commenter-thread

No, he was very clear about this.
He proposed deliberately running down anyone who blocked traffic.

And some states actually modified their laws to allow this to happen.

We literally, just last week, had a SCOTUS ruling over a transwoman being fired for daring to be herself, and the entire conservative world lost their shit over it.

The President demanded that sports teams fire anyone who expressed support for BLM by kneeling.

And still to to this day they want to do this!

Professor Glenn Reynolds urged motorists to run down peaceful protesters.

I wonder when he will be arrested.

As Elizabeth's essay notes, these are things that need to be determined on a case by case basis, because human relationships and views are complex.

But I sense the underlying question here is, how much room is there in this new culture for those holding unpopular viewpoints that are at odds with the majority?

And again, there isn't some sweeping logic test or algorithm that will cleanly deliver an answer;
Part of this is because the most essential job requirement is "to get along with coworkers and be liked"; It isn't ever written that way, because it is so deeply essential as to not need to be written.

Over at Quillete there is an essay by a female scholar whose membership invitation to a private club was revoked because of her views caused an angry response from other members.

I'm sure it was very painful and maybe unfair, but the primary qualification to join a private club is "Everyone likes you and wants to hang out with you".

And that's really what a lot of this is coming down to.

People who refuse to accept trans people, or refuse to acknowledge the injustice of black people are just becoming social pariahs, unliked and unwelcome to social gatherings.

And there isn't some political theory that somehow makes that painless.

8. Strangling and dismembering a journalist in an embassy.

Other than that, yeah, I agree with your list and boundary drawing at #3.

As a practical matter, what you are suggesting is that, for example, if cis male Bob works in a company with transwoman Mary, that the company compels Bob to address Mary by the proper pronoun, treat her with courtesy, not openly disparage her on or off work hours, and allows Mary unrestricted use of the female restroom.

And fire Bob if he refuses to abide by this.

These aren't "views", these are behaviors.

Its entirely possible or likely that you would happily abide by this; But you got to know that for many other conservatives, this sort of state of affairs is the nightmare dystopia.

*Chip illustrates the joke, thereby draining the last remnants of humor from it*

See, a lot of the criticism of "cancel culture" is premised on the idea that criticism of people Weiss or Rowling or TERFs as "Bad" is the same as "cancelling" them.

Which strikes me as being like that curious guy, making a facile and illogical equation.

And yet you denounce these people as bad, thereby cancelling them.

Curious!

I am very intelligent.

The only "ceasefire" possible is unilateral because the firing is only coming from one direction.

Trans people aren't demanding that cis people be fired, gay people aren't insisting that hetero sex is an abomination, black people aren't calling the cops on white people jogging through the neighborhood.

"I disrespect you" is not symmetrical with "I demand respect".

The terms "ceasefire" and "canceling" in this context are perplexing.
Would a "ceasefire" mean that conservative Christians no longer state their opinions about the sinfulness of trans people?
Would it mean likewise that trans people no longer state their request to be treated with dignity?

Or does it just mean that no one gets fired for stating their opinions?

If you were fired for espousing gay rights or suggesting that sex changes are healthy lifestyle choices, Or putting a BLM banner in your cubicle would you not feel harmed?

In other words, what if we lived in America circa 2020.
Seriously, my employer can fire me right now for doing any of those things.

And yes, that is a harm, most definitely.

But its a harm virtually no one in America is proposing to change, least of all conservatives.

This is what I mean, that conservatives are speaking of a progressive world in terms of some dystopian, existential dread yet rarely can mention an actual harm, and when they do, it is just the ordinary harms that affect millions of Americans every day.

Isn't "questioning the motives" the entire premise of anti-discrimination lawsuits?

And isn't it also the entire premise in religious liberty lawsuits?

Like, literally, SCOTUS opinions and lawsuits are chockful of tests and regulations which determine when discriminatory intent occurs.

I think its interesting that you see these as symmetrical.

Like, forcing people to treat trans people with respect is symmetrical to not treating them with respect.

Wouldn't it be symmetrical to compare firing gay or trans people, to firing straight or cis people?

But of course that isn't happening, and gives the game away.

Treating trans people with respect doesn't prevent anyone from practicing their religion or holding to their beliefs. Gay people have been getting married for a decade now, and yet, somehow, people are still free to go to church.

Again, are you arguing for A, or B?

No no, these are good examples actually.

Lets agree that these people were fired unfairly, that is, fired even when what they did wasn't all that offensive, or that they didn't do it to begin with.

So what is to be done?
Well, first lets consider what it is that we WANT to be done.

A. We trying to create a world in which bad behavior is considered acceptable, where people won't demand an employee be fired for it;
Or
B. We trying to create a world in which employees accused of bad behavior are given a fair hearing, and only the truly guilty are fired.

This is the critical distinction that many of the critics refuse to make explicit.

Would I be wrong to think that among the many critics of "cancel culture", there are plenty of people who really want A , instead of B?

