Handle on Cancel Culture

It’s often the case that you can learn more from random bloggers than prestigious “experts.” It’s also often the case that you can learn more from anonymous comments on blog posts than the blog posts themselves.

With that in mind, here‘s commenter Handle at Arnold Kling’s blog talking about cancel culture:

No one can say where the lines are or will be in ten minutes, they change and escalate all the time…. One can get by ok as a tamed heretic to a known thing, but not to an unknown thing. You can’t lead a blameless life if you don’t know from one day to the next what you’re going to be blamed for. … [T]he persecutions are *the point*, the thing that makes people feel the sadistic thrill of costless domination and punishment that means – in the way most fulfilling of core instincts – that one is higher status than one’s victims. … There has been a whole century of people trying to explain why untempered liberalism contained within it the seed of its own demise, and now we finally get to witness the path of progress leading to regress. … [T]he old progressive religion could advertise its positive vision through … the “The Smiling Multicultural Diversity Poster” manifested through various mediums. … Doesn’t it feel like that poster has been ripped down or papered over with new ones showing angry, brutal fists clenching rifles? … This is different. This is worse. *Much* worse.

And here:

Whatever the ideological “Cause” at a time or place happens to be, preaching it provides a useful way for outsider elites to undermine the legitimacy of the power held by insider elites. The trouble is, it never stops being useful. When it works, the former outsider elites become insider elites, but that only means there is a new set of outsider elites, and they are always going to try the same trick. … The Cause always provides a theory, explicit or tacit, of the legitimate uses and ends of power: that is, to further The Cause. … At some point things start spin really out of control and become chaotic and unstable and no one is safe in any position for a minute, because there is always something, some kind of heresy, infidelity, sin, or ideological kompromat someone can use to drag the new guy back down.[N]othing is ever enough. When The Cause is corrupted to give its troops and clients what they want, eventually it comes to the point where it can’t give them what they want…. And the intellectuals desperately revising and refining The Cause cannot catch up to such urges with anything approaching intellectual coherence.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s