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How do we think about cancel culture?
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Cancel culture is an insidious form of virtue signalling

Cancel culture isn't really about justice. Instead, it's a vicious competition of who can make themselves look better by putting someone else down.

The Argument

Cancel culture is presented by its proponents as a form of protest or a social justice. But the method and character they use contradict this claim. The language of cancel culture seeks to tear down one person while building another up. It is not about empowering the weak; it is about ganging up on one person to make yourself look good. Cancel culture is being weaponized under the guise of "liberal" values. It has become a competitive sport in which people effectively dehumanize their opponents to prove their own "wokeness". It promotes a toxic culture of self-elevation for the influencer generation, in which power is handed to those who most convincingly undermine their opponents. It makes a show out of attacking, demoralizing, and destroying someone else. Cancel culture’s vicious nature threatens human interaction at every level. It teaches people to prioritize their own image at the expense of others. This way of thinking doesn’t promote justice; it’s just a vanity project on a broad scale. And in attacking certain values, it teaches its own brand of values that are ultimately harmful for society.

Counter arguments

This is a disingenuous misrepresentation of what cancel culture is. Yes, there will always be some people who twist a good thing and take it too far. But for the most part, cancel culture is comprised of people fighting a powerful individual spreading hateful ideas. And they fight them not with hateful words, but with silence and withholding their money. It’s not about self-empowerment. In fact, cancel culture comes from the acknowledgement that most people simply don’t have the same power as celebrities. The only way for those that do have power to be held accountable is if the people band together online and denounce them.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Thursday, 16 Jul 2020 at 20:19 UTC

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