A Place to Argue about Political Correctness & Cancel Culture

xec

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The mob. As it has always been. It's just that the mob is now somewhat disconnected from the elites.
I'm not so sure about that. I'm not very knowledgeable of how this played out in other times and societies, but my impression is that today's mobs are motivated by the Pieties of the Current Year, and it's also my impression that those Pieties are mostly established by various elites in various fields (and these elites are not necessarily the same elites from which you say the mob has become disconnected)
 

Blackbird

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Who gets to define what constitutes a "controversial" opinion?

Society has come a long way from "I may disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" to "You better not say anything I disagree with or I'll mount a social media campaign to destroy your life as much as possible".
I’m sorry if I don’t rally behind your right to say “Germany did a good thing by gassing the Jews”. We’re not exactly discussing the merits of Brutalism here.
 

George_Apley

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I'm not so sure about that. I'm not very knowledgeable of how this played out in other times and societies, but my impression is that today's mobs are motivated by the Pieties of the Current Year, and it's also my impression that those Pieties are mostly established by various elites in various fields (and these elites are not necessarily the same elites from which you say the mob has become disconnected)
Yeah I wasn't super clear. By "elites" I meant the cultural elites who generally dominated social morés in "polite society" from "the days of yore" through the late-20th Century. The WASP aesthetic mostly, which was enforced via elite institutions in government and industry. Those elites aren't in charge of society anymore, in a shift that ramped up post-1960 but really finished in the 1990s.

So I agree with you.

The "new elites" aren't WASPS. They're mostly left-wing, from historically marginalized groups or allied to those groups. Seems to me that the "new elites" in politics, academia, and entertainment set the acceptability agenda now and both the competition between them and the backlash against them now drives the fickle and toxic arguments around what is acceptable speech and behavior.

Note that most folks who only dip their toes in the water of so-called "cancel culture" sensibilities are holding the line that, "we're just asking people to stop being assholes and when they won't stop, we call them out on it publicly." Obviously there's oodles of room for (and plenty of examples of) overreach and disproportionate responses, and that's something that (small-l) liberals should be wary of lending too much power to.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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"Cancel" culture is just this decade's rebranding of the same punch-down vs. punch-up struggle and 'self-branding' obfuscations therein as to who's discreetly wielding the upper hand (i.e. historically moreso the punching-down crowd) that's been a constant since the dawn of civilization.

Once upon a time Christians used to "cancel" witches by burning them at the stake. While once uponner a time Romans used to "cancel" Christians by burning them at the stake. Your slick Twitter burn being the 501st individual to dunk on some mob-consensus stupid person just continues in that grand old societal tradition. Let's just not get too credulous about the "burn" being literal this time, 'kay?
 

xec

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I’m sorry if I don’t rally behind your right to say “Germany did a good thing by gassing the Jews”. We’re not exactly discussing the merits of Brutalism here.
There's a big difference between not rallying behind something I said and trying to get me fired, deplatformed, blacklisted or whatever because you disagree with what I said.

There's also a very big difference between defending someone's right to state their position on some controversial social topic on the one hand, and defending someone's right to advocate positions that are totally outside the norms of civilized behavior on the other. You're implying that if I defend someone's right to explain why they oppose trans women playing in women's sports it means that I'll also defend someone who's advocating genocide or cannibalism or child sacrifice or some other abhorrent extreme. I believe your statement is an example of what logicians call the fallacy of the slippery slope, or a false dichotomy, or some such thing. I'm not motivated to Google the exact term right now, but I encourage you to do so when you have some free time.

Note that most folks who only dip their toes in the water of so-called "cancel culture" sensibilities are holding the line that, "we're just asking people to stop being assholes and when they won't stop, we call them out on it publicly." Obviously there's oodles of room for (and plenty of examples of) overreach and disproportionate responses, and that's something that (small-l) liberals should be wary of lending too much power to.
To some extent I agree that there's nothing wrong with asking people to stop being assholes and call them out if they don't, but from what I've seen the mob doesn't bother to call the asshole out in public but immediately tries to ruin his life without giving him a chance to change his ways. It also doesn't matter whether the asshole's offenses are ongoing or something he did just once twenty or thirty years ago that wasn't considered offensive at the time. Either way the verdict of the mob is always "Off with his head", with no regard for context or extenuating circumstances or changes in the offender's beliefs and values from what they believed decades ago.
 

