with no way out but to hypocritically violate some part of the contract and thereby the contract as a whole.
Secondly, "Any disregard of any of these points will lead to moderation by The Support Staff, including, but not limited to, temporary ban of the person(s) in question. Severe and repeat instances may lead to permanent ban if deemed necessary by The Founders." This too is a contradiction in light of the first.
Because of the previous clause, there can be no moderation by the support staff without their disregard for any of these points. The founders cannot issue permanent bans without violating the social contract. Again, this forces a catch 22 where the only out is hypocrisy: placing the support staff and the founders above the law, by excepting them from the requirement to follow the social contract in its entirety.
And that is an extremely slippery slope with fascism yawning at its base. Not the libre ideology, not the philosophy of free knowledge, not the ethics of freedom and free software, but fascism.