The dangers of cancel culture

This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.

Who are you to wave your finger? Sitting on your high horse pointing at everything you disapprove of, trying to make it vanish, in the hopes that you will never have to confront your own skeletons in the closet.

Don’t confront them, discard them! It’s easier to just make them disappear and have your way, like a small child throwing over a board game when they can’t handle an inevitable defeat. Rational discourse? No thanks! Socractic elenchus? Cancel it! Place the crown on your own head and strategically calculate what you will and will not tolerate, but in the process make sure you don’t look in the mirror, you might end up cancelling yourself.

This is the reality that is unfolding before our eyes in the form of: cancel culture. This is Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 materializing. This is the very scary road to totalitarianism, that George Washington warned us about when he wrote: “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”

Nonetheless, there is one good thing that comes from cancel culture, and that is the realization of how important it is to cancel, cancel culture. This is one of the many strange paradoxes that is deeply entangled within our equivocal being.

It is often within these paradoxes that we begin to comprehend certain truths. For instance: without silence there is no music; without darkness there is no light; and without understanding censorship and repression we cannot comprehend the value of free speech.

Freedom of speech is of the utmost importance and is one of the prerequisites for any great civilization. It is at the heart of what enables progress in all fields. Abolishing free speech clears the way for a pathologically perverse society. Ultimately, cancel culture eradicates dialectics and has historically led to totalitarian regimes.

So, who are you to wave your finger? Think twice before doing so, because one day the skeletons you have been hiding in your closet will come out to haunt you, and before you know it, you will be on the wrong side of the cancel culture you were once promoting.

Thus, for those of you who are riding the wave of this cancel culture, I leave you with these famous words that author Evelyn Beatrice Hall attributed to Voltaire: “I do not agree with a word you say, but will defend to death your right to say it.”

Copyright © 2023 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.