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In the Name of God بسم الله

Cancel culture on the left

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  • Advanced Member

I really can't wait for the Imam to return and purify this vile world. Please make sure you're praying to God to hasten his return in your qunut. It does make a difference as it did with firaun, Firaun was supposed to rule and oppress for many more years but the prayers of the people brought his death sooner

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It all changed on Gamergate, as ridiculous as it may sound. That changed internet politics, both in the left and in the right. It promoted this alt right movement that paved the ground for Trump, built an alt right identity and feeling of community instead of marginalization. In the other hand, the way the left could defend itself was through social media campaigns (aka callouts), which is usually referred as cancel culture. Both are reactionary, extremely polarized political movements that take place on the internet. Both have shaped our politics. It's how it works now, can't say much more than "deal with it".

I'm not very in favour of cancel culture, but I find the alt right dominion of the internet way worse. So i just can't care less.

In the other hand, to certain extent, I think there have been benefits in the cancel culture as well. Many pigs have been exposed in cultural industries and I'm happy that ruined their careers and name. It's not bad to expose someone who has done bad to others, by the way. The problem with cancel culture is when it tries to take the place of a judge. Things should take place in court when possible. When there is evidence someone has done something bad (such as sexual molestation, for instance) I don't think a public expose / callout is out of place.

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19 hours ago, Bakir said:

but I find the alt right dominion of the internet way worse.

Alt right domination? Have you seen the disastrous left and their constant propaganda and censorship to anyone who opposes their views

19 hours ago, Bakir said:

When there is evidence someone has done something bad (such as sexual molestation, for instance) I don't think a public expose / callout is out of place.

Yeah, unfortunately that’s not how it is though and the left is notorious with their metoo movement in throwing rape allegations left and right without evidence - expecting everyone to believe them, because if you don’t you're a bigot and misogynist. 

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Bakir said:

I'm not very in favour of cancel culture, but I find the alt right dominion of the internet way worse. So i just can't care less.

In the other hand, to certain extent, I think there have been benefits in the cancel culture as well. Many pigs have been exposed in cultural industries and I'm happy that ruined their careers and name. It's not bad to expose someone who has done bad to others, by the way. The problem with cancel culture is when it tries to take the place of a judge. Things should take place in court when possible. When there is evidence someone has done something bad (such as sexual molestation, for instance) I don't think a public expose / callout is out of place.

The right is definitely hypocritical with the whole Kaepernick "omg he knelt for the anthem, muh he hates the troops, Imma burn nike now".  Also Dixie chicks during the Iraq war got death threats for criticizing Bush by their country fans. So there's def hypocrisy. The problem is I actually expect this from the right. The left on the other hand, which is supposedly meant to care about working people is going around shaming people for saying things they don't like and getting them fired as a result. Did you read about the David Shor case I just linked? Very shameful. 

Edited by Mohamed1993
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5 hours ago, Mohamed1993 said:

The left on the other hand, which is supposedly meant to care about working people is going around shaming people for saying things they don't like and getting them fired as a result.

Andrew Schultz (on the left) has a funny take on cancel culture and fake woke activism, which are getting people fired. Warning: inappropriate

 

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Posted (edited)

The reasoning behind acceptance of cancel culture (either by words of why your are ok with it or by your silence) appears to be “It doesn’t matter because…… past injustice has harmed many, and so the injustice of innocents is justified”.  Even though we may feel uncomfortable about this, we see others are accepting and so we cease to think for ourselves and uphold standards we have been taught - but not taught well enough it seems.  We can be swayed by MSM, celebrities and the cognitively impaired we elect into office.  So weak we are.

Those of us who want to build a better society should always, without exception, defend the innocent, because

Aside from the obvious:

- "these incidents damage the lives of innocent people without achieving any noble purpose.

Every action promotes a reaction:

- These "injustices are liable to provoke a political backlash. If a lot of Americans come to feel that those who supposedly oppose racism are willing to punish the innocent to look good in the public’s eyes, they could well grow cynical about the enterprise as a whole.”

Logical fallout:

- "movements willing to sacrifice justice in the pursuit of noble goals” will create societies of pervasive injustice.

If we are willing (openly or silently) to accept blatant injustice to another with some tangential form of "the ends justifies the means", we are only justifying our acceptance of being a fool.  Injustice is pervasive and knows no boundaries. Acceptance of injustice is beyond foolish; it is a ultimately a form of community self harm.

Linked is a relatively quick read of three stories of very different innocent victims of Cancel Culture:  

1.  Emmanuel Cafferty - a working class man with no political affiliation - mother is Latina and father Irish and Mexican;

2.  David Shor - data analyst whose work was to determine how Democrats could win elections - fired for tweeting academic findings from, ironically, a Black researcher;

3. Maji Wadi - Palestinian immigrant, small business owner.

However, the societal acceptance of these injustices is even worse than the injustice itself.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/06/stop-firing-innocent/613615/

Edited by Maryaam
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The goal is to reduce the number of positions that are acceptable to take in public. The left recognise that you don't change society by making intellectual arguments, you change it by manipulating emotions and censoring dissenting views. Allowing people to freely express different views give the public the impression that there are a range of acceptable positions that can be taken, or worse, they may even be convinced by some of these other positions. What you accomplish by cancelling people is getting others to self-censor, and to give the general impression that certain views are so beyond the pale, that they can't be tolerated in decent society. And there is no doubt that it works.

