Cancel Culture: The Problem With Society Today

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

With the invention of the internet, society as we knew it was changed forever. Social Media was born, and instantly, you were able to post whatever thoughts, ideas, or opinions that you wanted in under a minute.


In theory, there is nothing inherently wrong with this. There is potential to be exposed to a vast array of different ideas, opinions, cultures, and ideologies. But for the past several years, the social media space has become a breeding ground for negativity and violence.


The problem that has arisen, is that many members of social media have come to believe that it is their duty to destroy the livelihoods of users who post comments or ideas that they disagree with. This problem has become excessively burdensome for conservatives.


People (usually celebrities or well-known figures) can be fired from their jobs, shunned from their friend groups, and boycotted on a national level for saying supposedly "offensive" things online. This phenomenon has been dubbed: cancel culture.


Cancel culture is defined by dictionary.com as, "The popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive."


The problem with this phenomenon is that we live in America. Free speech is a protected right under our constitution, and people are allowed to have conflicting views.


Exposure to views different than your own is actually a very good and healthy thing; because it forces you to rationalize your beliefs. There is always information out there that we are unaware of, and refusing to hear information that you don't like is simply a way of breeding ignorance in our society.


Practices similar to cancel culture have existed since nearly the dawn of time. The earliest known instance of something resembling cancel culture was called ostracism.


Ostracism was a practice in ancient Greece, which allowed inhabitants of a city to banish a member of their society who they felt was a danger to the society's stability. It was a terrible practice. Oftentimes, it was simply used as a tool to expel political opponents, and innocent people who had done nothing aside from holding unpopular beliefs would be banished from society.



Revolutionary France also featured something like this in its Committee of Public Safety. But rather than banishment, the punishment for holding conservative and "antirevolutionary" views was death by guillotine. The Committee of Public Safety was essentially a dictatorial committee that persecuted anyone they felt was speaking ill of the revolution. Didn't agree with their views? Guillotine. Felt that maybe reform was a bad idea? Guillotine. Held any conservative view that clashed with those of the radical left? Guillotine.


Today, prominent figures holding conservative views are constantly tiptoeing around political issues, and pray that no one discovers that they hold such taboo views of the world and politics. If they are found out, however, it is the guillotine for them. But rather than lose their heads, they lose their jobs, their support, and their livelihoods.


Cancel culture is among the cruelest practices that have been adopted by Democrats. Holding controversial or unpopular views should not be a reason for destroying a person's livelihood, just as it should not be a reason for them to be put to death. As a conservative myself, I am appalled to see the closemindedness that has been adopted by both sides of the political spectrum, and I am deeply concerned about the future of our nation. It is our duty as Americans to put an end to cancel culture.


You may have heard the quote, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -Evelyn Beatrice Hall. It is this attitude that Americans have lost, and it is exactly what we need to regain if we are ever to try and heal this polarized and divided nation.


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Sources:

https://www.dictionary.com/e/pop-culture/cancel-culture/

https://www.insider.com/cancel-culture-meaning-history-origin-phrase-used-negatively-2020-7

https://www.britannica.com/topic/ostracism

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/robespierre-overthrown-in-france

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