The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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Marky Dread
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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Say whatever you like if you are genuine. If your idea of free speech is hateful then fuck off you ain't needed.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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Marky Dread wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 7:46am
Say whatever you like if you are genuine. If your idea of free speech is hateful then fuck off you ain't needed.
Yeah, I think this is basically the straightforwardly correct position.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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Flex wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 9:17am
Marky Dread wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 7:46am
Say whatever you like if you are genuine. If your idea of free speech is hateful then fuck off you ain't needed.
Yeah, I think this is basically the straightforwardly correct position.
I agree with all the very valid points raised by Doc, Maj and yourself. It's a very debatable subject. But I just feel it comes down to having an attitude where you have respect for one another first and foremost.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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I confess to not having read all the preceding material. To me it seems like the "cancel culture" boogeyman has replaced the "political correctness " boogeyman.

Free speech is not speech without consequences. No you wont get tossed in jail for saying a bunch of hateful shit but dont presume that should also make you immune from consequences that may arise.

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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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revbob wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 11:40am
I confess to not having read all the preceding material. To me it seems like the "cancel culture" boogeyman has replaced the "political correctness " boogeyman.
It's spun as the "see, we told you so" next step of political correctness. PC is (as the right spins it) about brainwashing; cancel culture is the bodily punishment when the brainwashing is not obeyed.
Free speech is not speech without consequences. No you wont get tossed in jail for saying a bunch of hateful shit but dont presume that should also make you immune from consequences that may arise.
And that's what they won't acknowledge. They claim they want "robust debate of ideas." Okay, leaving aside the worthiness of having a robust debate on why we just debate the need to entertain debased discourse in public life, if there are no consequences to our speech—good and bad—then it's a pointless exercise, save for, I guess, some kind of therapeutic effect for the individual. If the idea of free speech is about the grandiose search for truth, of sifting the real from not, then the consequence of discovering what is bad is that it should be cast aside. That would be a good consequence. And if we believe abandoning bigotry is a good thing, well, people who insist on holding to their bigotries will be cast aside for the sake of truth. Again, it's that sense of abstract principle not being applied to social reality. We want speech to have purpose and value, and for that to be true, it needs to have consequences. And that's what the cancel culture shriekers are objecting to. They want their values to have only good consequences, not bad.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Wolter »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 12:15pm
revbob wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 11:40am
I confess to not having read all the preceding material. To me it seems like the "cancel culture" boogeyman has replaced the "political correctness " boogeyman.
It's spun as the "see, we told you so" next step of political correctness. PC is (as the right spins it) about brainwashing; cancel culture is the bodily punishment when the brainwashing is not obeyed.
Free speech is not speech without consequences. No you wont get tossed in jail for saying a bunch of hateful shit but dont presume that should also make you immune from consequences that may arise.
And that's what they won't acknowledge. They claim they want "robust debate of ideas." Okay, leaving aside the worthiness of having a robust debate on why we just debate the need to entertain debased discourse in public life, if there are no consequences to our speech—good and bad—then it's a pointless exercise, save for, I guess, some kind of therapeutic effect for the individual. If the idea of free speech is about the grandiose search for truth, of sifting the real from not, then the consequence of discovering what is bad is that it should be cast aside. That would be a good consequence. And if we believe abandoning bigotry is a good thing, well, people who insist on holding to their bigotries will be cast aside for the sake of truth. Again, it's that sense of abstract principle not being applied to social reality. We want speech to have purpose and value, and for that to be true, it needs to have consequences. And that's what the cancel culture shriekers are objecting to. They want their values to have only good consequences, not bad.
And honestly they want free speech for themselves not others. These people “canceling” them are just exercising their right to express their own speech by saying “this idea you espoused is hateful and bad.”
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 12:15pm
revbob wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 11:40am
I confess to not having read all the preceding material. To me it seems like the "cancel culture" boogeyman has replaced the "political correctness " boogeyman.
It's spun as the "see, we told you so" next step of political correctness. PC is (as the right spins it) about brainwashing; cancel culture is the bodily punishment when the brainwashing is not obeyed.
Free speech is not speech without consequences. No you wont get tossed in jail for saying a bunch of hateful shit but dont presume that should also make you immune from consequences that may arise.