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4 hours ago, Mohamed1993 said:

The left on the other hand, which is supposedly meant to care about working people is going around shaming people for saying things they don't like and getting them fired as a result.

Correction - The left is a lot more dangerous, the media is predominately serving their biases and pushing their agendas.

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50 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Correction - The left is a lot more dangerous, the media is predominately serving their biases and pushing their agendas.

You do realize Fox news is the most watched news station in the US? The mainstream left isn't on the left, they are where republicans used to be just a few decades ago.

I can't defend anyone who opposes free speech, and yes there are some on the real left that feel it is justified to restrict speech, but ironically they do it on non government platforms, i.e twitter/private media companies and corporations.

The rebels on the right love to scream free speech but only if it serves their interests, i.e discussions on racism or climate change.  Yet, even more ironically than what I mentioned above from the left, they will support suppression of speech through state backed channels, i.e criticism of Israel or silencing whistler blowers.   I mean the right fights for private enterprises being accorded more rights than humans yet whines when they exercise them. Basically most people are just hypocrites, we really need to stop focusing on the left or the right and talk about issues and values. 

I personally am a very strong advocate for free speech, this even includes hate speech, it should all be out there exposed in the open, short of direct incitement to violence.

 

 

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I am simply pointing out the clear discrepancy of left leaning Muslims in the end the left and right are both wings for the same bird which is fundamentally flawed.

9 minutes ago, King said:

this even includes hate speech

I used to share your sentiments, but I believe that speech which is devoid of any moral/intrinsic value is unnecessary, especially that which includes profane or provocative language through the use of vulgarity which is directed at any religious figure or group. It is meaningless and only stagnates the development of a society, to criticise, however, should be the right of every human being.

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4 hours ago, King said:

You do realize Fox news is the most watched news station in the US? The mainstream left isn't on the left, they are where republicans used to be just a few decades ago.

The fact that Fox is the most watched news station in the US doesn't mean much in itself, given that conservative news sources are in the minority. Where else are are conservatives going to go for their news? Let's be honest, the US media is predominantly socially liberal. They are also pro-big business, which is why I understand that you may not consider them of the 'left', but that's not really where the current debate lies. So again, when you say that the mainstream left is where republicans where a few decades ago (I think Obama said something similar a few years ago), you mean in terms of economic policies, not social ones. For the purposes of this debate, when people say 'the left', they primarily mean what is also sometimes now called the 'woke left', those who are mainly concerned with issues such as identity politics, not necessarily the traditional left, although when it comes to the activists themselves the lines might be a bit more blurred.

4 hours ago, King said:

I can't defend anyone who opposes free speech, and yes there are some on the real left that feel it is justified to restrict speech, but ironically they do it on non government platforms, i.e twitter/private media companies and corporations.

The rebels on the right love to scream free speech but only if it serves their interests, i.e discussions on racism or climate change.  Yet, even more ironically than what I mentioned above from the left, they will support suppression of speech through state backed channels, i.e criticism of Israel or silencing whistler blowers.   I mean the right fights for private enterprises being accorded more rights than humans yet whines when they exercise them. Basically most people are just hypocrites, we really need to stop focusing on the left or the right and talk about issues and values. 

I personally am a very strong advocate for free speech, this even includes hate speech, it should all be out there exposed in the open, short of direct incitement to violence.

I agree with most of this. Having said that, the main difference we have now is the rise of social media, which facilitates the ability to publicly shame people and to whip up online mobs, that although objectively represent quite a small percentage of the population, have a disproportionate impact due to the fact that so many people in media and politics are social media addicts. So although I don't disagree that the right are often hypocritical, the balance of power now lies primarily with the liberals, and they are the ones in possession of the extremely powerful weapon of social media (amplified by their dominance of traditional media and the entertainment industry).

The other difference is that although in practice the left and the right are as bad as each other, in theory the right does believe in principles such as free speech, whereas the left sees such principles primarily as a means to an end. They don't believe in free speech for it's own sake, but rather as a means of advancing their social causes.

But in terms of freedom of speech, I am in full agreement with you.

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On 7/30/2020 at 7:14 AM, Mohammad313Ali said:

Alt right domination?

A few years there was an AI (Tay) whose behaviour was based on Internet user behaviour. It turned out to be nazi and sexist. When it starts throwing false rape allegations I will be worried about what you say.

On 7/30/2020 at 4:25 PM, Mohamed1993 said:

Did you read about the David Shor case I just linked? Very shameful

Nope, sorry. I have no doubts that there may be a significant number of cases, very cruel and unjust, behind cancel culture, and that's why we should be very careful providing facts. Nonetheless, that's not enough to be against it, but against the way it's done.

