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Sarah Braasch

This really breaks my heart, but it doesn't surprise me. There will be a reckoning for the Philosophy Academic Community, especially online. They are saying that Cancel Culture doesn't exist, b/c they don't want to be held accountable for destroying my innocent life & career.

Sarah Braasch

The conference organizers for the International Social Ontology Conference confirmed that at least one of my online stalkers had sent them disparaging messages about me, accusing me of being a racist & white supremacist. In case anyone was still wondering if cancel culture exists. For this reason, I have decided against participating in the Live Q and A session tomorrow morning. I am feeling very traumatized after having been repeatedly mobbed, including on Twitter, in recent weeks, in the wake of George Floyd's killing, including by persons who claim to be prison abolitionists and anti-mass incarceration.

David Cockayne

The market-place analogy is apt, and so is the following observation by Adam Smith:

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices." (Wealth of Nations I.X)

Those of the same trade here are the universities, the media, social and otherwise, and now in supreme irony the large corporations, all of whom are either true believers in the new intolerant religion of Woke, or are intimidated by them.

It took some seventy-years from Smith's publishing of the great work for the British Parliament to, at least partially, enact its spirit.

As for your 'grounds of indigation' reference in the penultimate paragraph, you are wrong and I am happy to debate them.

Therese Doucet

I think the idea of cancel culture being the marketplace of ideas in action is a little too rationalistic to describe what's going on - it's not about which products win on the market. It's more about the ethics of how transactions are conducted in the marketplace. E.g., suppose you want to go to your greengrocer and buy some cucumbers ... do you walk into the shop, say hello, ask how the greengrocer's kids are doing, and then calmly buy your cucumbers? (Civility.) Or, do you fly into a furious rage because the shop only sells non-organic cucumbers? Do you start bullying and verbally abusing your friends who still shop there, who prefer the conventionally-grown cucumbers, in an effort to influence their buying decisions? Do you only shop at greengrocers that have a sign saying "Workers of the World Unite!" in the window? (Cf. Vaclav Havel and Andrew Sullivan's recent essay on dissent.) Do you sneakily bring a dead cockroach into the shop and then call a health inspector to do an inspection, so you can get the shop shut down? Etc. It's those kinds of moral reasoning with regard to the "how" of transactions that's at issue, as I see it ...

Eric Schliesser

Hi Therese, What you describe seems like a very orderly/normative conception of markets with fair play. I love such markets, but i don't think they do justice to what happens inside and among corporations.

Therese Doucet

Hi Eric! "What you describe seems like a very orderly/normative conception of markets with fair play." I actually meant to say the opposite! That is, the debate over cancel culture is all about market distortions ... which could be at the small-scale level, as in the case of buying cucumbers like my example (the analogy there might be with individuals arguing on Twitter ...), or, as the proponents of cancel culture suggest, and I think you're suggesting, a corporate cartel .... (a bunch of elites gather together to try to have a monopoly in the marketplace of ideas). I guess I confused the issue by saying transactions more specifically, when I'm talking about a wide range of ethical decisions that can influence how the market happens. What I disagree with is the idea that cancel culture is about the substantive question of which commodities (ideas) are being bought and sold ... from my perspective, the opponents of cancel culture are not objecting to ideas losing out on the marketplace. They're objecting to certain ethical (or unethical) manners of the marketplace. And if I understand it, you see it instead as them objecting to a marketplace in which they can't have a monopoly. Not sure how we would resolve that difference of perspective, as I think it comes down to each of us attributing different motives to people ... so we might have to just agree to disagree ... :)

Eric Schliesser

No, i agree with you that norms in the market place are also being contested and shifted. (Can you really freely sell poisenous babymilk, etc.?) I am not objecting to people who think cancel culture represents dangerous norms.
But yes you also seem unwilling to acknowledge the grounds of indignation and of that tendency i am critical of.

Therese Doucet

Thinking more about, this analogy is helpful for me to see the possible pros of cancel culture besides the possible abuses ... we don’t want poisonous baby milk, and if e.g. one big company that sells baby milk is also using its market power to suppress data on poisonousness, that’s bad and consumers banding together to lobby for accountability is a needed corrective! That makes sense. Similarly with poisonous ideas taking cover under bad data spread controlled by powerful media outlets, tolerated as freedom of speech. Twitter mobs then could play a positive role. But with social policing it’s then a question once again of who polices the policers, given the risk of abuses of crowd power ...

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.


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