And that's what they won't acknowledge. They claim they want "robust debate of ideas." Okay, leaving aside the worthiness of having a robust debate on why we just debate the need to entertain debased discourse in public life, if there are no consequences to our speech—good and bad—then it's a pointless exercise, save for, I guess, some kind of therapeutic effect for the individual. If the idea of free speech is about the grandiose search for truth, of sifting the real from not, then the consequence of discovering what is bad is that it should be cast aside. That would be a good consequence. And if we believe abandoning bigotry is a good thing, well, people who insist on holding to their bigotries will be cast aside for the sake of truth. Again, it's that sense of abstract principle not being applied to social reality. We want speech to have purpose and value, and for that to be true, it needs to have consequences. And that's what the cancel culture shriekers are objecting to. They want their values to have only good consequences, not bad.
The irony of discussing any of this intellectually is that the people we're talking about (aside from the more prominent manipulators with further-reaching voices, perhaps), won't/can't understand any of it. It seems to me that if you follow any member of the FACTS and LOGIC brigade for long enough, you see that their responses to almost anything are highly emotional and instinctive resistance to the perceived loss of white supremacy rather than anything well-reasoned. Fingers in the ears "la-la-la" stuff. I'm a lot more worried about how you change somebody like that. Does the side of cultural celebration also have to play the cynical manipulation game?
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Wolter wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 1:49pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 12:15pm
revbob wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 11:40am
I confess to not having read all the preceding material. To me it seems like the "cancel culture" boogeyman has replaced the "political correctness " boogeyman.
It's spun as the "see, we told you so" next step of political correctness. PC is (as the right spins it) about brainwashing; cancel culture is the bodily punishment when the brainwashing is not obeyed.
Free speech is not speech without consequences. No you wont get tossed in jail for saying a bunch of hateful shit but dont presume that should also make you immune from consequences that may arise.
And that's what they won't acknowledge. They claim they want "robust debate of ideas." Okay, leaving aside the worthiness of having a robust debate on why we just debate the need to entertain debased discourse in public life, if there are no consequences to our speech—good and bad—then it's a pointless exercise, save for, I guess, some kind of therapeutic effect for the individual. If the idea of free speech is about the grandiose search for truth, of sifting the real from not, then the consequence of discovering what is bad is that it should be cast aside. That would be a good consequence. And if we believe abandoning bigotry is a good thing, well, people who insist on holding to their bigotries will be cast aside for the sake of truth. Again, it's that sense of abstract principle not being applied to social reality. We want speech to have purpose and value, and for that to be true, it needs to have consequences. And that's what the cancel culture shriekers are objecting to. They want their values to have only good consequences, not bad.
And honestly they want free speech for themselves not others. These people “canceling” them are just exercising their right to express their own speech by saying “this idea you espoused is hateful and bad.”
Reapplying my idea of sacred speech—that we agree some speech is beyond the pale based on the kind of society we want—then they want, instead, a sacred speaker—someone who should be beyond criticism and consequence. Which makes it, of course, a status argument. Meaning the hoi polloi are unworthy of demanding the elite being held to the same standard of consequences for speech.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Kory wrote:
13 Jul 2020, 1:53pm
The irony of discussing any of this intellectually is that the people we're talking about (aside from the more prominent manipulators with further-reaching voices, perhaps), won't/can't understand any of it. It seems to me that if you follow any member of the FACTS and LOGIC brigade for long enough, you see that their responses to almost anything are highly emotional and instinctive resistance to the perceived loss of white supremacy rather than anything well-reasoned. Fingers in the ears "la-la-la" stuff. I'm a lot more worried about how you change somebody like that. Does the side of cultural celebration also have to play the cynical manipulation game?
One would hope that it's the same mindset (and fate) as French and Russian aristocrats on the cusp of revolution. A person who refuses to hear criticism from the outsider is, whether they realize it, throwing down the gauntlet, daring the other side to escalate or walk away, believing that most often the latter prevails.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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So I'm listening to Anne Applebaum's book, Twilight of Democracy, which focuses mostly on how formerly centrist political leaders and intellectuals—those who were right in on Fukuyama's end-of-history triumphalism in the 90s. I was amused by her comments about how large segments of the population has become intolerant and fearful of diversity, of hearing the voices of "outsiders," and these politicians have taken advantage and stoked that fear and anger. Okay, well, yeah. But how tolerant of diverse, new voices are the good centrists of whom she claims to represent? They may not be reacting with bile and conspiracy theories, rather gasps and dropped monocles, but it's the same rejection of those whose opinions don't count. Applebaum's argument rests on the notion that other people are the problem.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Wolter »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:25am
So I'm listening to Anne Applebaum's book, Twilight of Democracy, which focuses mostly on how formerly centrist political leaders and intellectuals—those who were right in on Fukuyama's end-of-history triumphalism in the 90s. I was amused by her comments about how large segments of the population has become intolerant and fearful of diversity, of hearing the voices of "outsiders," and these politicians have taken advantage and stoked that fear and anger. Okay, well, yeah. But how tolerant of diverse, new voices are the good centrists of whom she claims to represent? They may not be reacting with bile and conspiracy theories, rather gasps and dropped monocles, but it's the same rejection of those whose opinions don't count. Applebaum's argument rests on the notion that other people are the problem.
Just look at how the DNC has ignored polling on M4A and marijuana legalization. Despite mounds of evidence that both are popular, even with republicans, they dismiss it out of hand because the rank and file aren’t donors, so their opinion on laws mean nothing.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Dr. Medulla »