KentXie

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I think "cancel culture" is borne out of people saying and doing something bad in the past and either 1) does not show remorse for it and/or 2) was never held accountable for it. Similar to how in hockey, when referees don't enforce the rules and issue penalties, hockey teams employ "enforcer" type players to mete out the punishment on the other team.

"Cancel culture" in its own right, is also protected free speech, in that people are allowed to punish with their wallet, and I believe is necessary in order to protect free speech. If we cancelled "cancel culture" then you're going to see movement to actually criminalize controversial, bigoted, racists, hate and etc., speeches.
 
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bolehboleh

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There's a big difference between not rallying behind something I said and trying to get me fired, deplatformed, blacklisted or whatever because you disagree with what I said.

There's also a very big difference between defending someone's right to state their position on some controversial social topic on the one hand, and defending someone's right to advocate positions that are totally outside the norms of civilized behavior on the other. You're implying that if I defend someone's right to explain why they oppose trans women playing in women's sports it means that I'll also defend someone who's advocating genocide or cannibalism or child sacrifice or some other abhorrent extreme. I believe your statement is an example of what logicians call the fallacy of the slippery slope, or a false dichotomy, or some such thing. I'm not motivated to Google the exact term right now, but I encourage you to do so when you have some free time.



To some extent I agree that there's nothing wrong with asking people to stop being assholes and call them out if they don't, but from what I've seen the mob doesn't bother to call the asshole out in public but immediately tries to ruin his life without giving him a chance to change his ways. It also doesn't matter whether the asshole's offenses are ongoing or something he did just once twenty or thirty years ago that wasn't considered offensive at the time. Either way the verdict of the mob is always "Off with his head", with no regard for context or extenuating circumstances or changes in the offender's beliefs and values from what they believed decades ago.
I agree with what you're saying in both paragraphs. In my original post, I used an example of a CEO wearing a Nazi T-shirt because it would signify their support or involvement in that group. I think that in a civilized society, we should speak out against Nazis and other actual hate groups.

What I do have a problem with, however, is people being labeled a "nazi" for having views that don't conform to a certain extreme left wing ideology. Your point about not allowing transgender athletes participate in women's athletics is fair, and I realize that there are many different points of view on this issue. But for some, to even question such a thing is the equivalent of throwing Jews into ovens, when clearly it isn't.

That doesn't, however, let the right off the hook. Certainly calling out left-wing "snowflakes" for the way that their ideology has infiltrated our daily lives, making it difficult to have good conversations because we're always walking on broken glass, is something that needs to be done. We must also remember that the right has been controlling the narrative of their own "patriotic correctness" for as long as I can remember. Remember when Colin K kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and the right turned into an argument against our troops (even though he consulted a soldier about an appropriate to show his displeasure). Remember how the right called out anyone who opposed Bush's illegal war and claimed they were Unamerican? Remember how we spend $700 billion per year on the military and for anyone to question it, they labeled "anti-military."

All sides do it, and quite frankly, I'm fucking tired of it.
 
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TallIsGood

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I’m sorry if I don’t rally behind your right to say “Germany did a good thing by gassing the Jews”. We’re not exactly discussing the merits of Brutalism here.
The point of free speech is to have ideas be debated in public so people can see that it is a terrible idea.
 

F-Line to Dudley

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The point of free speech is to have ideas be debated in public so people can see that it is a terrible idea.
And as this current era of dysfunction proves:

The point of free speech is that the pushback against such terrible ideas is able to have an intrinsically equal counterbalancing seat of the table, instead of the loudest and most-connected megaphone in the land simply being able to sow unchecked chaos by getting a free AND hyper-amplified lane via unequal access to power to fly their freak flag on terrible idea-mongering as bad as they wanna until somebody gets convinced to take up arms over that very bad idea being repeated ever so loudly/obnoxiously/unequally/ad nauseam.


