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“Cancel Culture”; what exactly is this, and is it new?

Written by John (the other John).

The “cancel culture” today is a form of boycott in which someone has shared an unpopular opinion (generally, a Conservative opinion) that is perceived to be offensive by Leftists, thus there is a social media movement to cancel/de-platform that person. Naturally, because the method to spread the word for a boycott is by social media, the inference is that this is a new phenomena. But is it? Is shutting people down for speech that is innovative or that “pushes the envelope” a new concept? Let us go back in time with select examples to demonstrate that this is not new.

The oldest example I will give is that of Socrates in ancient Athens. He was a philosopher whose ideas challenged the popular beliefs of his era. So what did the authorities do to him? They had a “kangaroo trial” (or in Greece, perhaps a “lamb trial”) in which he was charged with corrupting the youth of Athens, and his sentence was death by hemlock. But did this silence Socrates? In life, yes; in death, he has been a martyr for free-speech for 2,500 years. So those who sought to de-platform him have failed.

The next example is Jesus Christ. He had the audacity to preach about love, charity, respect, peace, etc… This message was a threat to the Roman government and to the local population (who feared yet another retaliation from Rome for acts of “rebellion” by a local citizen). So to silence him, they had a public trial, and the locals found him guilty, with the means to de- platform him was death by crucifixion. But did this silence Jesus? No need to respond to this statement. After 2,000 years since he was martyred, he is “The King of Kings”, Rex Regum.

We can then move on to moments when religious institutions silenced people whose theories contradicted religious dogma. Whether it was the Vatican who silenced people such as Galileo by condemning him for heresy because he stated that the sun was the center of our universe (instead of the earth), or whether it was/is Islam that condemns people to death for violating “blasphemy laws” (which is whatever the local religious leader interprets to be a violation of the Koran), this is yet another example of historical silencing/de-platforming of people for having adverse opinions to that of those in charge.

But the concept of cancelling people out for diverse opinions took a drastic violent turn in the 20 th century when International Socialists (Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro, Kim Dynasty, Pol Pot, Chi Minh, etc…) and National Socialists (AH) murdered people and burned books regarding any opinion that countered the zeitgeist of the tyrant of the day. Between the Red Holocaust (about 100 million murders), the concentration and death camps (about 8 million murders), and WWII (tens of millions of murders), the various variations of 20 th century Socialism cancelled out and de-platformed more people in an 82 year period than any other similar timeframe in history. (The Muslims killed an estimated 100 million people in India, but this was a multi-century effort from about the 11 th century to about the 17 th century). So on a per annum basis, the various forms of Socialists killed more people in the effort to “cancel”-out diverse opinions.

Which of course this leads us to today in 2019. The Socialists not only again control the media, academia, government, but now they also control big-tech (hence they control the platform for spreading information/misinformation). They do not necessarily physically kill you today (unless you piss off the Clintons), but they can de-platform/boycott/cancel you, for which the effect is to economically/financially kill you by either you losing your job or your business loses customers; hence the phrase “cancel culture”.

So is the ‘cancel culture” a new concept? No; it had been around for millennia (perhaps even since the beginning of human beings 100,000 years ago). The effect is the same though which is to shut you down (historically thru murder, and today thru economic ruin). Nevertheless, whether we call it “blasphemy laws”, “the purge”, “book burning”, “cancel culture”, or whatever cool-name the next generation decides to call its own variation of silencing dissent, it is a power-play whose intent is to control our minds and thoughts. After all, the most effective form of censorship is self-censorship; so if they can put the fear of Hades into us, then we will self-censor ourselves. So when people today say that “diversity is our strength”, these are generally the same people who not only reject diverse ideas, but they will outright “cancel” you out thru intimidation, violence, economic ruin, etc…

Despite that, I will publicly state that “diverse opinions are a strength”, but this of course requires an educated populace that honours and respects the Socratic method of debate (as opposed to an uneducated populace whose instinct is to slice you up for having an adverse opinion).

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