Cancel Culture Eats Another of Its Own
Why is this story so major? It is because apparently Weiss was striving to be a mitigating force against the marauding leftist spiritual violence that has devastated this country. It seems she too was on the side of many of those hifalutin people who were on board with this widely publicized letter in Harper's all about dialing back the vitriol against anyone not at the farthest left flank of the ideological spectrum.
These Harper's letter people were essentially saying "We must fight bad ideas with talking them out, and the cancel culture is keeping people from exercising their freedom of speech even if their ideas are repulsive."
That was the idea anyway. It is a claim made by those on the right, also, this idea that "Let's just respect freedom of speech OKAY?!"
There is a very pronounced problem with that, one that those on the left at least understand as misguided as they may be. That problem is this:
Some ideas need to be shot down with all lethal force necessary.
Say I was some hifalutin dude and I was able to publish pieces in some well-read publication about how I was planning to murder some particular individual. I wrote out the details of what I would do and when I would do it, and I included all kinds of remarks about how much I loathed this individual -- all perfectly rational reasons why I just might actually do it. How about with today's identity politics environment I make it even more frightening by including all kinds of racist or sexist remarks, and again, let's say I'm mainstream, I'm not some kook posting in 4chan.
Do you really think I'd be allowed to be talked out of my "bad ideas"? Really?
My point is, many bad ideas must be snuffed out by law enforcement. They must. There are all kinds of limitations of freedom of speech we all accept without a blink. Thing is, let's be candid, the devout leftist is convinced that ideas on the right are so objectionable that they must be snuffed out. At least they see this truth about what happens to bad ideas.
The question is, what exactly are the bad ideas?
Hate to say it, but God feels the same way. Bad-idea-holders will be sent to Hell on the last day. Check out the first chapter of the Book of Zephaniah. The entire earth will be laid waste simply because just about everyone has pretty rotten ideas floating around in their heads. You absolutely cannot miss God's perspective here. Have a look at the Book of Revelations, the stuff that gets in deep about those last days. No way you're going to survive it with your bad ideas, especially when those ideas govern your behavior. God accepts no excuses for the ways bad ideas hurt people, none.
No, the "discussing the bad ideas away" tactic is a World System invention blapped by people who simply aren't thinking deeply about this. I got that we can talk about what those bad ideas are, that's fine in many cases, but many ideas are truly, objectively, transcendently awful. With those there simply can't be "Wull you feel one way and I feel another and that's that" no matter how relativist or subjectivist so many people think everything is.
Want to know what bad ideas need to be taken down? Here's one: That an individual should be discriminated against -- kept from having a job, denied college admission -- because of their skin color. Yeah, the basic racism mentality. That's a good bad one. I'm with the left on that one, it is indeed a good idea to shoot down that bad idea! In fact, there are civil rights laws that are specifically designed to snuff out such bad ideas straight away.
But you know another bad idea that is just as wretched? That individuals within a classified group of people are guilty of racism just because of they share the same skin color as the others in the group. That, by the way, is your basic racialism mentality -- that there are such things as "systemic racism" and "white privilege," bad ideas that are no better than the racist discrimination idea. It is a very bad idea to claim someone is racist because of something having nothing to do with their genuine considerations, and it is particularly evil when it includes all kinds of academically snooty talk of imperialism and heteropatriarchy and "performance allyship" and whatever other crappy idea they can contrive.
But because we're all so shamed about what we may or may not be thinking, all this cancel culture crap is happening.
Indeed, I thought about the particular slavery related to this phenomenon. I'd recently been posting about slaveries that are still around today -- some of them are particular gruesome. I first thought, "Slavery to bad ideas," but nah, there is a reason those bad ideas get there to begin with. What exactly is that slavery?
And I think I got it. I got it from looking at a quote from a wise individual, and I'm sorry I don't remember where I got it, but I'd jotted it down in my daily planner and as I was thumbing through it today I just saw it there again. That quote (essentially):
"Want to know what's really in the heart of an individual? Find the object of their piety [what they value or worship]. Even more, find the object of their shame."
And that was it.
Slavery to shame.
When someone lives in the shame of whatever they've done or feel they've done (this latter one particularly explosive when one comes from a dysfunctional family environment), they then turn to sanctimony to try to escape the pain of that shame.
This is why an individual smothered in their shame and never finding the redemptive power of Christ will always elevate the features of their sanctimony because that is the only way they may show anyone they are worthy enough. It is from that sanctimony that some of the worst ideas come, and they get so calcified in the mind because the shame of not holding them is too agonizing.
It is why Marxist dogma is so attractive: God has always been someone seen as shaming them and Marxism completely rejects the supernatural. Marxism provides community, a whole cohort of individuals who affirm the shamed revolutionary for their courage -- it is intoxicating. Marxism has a whole philosophy of redemption from the pain of oppression, and you can do all of this splendid rescuing of others who will alleviate your pain because of all you're doing to liberate them.
This latter characteristic is leading me to consider one of the core reasons the leftist movement is having its way with the nation right now, and it is wrapped up in the idea of one's pathodicy. This is a rough idea of the truth that people want to feel good about what is happening to someone else, and if someone else suffers, then they suffer too. The only way to eliminate one's pain is to zealously crusade to alleviate the suffering of that other by appealing to a sense of justice for that person. A rich person can't feel that pain (note the materialist assumptions in this bad idea) so justice entails institutionally expropriating material wealth from them to make sure the suffering person is okay so the observer experiencing the pathodicy is okay too.
I'm thinking of fleshing this out in my next home page piece, because there is so much more to it than this.
But for now, the cancel culture war is raging out of control now. Something amazing that Bari Weiss said about her resignation was essentially that Twitter was now running The New York Times. "Twitter has become its ultimate editor," she noted.
Wow. We knew this would happen a number of years ago when the major dailies realized they could not survive without being on Facebook, without all of them being there. As Marshall McLuhan said many years ago, "The medium is the message." Does that now have a profoundly prescient meaning in newer, wilder ways. Social media has played a gargantuously large part in creating this monster. The whole trajectory of the Twitterverse is the extraordinarily easy opportunity for interminably flailing about cancelling one's own shame by finding ways to viciously shame and cancel someone else in order to gratify one's own twisted pathodicy.
One of the worst ideas ever is to treat any fine or even innocuous idea as a bad one then to broadcast it across the cyberwaves joining a crusade to punish those who hold it. The witch hunt is, as it always has been, a tremendously wicked idea.
It is harrowing -- I'm afraid this beast cannot be put back in its cage.
Meanwhile. you should read Bari Weiss' letter. It is a well-articulated scathing indictment of the Times as one of the worst bad-idea spewers out there. And please, it can't be emphasized enough, the Times doesn't just come up with these ideas, and the Twitter twits don't just blap these ideas, they are fed to them by authorized operatives who are experts at getting intellectually ill-equipped people to buy into them and spread them everywhere.
And one last thing. Please, please get in touch with The One Solution, The Only Solution to the lethally bad idea problem. Everyone has it. He is The Good Idea -- He is your only way out. He'll also free you from your slavery to the shame and the sanctimony, there's an extra double benefit.
The photo above was a Getty image found at pajiba.com. Thank you.