Cancel Culture – a Simple Way to Smear the Left or an Anti-Political Culture

There are two kinds of people: The ones that have been cancelled and the ones who are going to be cancelled

On this episode of The Barricade’s Podcast, Maria Cernat and Boyan Stanislaski take on a very controversial topic: Cancel culture! The term is mostly used to smear the left, but one must not succumb to the temptation of making the logical error of affirming common sense. In other words, if the term is mostly used by right-wingers this does not necessarily imply that whomever might find it interesting to debate it is a right-winger. 

As stated in the subtitle, we have reached a point in leftist circles where the danger of being cancelled lurks just around the corner and pretty much anybody, regardless of their status, convictions, or intentions could potentially be chased away as an apostate! Maria Cernat and Boyan Stanislavski discussed the times they were cancelled and smeared. After that, they tried to find causes that would enlarge the conceptual framework of analysis. Maria Cernat brought to the table the arguments Ben Burgis laid out during a recent episode of his podcast. She also explored the very fruitful analysis that Wendy Brown provided in her 2001 book “Politics out of History” for the strange ways the leftist perspective on changing systems evolved into a religious ritual of chasticizing people. Boyan Stanislavski and Maria Cernat also explore the impact that those types of media have had in amplifying indignation and inciting people to online hate. 

The structural causes of cancel culture, such as the activist movements bound to the grant application rat race and the constant competitive production of social visibility, are also explored. The analysis of phenomenon is not simply a limitation on the freedom of speech. Such a claim is a very weak argument, since it can be said that this is how the enablers of cancel culture choose to express themselves. So the discussion that Maria Cernat and Boyan Stanislavski had broadens the conceptual framework of analysis by showing how it could lead to an anti-political movement where the evaluation of structural causes of oppression is replaced by constant moralizing.

Photo: Pixabay, CC0

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