I think it’s just the opposite: In a meritocratic society, social skills are a crutch for the incompetent who get by on connections instead of skill or talent, as well as fostering political correctness because people are unafraid to ‘notice’ things and speak their minds. ‘Good’ social skills means taking precautions to not offend ‘protected’ groups and easily triggered people – a willful rejection of reality or a cognitive dissonance to avoid hurting feelings.
Silicon Valley, yes, which I know has various leftist tendencies, values competence and results over social skills. People get rich from creating value, producing quantifiable results (such as coding an app), not by sucking-up and shallow flattery. In academia, particularly in STEM, it’s also that way.
Rationalism and reactionary beliefs, to the uninitiated, may come across as autistic or Asperger-like. We care about data and empirical evidence, not sparing feelings. Being smart means accepting and noticing reality, the good the bad and the ugly of it, as opposed to taking solace in wishful thinking and fairy tales.
The strongest push for politically correct speech comes from younger Millennials. None of the older generations of Boomers and Gen-Xs wanted PC to become more radical or applicable to our everyday speech. Even older liberals like Bill Maher hate Political Correctness just as much as their older, conservative counterparts. Only the young blood SJW’s are pushing so hard for it to become universal and radicalized.
It’s not that way on Reddit, Youtube, and 4chan, at least, where since 2013 or so, following the demise of OWS, there has been a backlash against political correctness, by millennials. Youtube and Reddit doesn’t represent all millennials, but it is still a very large sample. Based on my own observations, the tide has definitely turned as shown by how pro-SJW comments get voted-down quickly and anti-SJW posts and discussions do well.
An example: Anita Sarkeesian’s YouTube videos have received such a negative response that comments and ratings are disabled. Meanwhile, AEI scholar Christina Hoff Sommers’ videos do very well.
Maybe it’s also like a barbell: on one extreme are SJW-millennials, but on the other are the ‘alt right’.
As I predicted in 2014, there is definitely evidence of SJW narrative collapse, especially on Reddit and elsewhere, with the rise of Red Pill, Dark Enlightenment, and other anti-SJW movements and ideologies. Online, whenever a story breaks out about the public school war on boys or about false rape accusations, the overwhelming majority of comments are against the SJWs, and we’re not talking about conservative websites, but sites like Reddit that have a broad appeal. For example, I was on Reddit in early August following the Ferguson melee, and I estimate at least 3/4 of the users were on the side of the police and against ‘black lives matter’. Anti-police comments were summarily down-voted. This was for general, bi-partisan subs like /r/news, not conservatives ones.