Do those who support cancel culture wish for a steady expansion of the sphere in which individuals' actions are bound by fixed rules?

I think there are at least two sides to this issue, as there are for most. On one side is a desire to create “safe spaces” for folks who — for a very wide variety of reasons — do not feel safe. On the other is a desire for what we might call “rough liberty;” that is, liberty with no constraints. One side sees the other as coarse, cruel, discompassionate, and trying to impose their values on others. And the other side sees that side as weak, overly picky, too touchy-feely, and…trying to impose their values on others.

Notice the common denominator: trying to impose one’s own values on others. The real disconnect, IMO, is that neither side can see that really they are doing exactly the same thing, expecting the same thing, and behaving just as whiny and reactive about the same thing as they accuse the other side of being.

What I believe is at the root of this self-righteous expectation at both extremes is a deep, reflexive, highly emotional, and basically immature sense of entitlement. Both sides really perceive the other’s actions as an affront to an entitled expectation — they both have the attitude of very spoiled children who are used to getting their own way, and then throw a tantrum when they don’t get what they want.

All the other discussion around this issue — such as what type of morality in in play, or view of liberty, or attitude towards rules, or varying takes on civil society and the social contract, etc. — are all secondary. These are higher level and important discussions, to be sure, but with respect to political correctness and cancel culture they are just noise. Why? Because the root behaviors and underlying values are actually identical on both sides of this issue.

As I have said many times in my posts, what really needs to happen to heal this situation — especially in the U.S.A. — is for citizens to grow up. To become morally mature adults who take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of those actions, and care deeply and unquestioningly about their fellow citizens without overly reactive attempts to try to control them. This is the only way forward…instead of acting like whiny little kids complaining about conditions they don’t like, and then blaming everyone but themselves for the situation they themselves have in fact created.

My 2 cents.


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