What is "cancel culture" to you?

It’s been in the news a lot, but I’d like a working definition from the right.

In my mind, it’s a product of our distilled capitalism gone wrong. The citizens of this country realize that their money is worth a lot more than their vote in terms of enacting change. A public figure has the right to say something racist, and indeed, they are not arrested or censured by the government. If they do that though, don’t I have the right not to support them with my money? Their public image is a commodity, and their actions have devalued that commodity to me.

Dr. Seuss is an especially interesting case because it almost doesn’t apply here. Nothing is banned, and nobody called for the books to stop being published. 6 books the estate of Dr. Seuss recognized as having racist imagery (and didn’t sell well anyway, I doubt most people even knew the titles existed) were voluntarily taken out of print. There’s no outrage, the left applauds their initiative and introspection.

Ultimately, when I see people upset about “cancel culture” I see a group upset that the free market no longer covets their opinion. Welcome to the pitfalls of unrestrained capitalism. The markets haven’t cared what minorities think for hundreds of years.

You have the right to free speech, but it has consequences. As long as the government isn’t making laws infringing on your speech, your rights have not been taken, you’re simply facing accountability for your actions.

So, what does “cancel culture” mean to you?

What “cancel culture” means to me is that the left decides something is right, and then they jam it down people’s throats with no debate. Anyone who dissents from what the left demands is attacked with all of the usual stereotypes, most often racist, misogynistic, sexist and bigoted. No other debate is needed because when those labels are leveled at anyone or any idea, the debate is over.

Recently there was a book that was once sold on Amazon that discussed the issue of transsexual treatments for children and young people. This should be a controversial issue because I have no idea how child, who is under 10 years of age would know, if they should be the opposite of their biological sex. The trouble is once the treatments start, it can change them for life. The author cited instances in which the people deeply regretted what they had done. To me this is a real issue that should be discussed before you start fooling around with hormones, let alone surgery.

I wish I could remember the title, but I can’t. Amazon chose to drop the sale of this book on their site because of pressure from the transsexual extremists. These extremists, who seem more like recruiters, got to dictate what was to be sold without justifying their position.

That might sound benign enough, but then you must consider that Amazon now has something like 60% of the book market. That marketing power can determine whether or not a book is succeeds or fails or even it gets published or written. That is a lot of power to have in one place, and that goes beyond government censorship. It’s involved with the amount of censorship a guy like Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, can have over what people are able to read.

Who elected Jeff Bezos to be the world’s censor? Even if he were to be elected, why should HE have that much power?

Why not let the market determine what is published? Why should a group of activists decide what everyone else should read? If a book doesn’t sell, it won’t get republished. It’s a simple as that. But when few people decide that they have the right to chase it off the marketplace, that is just plain wrong.
There is not much difference between that an book burning.

See though, I don’t like that Bezos is in charge either, but we’ve been a plutocracy for quite a long time and the more we deregulate corporations the more power they have. The only difference I have with you is I would argue that the free market is speaking when activists get the book pulled down. Amazon has calculated they have more money to lose by keeping it up than they’d make off it. Is it right? No. But, it is what it is. You can look for it at one of our greatest socialist achievements, the library system.

I think the frustration by the right is the product of the younger left having more power to leverage the market to our advantage. We are reaching the age where we’re the market movers, and we’ve grown up accustomed to the playing field they operate on. Someday we’ll age out of it too, and the cycle will begin anew. That is, as long as we don’t massively restrict corporate power in the meantime.

No Gene, the corporations that get the perks from the government are the ones that pay off government officials or support those officials for high office. That was the problem with Hillary Clinton. She was a government prostitute that was for sale.

This comment is disgusting and disturbing. Just because a bunch of advocates, who want to create more of their kind, yell the loudest does not give them the right to dictate what other people get to buy or read. The excuse that they don’t like the content does not give them the right to censor.

The Brown Shirts in Nazi Germany and Black Shirts in Fascist Italy were undoubtedly the loudest of their era too. Did that make them right?

Two could play at that game, and you don’t really want to go there, if you think about it.

Pfft, as if they’re not all for sale to the highest bidder. It was decisions like Citizens United that allowed corporations to funnel virtually limitless money into politics. Not that they weren’t trying beforehand.

What you’re not getting is that it’s not just advocates. If it were a small group, Amazon wouldn’t listen. It’s a strong enough group of people saying “if Amazon supports this, I won’t buy from Amazon.” They’re not forcing anything, other than choosing where to spend their money.

Did you forget about the fact that Amazon controls 60% of the book sellers’ market? That is enough to control the market. Get ideal out of your mind the idea that the people who support the news media who appear to support your political point of view are on your side. They are on their side.

Think beyond what you learned in college.

Of course they’re not on my side, they’re on the side of money. Does this mean you’re open to breaking them up, and further weakening them with regulations and taxes? They pander to the left because we want to break them up. Why would they pander to the right when the right says they get to make as much profit as they want and that regulations are the devil? The conservative position already gives them free reign to do as they please by default.

They pander to the left because that’s where the influence and money is. It’s called fascism. Go look at the biography of Albert Spear who did quite well until the Third Reich fell.

I know this goes against you orthodoxy and education. Some day you will regret you positions unless you get a big job with the government. Then you will be the same as you are today because you will be in “golden handcuffs.”

Admit it. You would like to have the Chinese Communist Government system here. Of course you would get it right without the the flaws like the racism against the Weigers in China. I know you have spoken out about that, but disagreeing with your party is impossible for a “Progressive.”

Selecting ideas is a virtue. Not seeing the “pitfall”; a market place of ideas should be a market place.

There are however two issues:

  1. School districts dropped these books from their recommended reading, and the NEA removed them from their Read Across America list.