After all, didn't we have our great national reckoning and/or guilty conscience on that whole hullabaloo like...Wednesday? :unsure:
 

KentXie

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The point of free speech is to have ideas be debated in public so people can see that it is a terrible idea.
Honestly, debating is a waste of time. I watched the whole debate over whether Pennsylvania's electors should be thrown out and nearly every point brought up by the objectors have been disproven and not based on fact. Until everyone in the world has perfect information and is on the same moral spectrum, you can twist every terrible idea into a good idea and people will believe it. It's how Nazi Germany happened in the first place.

And this is why cancel culture needs to exist, to hold those exercising their free speech to amplify falsehood accountable without criminalizing free speech.
 
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xec

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And this is why cancel culture needs to exist, to hold those exercising their free speech to amplify falsehood accountable without criminalizing free speech.
LOL. Reminds me of that famous line from the Vietnam War: We had to destroy the village in order to save it.
 

JumboBuc

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Honestly, debating is a waste of time. I watched the whole debate over whether Pennsylvania's electors should be thrown out and nearly every point brought up by the objectors have been disproven and not based on fact. Until everyone in the world has perfect information and is on the same moral spectrum, you can twist every terrible idea into a good idea and people will believe it. It's how Nazi Germany happened in the first place.
Sure, some things in life are binary right versus wrong or true versus false with little room for debate. Anybody who decries "cancel culture" as applied to these questions is being disingenuous at best. But plenty of other questions are more subtle and nuanced with room for plenty of shades of grey. And on these topics, I think there is real value in people being able to freely air thoughts and opinions on all sides without fear of "being cancelled."

If you say Hitler is good, you deserve to be "cancelled" and you don't have grounds to complain about it. But if you in good faith air heterodox opinions on some more complicated topics (e.g., exploring the relationship between violent and nonviolent protest tactics and ensuing public opinion and electoral outcomes) you do not deserve to be fired from your job.

The question here (as in everywhere in life) is where to draw the line. Some "cancellations" are appropriate, but others are not. And what makes the whole concept of "cancel culture" so hard to conclusively address is that reasonable people can draw the line between "appropriate cancellations" and "overkill cancellations" in different places.
 

KentXie

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LOL. Reminds me of that famous line from the Vietnam War: We had to destroy the village in order to save it.
It's how to world usually works right? Many evangelical voters would say that Trump's behavior is antithetical to their beliefs but he is pushing their agenda through at an absurd pace so they are willing to sacrifice the stability of the country to save, in their POV, their country.

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KentXie

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Sure, some things in life are binary right versus wrong or true versus false with little room for debate. Anybody who decries "cancel culture" as applied to these questions is being disingenuous at best. But plenty of other questions are more subtle and nuanced with room for plenty of shades of grey. And on these topics, I think there is real value in people being able to freely air thoughts and opinions on all sides without fear of "being cancelled."

If you say Hitler is good, you deserve to be "cancelled" and you don't have grounds to complain about it. But if you in good faith air heterodox opinions on some more complicated topics (e.g., exploring the relationship between violent and nonviolent protest tactics and ensuing public opinion and electoral outcomes) you do not deserve to be fired from your job.

The question here (as in everywhere in life) is where to draw the line. Some "cancellations" are appropriate, but others are not. And what makes the whole concept of "cancel culture" so hard to conclusively address is that reasonable people can draw the line between "appropriate cancellations" and "overkill cancellations" in different places.
I mean that's what I'm saying right? You draw a line, then that means you're creating a law and thus you're criminalizing free speech.
 

Johnnyrocket891

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The point of free speech is to have ideas be debated in public so people can see that it is a terrible idea.
Free speech did not work out to well for our old board member theRifleman. The entire reason the Rifleman got booted was because of politics like this now we have entire thread dedicated to this rhetoric.
Seems kind of hypocritical.
 

HenryAlan

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Free speech did not work out to well for our old board member theRifleman. The entire reason the Rifleman got booted was because of politics like this now we have entire thread dedicated to this rhetoric.
Seems kind of hypocritical.
No, that's not why you were booted.
 

statler

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Do you know how many times I tried to make a separate thread specifically for Rifleman and your his, rantings? It was never enough. You He just constantly polluted other threads on the forum with off-topic rantings. Rifleman's banning wasn't about speech, it was about forum management.
 

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