#Cancelled – a discussion on censorship vs. cancel culture

https://harpers.org/a-letter-on-justice-and-open-debate/

Cancel culture, at the moment, is a movement that’s destroying the celebrity elite, politicians, and corporations. It’s chipping away at their royal entitlement to make the rules without being questioned by the populace.

It’s holding “VIP influencers” up to a higher standard.

So in that respect, I don’t care if a VIP person is “canceled” because they say something that goes against the grain of the same society that built their career.

When you become an influencer, or work for a company, you reflect the attitudes of the greater population. Your own opinions are irrelevant to the “party” that has put you in that position.

No one is entitled to fame and success. No one is entitled to 100K followers. That’s all a privilege that comes at a price.

One could even argue that Facebook and Twitter should not guarantee free speech because they are companies following the wishes of their greater customer base – it’s not their job to guarantee individual freedom of speech.

If I was ever #canceled, which I might be considering most people agree I have a rebellious attitude, I shouldn’t act surprised. If we as individuals piss off a larger herd of humankind, then it’s our inability to fit in.

I’m used to it. I’m a social outcast, always have been. When that happens, we must seek safety in the wilderness, or with a smaller tribe who agree with our opinions.

All one needs to have individual freedom of expression is a website. Popularity and visibility are not guaranteed. Freedom of speech ends with the freedom to believe as you wish on your own property and platform.
One could argue that ISP providers and web hosts have some degree of responsibility to provide every individual their own publishing platform so that everyone has equal opportunity to “free speech.”

So the only point I would step in would be if the cancel culture movement becomes a groupthink problem, one where everyone is being policed in their own homes or being censored completely from the internet.
I don’t think we’ve reached that point. I think freedom of thought and debate is guaranteed.

But if you’re an influencer, or a thought leader, then your thoughts should be to advance the movement, or march towards a more progressive society. It’s not our problem if said celebrity gets canceled because they are out of touch with what people want.

I as a lone wolf have no party or allegiance. I’m a theoretical leftist and thus far have not felt personally attacked by #cancelculture.

There are sometimes idiots on Twitter and Facebook who I recognize to be amoral cult leaders and so I unfollow them. That’s a fair process. As long as humans have the ability to exist and not be rounded up and murdered/tortured for our opinions, we are a progressive society.

But let’s give society some credit. The leftist David Koresh’s out there are not going to gain total power. They’re usually just venting. The government is not at risk of being violently overthrown. People are simply exercising their right to protest injustice AND capitalism, what capitalism does to people and society.

But I don’t see cancel culture the same as censorship.

We are under no obligation to consume content or products by people we no longer admire. We are not under obligation to guarantee civil discourse without expecting repercussions – from the people. From fans who stop following, from people on social media who leave us a bad review, etc. etc.

The government is not censoring freedom of expression. Corporations and celebrities are simply being held to the same standard as the populace for a change.

Such delusions of martyrdom that Rowling and Chomsky are experiencing right now is simply a matter of refusing to acknowledge that their fame is tentative and success in life is always conditional.

One thought on “#Cancelled – a discussion on censorship vs. cancel culture

  1. I’ve really never gotten into Twitter, nor the whole “Influencer” thing which in my view (which at this point you can term “the viewpoint of an old while male fossil”) is basically amateurs playing at being advertising agencies and failing miserably.

    The problem with cancel culture, at least my understanding of it, is it looks very much like online lynching by a mob, and I never have been terribly for that type of thing. Historically there have been many examples of that type of thing, and they never end well.

    It isn’t really censorship, any more than the Salem Witch Trials were “censoring” witches but it can easily be as dangerous.

    Elites ignoring the general population is never a good thing either, as Marie Antoinette found out the hard way. but mob rule isn’t any better as the proletariat in France found out when they ended up with Napoleon.

    In any case I thing our entire Society has gone freaking nuts. Isaac Asimov in his Foundation series postulated that the human race could be predicted when the numbers got large enough. I am afraid he may have been right.

    Or as they put it in Men In Black:

    Kay : A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet.

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