Comeback of the catechism: When today’s speech norms launch old inquisitions – FIRE

The consequences of American “cancel culture” for artistic freedom and civil liberties are often minimized and dismissed by public figures for not rising to sufficiently injurious levels. “Cancel culture,” they claim, “in the terms it is culturally viewed in, does not exist.”

There aren’t any Americans being put to death or tortured as a consequence for speech, talking heads reason, as if free expression in-and-of-itself is not a human right (it is). “This isn’t the Spanish Inquisition,” they argue, excusing a trend that Americans largely oppose by claiming that “careers are not destroyed.”

Champions of “cancel culture” may claim it does not cause people to lose their jobs, but such contentions are nothing more than “alternative facts” which the record clearly demonstrates to be false. Those who instigate, excuse, or support modern-day censorship, while often insisting social progress is their goal, ignore how unenlightened and backwards their actions actually are. Their eager dismissals of an issue so elemental to democracy itself — one’s very ability and willingness to speak — are historically uninformed and naively short-sighted.

Read the full article here.