I was originally intending to title this article ‘A Survival Guide to the Cultural Revolution’, then suddenly backtracked upon realising that my optimism was disguised as naivety. This wave of intolerance which increases in its intensity year on year will drown us all eventually; those who retreat away out of fear of its impact will run out of room to run any further and become trapped; whilst those who ride above the wave as its allies will be betrayed by the uncontrollable menace underneath them when it starts to starve from a shortage of prey.
No one will survive the unrelenting tide of so called ‘cancel-culture’, this generation’s preferred method of censorship. If anyone speaks against the status quo narrative – if they dare to be ‘politically incorrect’, so to speak – it is seen as justified if these thought criminals are booted from social media, sacked from their job, and blacklisted by future employers.
The “progressive” left, who power the ‘cancel-culture’ through their dominance over the institutions, such as social media, the news media, and the education system to name but a few, combine this authority with their unbridled aggression and ruthlessness towards the opposition. These factors in play allow this group to appear more popular than it actually is, by simply shouting the loudest. With these defences secured, they then deploy the accusations of sexism/racism/ad infinitum not to expose this unacceptable behaviour (those accused are hardly, if ever, guilty of such actions) but as a hammer to bludgeon their enemies with, which gives them that façade of justification for their actions.
Yet for a force to be reckoned with, the ‘cancel-culture’ army is highly disorganised. There is no established leadership, no constitution outlining its beliefs, membership requirements or code of conduct, and most importantly of all I believe, no set of agreed upon texts of what is ideologically permissible. As such, in the road to ‘social-justice’, the views of the progressive left become more and more extreme. When the wave cannot find anymore prey within its immediate grasp, it extends forwards to encompass more unwilling victims; meanwhile those surfacing above the wave now have a harder time trying to keep their balance, so some inevitably fall beneath the surface, caught by the monster.
J.K Rowling is one such ‘dead woman walking’, whom the ‘cancel-culture’ wave has tried to target recently. Her views on ‘social-justice’, more specifically on trans rights (that biological males are not women), suddenly became out-of-synch with the forever mutating DNA of progressivism. Luckily, her wealth and influence within the writing world has meant that this attack has not had much impact on her. However, ‘cancel-culture’ will return for her head in subsequent waves, with most likely increasing levels of success.
Whilst the number and variety of their prey is immense, equally so, are the lengths ‘cancel-culture’ is willing to journey in search of this prey. The ‘cancel-culture’ progressives view anyone’s past as being liable for a warranted investigation; ‘offence archaeologists’, a term used by Toby Young, the founder of the Free Speech Union, adequately describes this mind-set. The ‘cancel-culture’ progressives are always actively looking for instances of one causing offence because of their insatiable appetite – as soon as one victim is devoured, they must find another. Of course, by holding a worldview of society being an oppressive superstructure, with the wider population serving as its collaborators, the enemies are all around, and so must be exposed and disgraced. It is the ideology of paranoia.
No concessions are given to views expressed in a time when those views were acceptable or did not cause the same level of disgust as they do now. The comedian Kevin Hart made a homophobic joke in a tweet over a decade ago in a time when that type of humour (along with comedy in general) was more permissible but was still denied from hosting the Oscars. I’m surprised former US President Obama has managed to evade the ‘cancel-culture’ wave for so long given his support of traditional marriage in 2008. Although he came to support gay marriage laws a few years later, redemption does not usually appease the ‘cancel-culture’ progressives.
In addition, the ‘cancel-culture’ progressives also spot prey through guilt by association. Just recently, the professional footballer Aleksandar Katai was released (i.e. sacked) from his club LA Galaxy after his wife criticised the Black Lives Matter movement online. The lesson here is to make sure you constantly check what your siblings are posting on Facebook, because you will surely get the same fate as them if the ‘cancel-culture’ progressives catch them in their iron-sights. However, a way to temporarily appease them is to follow the Stalinist principle of denouncing one’s own family member for ‘thought-crime’.
Nevertheless, the ‘cancel-culture’ progressives are starting to convict children for the sins of their fathers. Conor Daly, a US NASCAR driver, lost one of his sponsors because his father uttered a racial slur on a radio show that was aired during the 1980s, before his son was even born.
The lesson here is that if anyone of your parents have publicly admitted that they voted Tory, or done anything remotely ‘controversial’, really – well, I’m afraid you are probably a dead man (or woman) walking.
Lastly, I would like to explicitly state that this is not a call to nihilism; not to succumb to the pleasures of the brave new world which becomes so enticing when all hope seems lost. The message is that, as the ‘cancel-culture’ tsunami intends to drown us all – and if nothing is done, will succeed in doing so – what is the point of appeasing it with false displays of solidarity? What is the point of pulling the covers over our terrified bodies when the monster will only pull back the sheets? I wish to conclude with a phrase from Winston Churchill: ‘an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
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