California is liberal, sure, but it is much more heterodox/”PC-totalitarian” than New England, where the Puritans of yore have merely put on problem glasses.
California is more of a colorful playground for all sorts of eccentrics. Personally, I would characterize it as a nation-state sized coffee salon, even by American standards – just look at all the groups/personalities from all kinds of disparate spheres and ideological backgrounds that have congregated there over the decades:
- Most of the core rationalist/LessWrong people
- Most of the transhumanists
- Half the neoreactionaries and the nationalist-populist wing of the conservative moment
- Burning Man
- The OG PUAs (Ross Jeffries etc.)
- Last but not least, like, half the Unz Review (Ron and Steve live there, I lived there)
While Silicon Valley is famous for its technological innovations, the region is, if anything, even more impressive as a generator of social ideas and cultural counter-trends.
Where do you get all the biggest SJW scandals? As Steve Sailer remarked, that would be North-East colleges.
Evergreen and [AK: My bad] Middlebury are the two names are come to mind. Even amongst the elite colleges, it seems you had a lot more such episodes amongst the Ivies, not UCB/Stanford.
Kevin McDonald had a productive career as a tenured prof within the UC system. Yes, somewhat shunned by his colleagues towards its tail end, from what I heard. But how long would he have lasted anywhere else, considering how “hardcore” his work was?
This is not my idiosyncratic view. My Tweet on this largely met with agreement, e.g. King Baeksu (expat to Korea): “At Berkeley and afterwards, most of my mates and acquaintances were lefties, but we often gently mocked politically correct shibboleths and argot because it was more “hip” to be urbane and knowing than slavishly doctrinaire.”
This is a pretty typical outlook amongst people who have actually lived in California.
Generally speaking, for people high on the Openness personality trait, California seems to be much more interesting than the liberal monotony of BosWash. Or the conservative monotony of “flyover country” (it is easier to admire rednecks/vatniks from afar).
In the “Divided States of America” trope, it is usually California that becomes the People’s Republic. But if Communism ever triumphs anywhere in the US, I would bet the epicenter will be in the urban centers of the North-East.
After all, it is New England that produced the “witch hunt”, whereas California is more into goofy but harmless things like “flower power.”