I’ve watched cancel culture develop with an ever-growing sense of bemusement during the last few years. Each time I see people who bring nothing to the table for society, nothing in terms of improving our minds, nothing in terms of helping us understand ourselves, destroying the lives of people for one reason. Wrongthink.
Nobody likes being offended, I do understand that. The problem we now face is that offence is a currency and the more you have the more moral authority you can “buy” with it. Add to this the tremendous amplifying effect of our social media echo chambers and we arrive at the perfect storm of authoritarianism. The lunatics have gained control of the asylum, the only problem is the lunatics are now very dull indeed. This wasn’t the revolution I had in mind when I first logged on the Internet all those years ago.
Freedom of speech is not selective. Freedom is an absolute constrained only by what we are legally compelled to observe. Freedom of opinion is something we should cherish in the understanding that we will hear things that upset us or that we profoundly disagree with on every level. That’s what freedom entails. What these people are looking for, the “woken”, is something else. They are the ones who should be able to say what they like and everyone else who isn’t following their guide to a utopian world of absolute agreement should tread carefully.
If you fall foul of them they will campaign relentlessly to see you removed from social media. “No big deal” you might think, but that is the removal of your public voice. But that’s not enough, they will try to ensure you lose your job, your income, anything to hurt you. Your loved ones will be collateral damage, nothing more. Their reach is born of numbers, the influence they hold over public figures is alarming. It’s almost as if they’re an unstoppable force as they smugly oversee your demise. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
All we need are platform owners and people in any position of power or responsibility to show a backbone. Too many fear some kind of boycott without ever noticing that Twitter and social media aren’t often reflected in the real world. These people aren’t your customers, they hate you. They are bitter, twisted, nobodies. Someone just needs to stand and say “That’s enough”. But nobody will because they’re for some reason in thrall to this noisy minority and it sickens me.
Look at the Liberal Democrat party in the UK. During the last election their leader very publically went “woke” and looked to embrace the activists on Twitter. She lost her seat. The general public isn’t represented by these people, not even close. Any of us who can stand up to them, who have security, or simply a life they can’t touch has an obligation to stand up to them. It’s not even a choice because if you don’t, if you let them carry on, then no matter how careful you are you will be there with your forehead in the dirt begging forgiveness having done absolutely nothing wrong.
Stop buying into their hysterics. Nobody is killed because you don’t think a Trans woman is a woman or that children shouldn’t be given puberty blockers. The stats they’ll throw at you sound awful but they’re nonsense, a misrepresentative muddle of numbers to convince you that you are the aggressor. You don’t need Stonewall to tell you how to run a fair business. Just be decent, just consider people on their merits. You will never live up to their standards. Don’t want to take a knee? Don’t. Stand up to them because I promise you that once you do, once more of us do, their power will seem very flimsy indeed. The only power they have is that which we, the rest of us, those who do promote freedom, debate, and simple rules for not hurting people provide for them. It is ours to take back.
Ignore their language, ignore their taunts and threats. Stand up to them and stand up for those who cannot. Look after the right people, support the right people, because I promise you anyone who indulges in cancel culture are not good, kind, or decent. They’re the worst kind of mealy-mouthed worms wrapped in a cloak of assumed moral authority.