Luis Cuende

04/04/2022

Cancel culture and the Dark Ages

I might be cancelled for writing this blog post. But it’s getting to a point in which a vocal minority is turning the world upside down, so it’s every sane mind’s responsibility to speak up. The Overton window is quickly shifting towards totalitarian, anti-scientific values.

It takes two things for a society to thrive: freedom and truth.

Freedom — particularly freedom of speech — directly correlates with truth, because truth cannot spread in silence.

Truth itself directly correlates with science, and the respect that society at large has for the scientific method.

Cancel culture undermines both. Cancel culture undermines basic freedoms, like freedom of speech, arguing that those that offend others with their words should be censored.

Cancel culture undermines truth, because it puts personal feelings and unresolved traumas before logic and reason. Cancel culture is all about censoring or even bending the truth, if the truth is hard to swallow for those that live outraged and offended.

Today, you have to really measure your words. You can easily get deplatformed by a mob. Or even sued, as more and more countries are putting stricter laws in place around online communications.

Ironically, those mobs usually camouflage themselves as the freedom seekers and the oppressed. Yet they are threatening freedom of speech and oppressing others. This is even crazier in a place like the Internet, in which if you don’t like something, you can just close your tab and browse somewhere else.

The root of the issue is rather simple: some people have deeply unresolved issues, such as self-acceptance issues, and should go see a therapist. That’s it. Seeing a therapist would solve their issues and they would live a happy, non-outraged, non-offended life.

But, instead of that, those mobs are pushing their deeply-rooted issues, their traumas, into society. They are pushing entire governments to change laws. They are pushing entire corporations to deplatform their users.

And yes, there are pressing issues that need to be solved to live in a fairer, free society. Unfortunately, those mobs rarely care about deep societal issues, and also don’t care about addressing them with the truth in hand and following a structured, rational process. Because these issues are harder and complex, so it’s just easier to scream and hate.

They just outrage. They shout. They cry. They sue. And slowly but surely, they move the needle towards a society based on emotional impulses rooted in personal traumas. They place their deep personal issues onto society, and in that process society becomes deeply broken.

Culture deteriorates, as more populist art targeting such offended demographic gets created, undermining free thinking.

Intellectual discussion stops, as intellectuals are scared by the truth offending someone, undermining the scientific method.

Economy suffers, as we stop improving life and instead focus on political correctness and virtue signaling.

And the Dark Ages start, all over again. And what played along with the Dark Ages? The Holy Inquisition.

If you want to dig deeper, here is one of the best long essays I have read on the topic of cancel culture. It goes on to analyze the depths of the issue at a psychological and societal level:

The Real Problem at Yale Is Not Free Speech
Yale, and other elite colleges, have been rocked by controversies and protests. The problem is an elite that has forgotten itself, neglected its institutions, and fallen into ideological frenzy.
https://palladiummag.com/2019/08/05/the-real-problem-at-yale-is-not-free-speech/