Bullying who, exactly?

Like I keep asking, the injustices are never actually spelled out.

By the way, Fred Clarke over at Slacktivist notes that "cancelling" is almost always just a newfangled way to say "disgraced". Because in most cases, the cancellee has suffered nothing more than a public scolding.

So lets hear examples of people being bullied, and lets hear more of what they wanted to say but can't.

"empowering identity obsessed weirdos who can only communicate in 10,000 tongue-clicks of meaningless social justice word salad."

That's a harsh way to describe the Little Sisters Of The Poor and the owners of Hobby Lobby.

Fair, of course.

But harsh.

But you write as though when the progressives "take over" people like James Damore will be oppressed.

It very much is the language of victimology where a great injustice is taking place.

What is this injustice and who is suffering from it? As with the original Harper's letter, it is always just alluded to without ever being named or identified.

What does "take over" mean?

You keep invoking this specter of oppression as if you are a victim somehow. Do you really see yourself as being oppressed?

For the record:
Joe Biden has not made a final decision about disbanding the Italian Senate.

I said once that Marx's victory was that he got everyone to think in terms of an existential struggle between secular religions.

You criticize progressives as iliberal zealots, but in framing this as a clash of ideologies you adopt that very reasoning.

For example, if a trans person demands we address them by a certain pronoun, must this be the speartip of some ideology that threatens our civilization?

Or could it just be confined to a battle over individual rights versus communal norms?

The first framing leaves no room for compromise or conciliation; The second acknowledges that we are all citizens, that we are all legitimate stakeholders.

"Infiltrated" assumes there is a culture being invaded by something which has no rightful place being there.

Yet in the very same breath, noting that this is actually the dominant culture.

So it is a plea for a minority rule.

Not a protection of minority rights; Minority rule, where the majority is considered illegitimate holders of power.

There was a fascinating tale of Jame Jesus Angleton, the head of the CIA's counterintelligence operation.
He became so fixated on the idea of Soviet moles that eventually he ground the entire counterintelligence division to a stop in his search, and in the process destroyed innocent people's lives, while letting any actual moles, if they existed, slip through his fingers.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/171663

The absurdity of the Verona revelations was just that, that almost none of the accused Communists were actually Soviet spies or even assets.

Almost all of them like Dalton Trumbo were just people who had joined the Communists back in the pre-WWII days, when a lot of Americans were cool with it.

Speaking for all leftists, the argument that America should hound out of public life anyone who is the "ideological vassal of a foreign power" is one which be oh so very triggering, if it were to be pursued.

So. Very. Triggering.

Oh, well then, I'm all in favor of moving it higher, so long as bigots and obviously nasty ideas are left in the banned group.

Doesn't proposing to "move" our stance on free speech require that we decide which example is an (atrocious example) by some sort of neutral logic test?

Even your language here is curious;
Un-free speech is lets say, a value of 0;
Free Speech is a value of 100;
But you prefer a value of lets say, 75;

Does there exist a term for 75? Like, "Sorta kinda semi-Free Speech"? Or maybe, "All speech is free, but some are more free than others"?

This is what I mean by the neutral objective logic test that can cleanly cleave NAMBLA from everything else; The logic test fails every time.

Like a hundred Dwight Schrutes commenting on Michael Scott's blog.

*Hastily deletes his browser history*

Is there some neutral objective way to distinguish between them?

It sounds like you want some sort of neutral objective standard that can always produce a good result.

A standard that doesn't rely on us first agreeing to what "good" things or "bad" things are.

But how can there be?

What logical test would allow for shunning and silencing of NAMBLA but not trans activists, or ISIS and not the Republican Party?

It could be easily demonstrated that passages of the Bible would be prohibited if published for the first time today, or that any one of the Founders would find themselves on a no-fly list if their letters were emailed today for the first time.

I see fascism and white supremacy as an inherently dangerous ideology that kills a lot of people, so shunning those who advocate it is a good idea.

Elizabeth had a sharp insight that while we can make sweeping generalized statements about the proper limit on government power, social shunning and shaming must be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Because social shaming is also a form of speech, and not all speech is the same; We as a society rightfully make some subjects taboo.

The proper criticism of McCarthyism isn't that social shunning should never, ever, under any circumstances happen; Its that the shunning in this case was harmful, out of proportion to the opinions held.

What I liked about Picciuto's piece was her use of examples of silencing people in meatspace, real everyday people who aren't millionaire celebrities or academics.

Because there is something off-putting to hear shrieks of pain from someone like J.K. Rowling, who at worst has to suffer mean things being said about her on Twitter, and a citizen who gets beaten by a cop while peacefully marching.

Likewise, the loud complaints about an editor being fired for making an unpopular decision seem flat, when we live in a world where a teacher can be fired for simply being too old, and the Supreme Court upholds the decision because reasons.

Put together, it all does sound very much like a group of powerful people who take umbrage at criticism.