Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Historically, “cancel culture” has been the norm

It’s rather amusing to hear “progressives” (including some “anarchists”) attacking Nicki Minaj for being an anti-vaxxer the same way conservatives would have attacked her for being a ho 40 years ago (and probably still do).
Today’s “social progressives” are the new “social conservatives.” In every generation, you have a collection of do-gooders, usually rooted in the relatively stable sectors of the middle class, who express compulsion to zealously enforce the dominant moral paradigm.
Historically, “cancel culture” has been the norm. The rare occasions in which freedom of opinion have been allowed have been the exceptions. Socrates certainly got canceled. Bruno got canceled. Savanarola was very big on “cancel culture” until he eventually got canceled. Both Martin Luther and Thomas Hobbes came close to being executed for heresy. Being the equivalent of a Jehovah’s Witness in Calvin’s Geneva could get you burned at the stake just like it could get you sent to the crematoria in the Third Reich.
Thirty or forty years ago, censorship threats were constantly coming from conservatives and religious fundamentalists (and that’s still true in institutions or geographical areas where the right-wing is the dominant power group). At the moment, progressives are holding the cultural upper hand, at least in media, entertainment, journalism, communications technology, and education. Even there, antiwar or pro-Palestinian viewpoints frequently get “canceled.”
In the future, it will be something else. The day may come when there will be hysterical calls for editing out scenes from old movies that depict people smoking, holding a gun, or eating meat (if that hasn’t already happened).

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2 replies »

  1. I remember reading that in the movie E.T. the guns of the police or FBl agents had been digitally edited out and replaced with walkie talkies. It’ll be pretty depressing if meat eating becomes as “triggering” to progressives as firearms.

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