And in the end, the core of this debate is how should we tolerate despicable cruel unjust and disgusting behaviours in society. And I say tolerate because evidently, if there was an active efficient justice, people wouldn't feel the need to speak out. Nonetheless, power grants immunity to people, thus we see people in power positions usually cancelled because they've abused their power and have never been judged for their acts.

We see this constantly in our times. Powerful people with immunity. Cancel culture, insults, boycott, are the few things left to be done by people. I would prefer if there was a just efficient system to investigate genuinely and in a neutral efficient way all scandals and could judge accordingly. But it rarely happens when the scandal is done by a powerful person.

In my honest opinion, in such cases, I would prefer harsher prosecution with serious consequences, not just a twitter call out. But we live in an extremely unjust world, filled with hordes of ignorants who defend injustice and are ready to give their lives for it.

I'm not optimistic about our future, and genuinely desire our end, if it was not because there is hope in Allah.

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30 minutes ago, Bakir said:

When it starts throwing false rape allegations I will be worried about what you say.

You are free to use the 'AI' as your source for justice and equilibrium, I however will continue to follow the Quran, wherein Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) advises us to verify that which is brought forth to us.

32 minutes ago, Bakir said:

I'm not optimistic about our future, and genuinely desire our end, if it was not because there is hope in Allah.

This pessimistic outlook is unnecessary brother, we can establish change within the world through supporting a system that is founded upon the edicts and precepts of Islam - justice is not that which you think it is, due to utilitarian and individualistic influence; justice is that which Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) has decreed to be justice - for the individual in particular and for society collectively. 

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Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.
Alexander Hamilton
 
 
I'm not ok with either of these, but it seems still true today. 
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Posted (edited)

There is a difference between a notion and its application.

I have no qualms with "cancelling" someone that holds completely unacceptable views or performs immoral actions. The problem is when the wrong people are cancelled for the wrong reasons.

Edited by Muhammed Ali
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Since I haven't read all the replies, I cannot react to posts right now. Thanks to everyone who replied. 

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My loose observation: Cancel culture is the result of the combination between the post-Truth atmosphere and the culture of attention and clout. People on the internet (young people especially) put sooo much importance on who should or shouldn't receive the attention from the internet based on previous statements or actions that doesn't conform with their world view, even if it's the truth.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Muhammed Ali said:

There is a difference between a notion and its application.

I have no qualms with "cancelling" someone that holds completely unacceptable views or performs immoral actions. The problem is when the wrong people are cancelled for the wrong reasons.

I should add that how the "cancellation" occurs is also important. Not allowing someone to debate is not the same as not giving them a platform or not using their business. A problem with some of the "woke" people is that they wont even let you make your case. 

Is it wrong to boycott the business of a racist? What about allowing them to debate their point of view? 

In practice I wonder if cancel culture is not too far away from what other groups do, but they just don't call it that.

Edited by Muhammed Ali
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On 8/10/2020 at 1:25 PM, Muhammed Ali said:

What about allowing them to debate their point of view?

This is one important point for which there may be a few social science based answers, but mostly beliefs.

For instance, social studies point out that leaving room for hateful speech and intolerant discourse will spread this poison to the rest of society, not because of respect to the truth, but because there is certain characteristics in common.

For instance, a racist may be white, a white non-racist person may have a white racist person and a black non racist person as friends. Social sciences point that this is an unstable triad in which there may be two outcomes:

- the white non racist person cuts relation with the racist person, because he values his morality (the golden rule)

- the white non racist person, out of inaction/equidistance, cuts ties with the black person, or becomes a racist himself (he already is when he doesn't fight racism actively, tbh).

As we are flooded with ideologies, many turn to equidistance, as if it was some neutral ground. The thing is that when there are oppressive behaviours or politics, shutting up is not morally neutral. We, shia muslims, can accept this as part of our moral obligations for obvious reasons.

In the end, we can also assume many of the social problems related to today's politics and fight for social rights is that there lacks a common globally accepted moral code. I would blame atheism, but it happens even within religious communities. In the end, I do believe we need a religion, but one that is properly understood, in its essence. Because I have seen many muslims being equidistant in many social-related issues that are honestly oppressive. You are either in favour of oppression or against (and being in favour isn't necessarily bad).

On 8/10/2020 at 4:30 AM, notme said:
Give all the power to the many, they will oppress the few. Give all the power to the few, they will oppress the many.
Alexander Hamilton

This may be true, but honestly, the issue with opression is relative. Problem is the lack of universality in morals. Oppressing someone for something deserving oppression, for something that you yourself would accept receiving a punishment if you missbehaved, isn't necessarily questionable (since you don't put yourself over the law). In the end, it's not about oppressing many or few people, but oppressing according to the truth. A majorly ignorant cruel society should be oppressed until it evolved into something better, morally right.

But again, the problem is that nowaday we don't have a specific universal moral code, and I don't mean a code that countries should accept. I mean a moral code that is imprinted in people's hearts.

For that reason, I'm reasonably pessimistic. Because I reach the conclusion, leaving Islam and my beliefs in the Hidden Imam aside, that only a divine figure can change the world. Because in human history, I have seen only prophets achieving such level of social change and moral code implementation. Nietzsche himself wrote about this in Moral Genealogy.

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