Ben Shapiro wrote on 2/24/21:
Institutional power in the U.S. is dominated by authoritarian leftists who seek top-down censorship and believe their progressive worldview is the only one that matters. These individuals believe in launching a revolution designed at tearing down the so-called “hierarchies of power.”
Claire Lehmann understands that it is NOT a revolution — she writes in the introduction to Panics and Persecutions – 20 Tales of Excommunication in the Digital Age (2020):
The radicalization of today’s progressive left…can’t be described as “revolutionary,” because it doesn’t offer any real alternative to traditional politics. Look beyond the street protests, the vandalized statues, the cancelation campaigns, the exotic theorems of intersectional identity; and one finds that the actual political demands are either ludicrous (“abolish the police”), meaningless (“decolonize our cities”), or simply represent further extrapolations of established progressive polices, such as hiring quotas, affirmative action in education, and enforced equity-training sessions.
…modern social justice proponents .…dwell on the theme of oppression, but have no realistic theory about how to alleviate it. And since their power typically extends only to the representational aspects of life – the hashtags we are allowed to use, the books we are allowed to write, the clothes we are allowed to wear, the acceptable names for buildings and streets, the pronouns people must recite – these are the subject of their most passionately expressed grievances.
Political cults (like today’s progressive left) set forth unchallengeable doctrines, which makes them unstable. They offer a totalizing theory of good and evil that conflates ideological correctness with moral worth. Cancel culture is the Left’s attempt to control and impose thought. It is clearly immoral, which is why they do not defend it. Instead, they are forced to deny cancel culture exists altogether*. Thankfully, there are thinkers who are not dependent on the coercive purveyors of anti-knowledge temporarily in control of our institutions.
I’m not worried about a revolutionary change to our legal/economic system. I do, however, share Claire’s concern about the abominable number of arrogant smart people attempting to suppress free thought and free speech in their grubby grab for power. Fortunately, their power is largely performative, symbolic and inane (cancelling things like syrup, toys and children’s books). Today’s cancel culture is not like the 1960’s, which led to positive social change and the civil rights revolution. It’s just a reality denying group of narrow minded individuals who just so happen to be in charge… for now. It cannot last because of the inherit instability of a Narrative that not only refuses to engage dissent, but also actively and viciously suppresses, cancels and attempts to destroy anything that runs counter to it.
What’s going on is not a revolution – it’s just an obvious authoritarian collectivist grasp for power via censorship. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I do not work for a woke university, corporation or mainstream media propaganda outlet that could cancel me if the woke mob found out what I was up to here (independent thought, free and honest expression). How’d you like to work for a corporation that orders you to be less white? Intersectionality nonsense is not a revolution. It is a pathological error in human thought. Humanity will soon be cured of it once enough cognition antibodies spread throughout the marketplace of ideas.
The cancelers take themselves extremely seriously, imagining themselves to be social-justice angels whose holy ends justify every imaginable means. Their sanctimonious spirit is something to behold. I’m glad the insidious conceit is temporary, not revolutionary.
*The articles I see denying cancel culture are ridiculous. Claire’s book details 20 stories of cancellation. The National Assoc. of Scholars database cites 128 cancellations. https://www.canceledpeople.com/ documents 173 cancelled minds. …. so far. Arguing that cancel culture doesn’t exists makes the arguer look silly – part of the self-deluded, immoral, gleeful savagery and joyful militancy that is today’s political left. They deserve to be mocked.