The cancer of cancel culture
Allow me to present four simple observations regarding cancel culture for your consideration:
1. Where does it end? What or when is the stopping point? If we can cancel historical figures from our nation’s past, why stop there? Why not go back to the very dawn of recorded human history and cancel every individual or civilization found guilty of ever having been hurtful or making anyone feel unsafe? And then, we can simply erase all human history, because what nation, kindred, tongue, or people has been so pure and perfect as to never offend anyone? No human civilization or institution could hope to escape the cultural guillotine.
Not only that, why shouldn’t cancel culture extend into the future as well as the past? Our current generation is far from perfect. Why shouldn’t tomorrow’s generation cancel today’s generation? Every generation feels smug in its own righteousness - until the next generation comes along.
You see, taken to its logical conclusion, cancel culture is a metastatic malignancy that will eventually wipe out every shred of human endeavor, past, present, and future. You may think I’m being extreme, but every cancer starts out as just a few destructive cells. Unchecked, it ultimately kills its host.
2. On an individual basis, who among us has lived a life totally free of any transgression? Who among us has never injured a single fellow being in any way? Who has never gossiped or spoken disparagingly of another person? In other words, who qualifies to cast the first stone? Cancel culture is, by its very nature, an exercise in overweening arrogance. It is practiced by those who feel worthy to be everyone else’s judge, jury, and executioner.
3. As far as I can tell, cancel culture is practiced pretty much exclusively by the left. Why isn’t there a hue and cry to cancel the entire Democrat party? Historically, following the Civil War, the Democrat Party held overwhelming power throughout the South for generations and forcefully opposed any civil or political rights for Blacks. Why is the Democrat Party given a pass when no one else seems to be able to atone for past sins? With this in mind, today’s cancel culture reeks of the mindset of, "We should cancel thee, but not me!" It’s the very definition of hypocrisy.
4. Throughout human history, every totalitarian government has practiced cancel culture - every single one. It doesn’t matter if the government was at the extreme right or the extreme left of the political spectrum. It may have been known by a different name -- book-burning comes to mind -- but squelching every individual, opinion, and utterance that didn’t adhere to approved dogma has always been a hallmark of tyranny. Cancel culture, while invariably viewed as virtuous by its practitioners, is actually the canary in the coal mine of totalitarianism.
IMAGE: Cancel culture by Markus119. Public Domain.