Wolter wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:37am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:25am
So I'm listening to Anne Applebaum's book, Twilight of Democracy, which focuses mostly on how formerly centrist political leaders and intellectuals—those who were right in on Fukuyama's end-of-history triumphalism in the 90s. I was amused by her comments about how large segments of the population has become intolerant and fearful of diversity, of hearing the voices of "outsiders," and these politicians have taken advantage and stoked that fear and anger. Okay, well, yeah. But how tolerant of diverse, new voices are the good centrists of whom she claims to represent? They may not be reacting with bile and conspiracy theories, rather gasps and dropped monocles, but it's the same rejection of those whose opinions don't count. Applebaum's argument rests on the notion that other people are the problem.
Just look at how the DNC has ignored polling on M4A and marijuana legalization. Despite mounds of evidence that both are popular, even with republicans, they dismiss it out of hand because the rank and file aren’t donors, so their opinion on laws mean nothing.
Centrists look in horror at all the crazy people who find authoritarianism appealing yet fail to consider whether they may have had something to do with that. Why are people rejecting this beautiful system that has made us successful? Why are they so irrational?
Back off, or I'll blow the roof off—with sound!

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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by BostonBeaneater »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:47am
Wolter wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:37am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 10:25am
So I'm listening to Anne Applebaum's book, Twilight of Democracy, which focuses mostly on how formerly centrist political leaders and intellectuals—those who were right in on Fukuyama's end-of-history triumphalism in the 90s. I was amused by her comments about how large segments of the population has become intolerant and fearful of diversity, of hearing the voices of "outsiders," and these politicians have taken advantage and stoked that fear and anger. Okay, well, yeah. But how tolerant of diverse, new voices are the good centrists of whom she claims to represent? They may not be reacting with bile and conspiracy theories, rather gasps and dropped monocles, but it's the same rejection of those whose opinions don't count. Applebaum's argument rests on the notion that other people are the problem.
Just look at how the DNC has ignored polling on M4A and marijuana legalization. Despite mounds of evidence that both are popular, even with republicans, they dismiss it out of hand because the rank and file aren’t donors, so their opinion on laws mean nothing.
Centrists look in horror at all the crazy people who find authoritarianism appealing yet fail to consider whether they may have had something to do with that. Why are people rejecting this beautiful system that has made us successful? Why are they so irrational?
The marijuana thing caught me by surprise. I though the cat was out of the bag with weed. Like gay marriage it's one of those things that, unless you make it part of you life, you really don't notice it.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

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BostonBeaneater wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 11:26am
The marijuana thing caught me by surprise. I though the cat was out of the bag with weed. Like gay marriage it's one of those things that, unless you make it part of you life, you really don't notice it.
It's been legal here for a few years now and I don't smell it walking around outside any more than I used to. I know that one of my sisters is now buying it for anxiety, but I don't know of anyone else who has changed their habits, using or not, since it went legal, other than perhaps to get better quality.
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Re: The Harper's Letter, Cancel Culture, and Free Speech

Post by Wolter »

Dr. Medulla wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 11:33am
BostonBeaneater wrote:
29 Jul 2020, 11:26am
The marijuana thing caught me by surprise. I though the cat was out of the bag with weed. Like gay marriage it's one of those things that, unless you make it part of you life, you really don't notice it.
It's been legal here for a few years now and I don't smell it walking around outside any more than I used to. I know that one of my sisters is now buying it for anxiety, but I don't know of anyone else who has changed their habits, using or not, since it went legal, other than perhaps to get better quality.
admittedly, it was only legal in IL for like 3 months before quarantine, but there was zero public change in anything that I could see.
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