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The Fuel on the Fire of ‘Cancel Culture’

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer and Elan Journo discuss the recent controversy surrounding a letter published in Harper’s magazine. The letter sparked increased debate around a phenomenon called “cancel culture.” Bayer and Journo unpack the phrase and assess its significance.

Topics discussed include:

  • Why “cancel culture” is poorly defined and functions to package together censorship and voluntary persuasion
  • How some public shaming campaigns are just and necessary, while other are neither
  • How, too often, recent public shaming campaigns are launched in defiance of evidence and argumentation
  • Many of the campaigns decried by critics of “cancel culture” are launched by people who fear disagreement and want to intimidate dissenters into silence

Additional resources mentioned during the discussion include Ayn Rand’s “The Argument From Intimidation,” Ben Bayer’s “What’s Wrong with ‘Virtue Signaling’?”, and Elan Journo’s “Should You Judge Other People?

This podcast was recorded on July 22, 2020. Watch or listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived web episodes here.

Podcast audio:

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Paul Taske

Paul Taske, J.D., is a junior fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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