Many cultural forces continue to weed out books, tear down statues and shame celebrities, who buck fashionable opinion. As a result, the cultural putsch in many western institutions strikes at liberal values. We are told these purges are necessary to “prevent harm.” In any case, society has “moved on” from the past.
But is cancel culture simply about fending off “harm”? Is it just about redressing past western sins? Or is what the critics say is a ferocious campaign of political conformity threatening the fabric of our liberal public discourse and civil society? Is it a proxy war on the Western liberal democratic tradition? Is anyone or anything safe from cancellation?
CIS presents a discussion with Claire Lehmann and Peter Kurti, hosted by CIS’s Monica Wilkie. Claire Lehmann, founding editor of online magazine Quillette, has been a vocal opponent of cancel culture. She has recently released a collection of essays, Panics and Persecutions: 20 Quillette Tales of Excommunication in the Digital Age.
Peter Kurti , author of Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia. He is director of the Culture, Prosperity and Civil Society program at the Centre for Independent Studies.
Monica Wilkie, policy analyst at CIS, author of Respect & Division; How Australians View Religion and recently, Australian’s Attitudes to Social Media; Connection or Curse?