  1. These districts are publicly funded. So is the NEA, who originally established read Across America day on Seuss’ birthday.

This feels very much like higher powers talking down to everyone who grew up on Seuss. While still taking the latter’s tax dollars.

You’ll need to acknowledge what was left out first. There was cancellation, and the entities involved being publicly funded creates an additional wrinkle.

The Government entities I pay for de-platforming things I value, is not the same as private entities choosing to forgo them.

And this hit more than just the 6 books in question. Biden wouldn’t even say Seuss’ name on March 2nd.

Nope, certain industries need scale to be effective. There’s a very good reason few companies build, say, commercial airplanes.

If you broke them up, you’re just promising foreign competitors will have advantages in scale that successor companies won’t, and eat their market share (or even buy them out). Possibly removing us from any effective position in that industry entirely.

We know this is true even for things like Social Media and ecommerce, seeing as how Alibaba and TikTok exist, and command market share that challenges our own players.

Also; regulations tend to be gifts to entrenched parties, and harmful to up-comers who can disrupt them.

Countries with less regulations have more corporate turnover in their “top 100”. I’d call that a good thing.

Regulations are not the devil, but they create ill effects when they’re too complicated, and too many.

Being too complicated creates levers for interests to pull and manipulate to their advantage. Being too many creates too high a bar for new parties to enter, keeping the market stagnate.

Leftist figures like Jimmy Carter understood this, hence why he deregulated airlines, busing, and telecom. Barack Obama was starting to talk this way about licensing right at the end of his 2nd administration.

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1 I don’t believe the market is all that free.

2 If money is the ultimate objective. I don’t believe it. Hollyweird has gone against the money time and again (and I don’t doubt that Amazon is doing the same); they’ve produced a comparative dearth of good wholesome family-friendly movies which are reliable box-office successes, produced a lot of crap instead, and politicize awards shows even though it tanks the ratings.

3 It would if the small group were (as I believe it is) power brokers.

4 Not so much relating to Amazon, but I understand that the monopoly laws don’t apply the same to Big Tech, and that’s allowed them to engage in bully-pulpit censorship. If the field were more open to competition, they’d probably go down the toilet. I doubt that regulation per se is the answer; I suspect that there’s some kind of regulation tilting the playing field, although that’s speculation.

Hollywood has turned the Academy Awards into a joke to their detriment. It used to be an eagerly awaited awards ceremony that got high TV ratings and boosted the box offers for the winners and nominated films.
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Now it is politically correct joke with an ever dwindling audience share. The profit motive no longer matters. It’s all about propaganda. They award boring “message movies” for political reasons. Last year they gave the best picture award to a South Korean film with subtitles.

Years ago they increased the “Best Picture” nominees from five to ten. The reason given was that it opened to the nominees to more fan favorites. The real reason was that it split the votes so that PC films would win the big prize with a small number of votes.

The Academy Awards are not worth the electricity it costs to watch them. And, yes, I have a collection of over 400 films. So I was a fan.

Anyone ever set you down and explained that corporations are made up of … people?

What’s your point?

Yeah, but the Oscars have never really been a legitimate contest as I’ve understood it. The studios run whole campaigns to buy the votes of the judges.

Did you watch Parasite? What made you feel it was unworthy of winning?

I mean, couldn’t you help smaller competitors by scaling regulations as well? More restrictions on larger entrenched companies, that way the restrictions are more proportional to a company’s impact on the marketplace.

The movie industry is just as profitable as ever. Turns out, garbage sells ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I agree with your point about social media being unrestrained, but I’m not sure how to fix that. Maintaining net neutrality laws seems to be a good start.

The very nature of the regulatory system favors larger, entrenched players.

They have bigger voices, they’re better able to compartmentalize legal departments who advocate their interests or argue for exemptions, and regulatory costs themselves do not scale.

What’s more, regulatory capture is a thing, and it happens when you regulate too much. It happened with the airlines, it happened with Telecom, which was a large part to why we deregulated them.

That’s not to say either is unregulated, simply to point out that “less is more” here. If it’s not about safety or transparency, but how well the business is run, that is something by its very nature that markets should be left to select for.

Not if were interested in spreading higher-speed internet access. Or having robust mobile app development.

The best run ISP systems in the world evolved with very little regulatory oversight, or intentionally devolved their oversight such as in Denmark.

Turns out, politicians and regulators, are not industry experts, and don’t actually know what best practices are. Certainly not in a new, evolving industry. Letting them dictate terms will just create status quos that cater to one party or another.

Rather Competition, as the Danes determined, is sufficient to keep proliferating both best practices, and technology.

It is important to ensure that regulation does not create a barrier for the possibility of new converged products… Regulation must be technologically neutral, and technology choices are to be handled by the market. The goal is to move away from sector-specific regulation toward competition-oriented regulation.

This was a center-left coalition saying this, btw.

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As I understand net neutrality, it simply means ISPs can’t prioritize traffic. For instance, throttling small websites like this and boosting the speed of Facebook due to a deal with them. Technically regulation, but pretty minimal and I believe in everyone’s best interests to maintain.

“Net Neutrality” is just another excuse the regulate the Internet and give political drones more government jobs. Demanding that everyone get the same Internet speed will simply stifle innovation. Why shouldn’t consumers have the option of paying more for fast Internet speeds and less for slower speeds? What right does the government have to dictate what people get?

As for regulations, the big companies have the inside track on how it’s done. They have the lawyers and the money to buy political influence. “Progressives” who think that government is some benign, impartial regulatory agency are detached from reality. Government can be influenced, and in some cases bought. That’s why big companies spend so much time and money on lobbyists and why so many politicians leave government to take lucrative positions representing those companies’ interests.