Should the right use cancel culture against the left?

So should the right try to get more left-wing people cancelled? If we’re talking about random people who’ve said something “problematic” (either now or in the past), I would say “definitely not”. First of all, trying to get someone cancelled is simply cruel, and the sort of people who engage in cancel culture tend to be sociopathic. Recall the paper by Erik Ok and colleagues which found that victimhood signalling is correlated with Dark Triad personality traits. There’s also evidence that mental illness is more common on the far-left, which might explain their proclivity for cruel behaviour.

In addition to being cruel (and indicative of sociopathy), it’s also a dishonourable way to attack your opponents. It’s the exact opposite of “Let’s take this outside”. In fact, trying to get someone cancelled is essentially the behaviour of a petulant five year-old. So unless you see the tantrum, the wobbly or the hissy fit as a model of good social behaviour, you ought to abstain from cancelling others.


To the degree that the far left uses cancel culture to censor and deny a voice to dissenting viewpoints, maybe.

To the degree that both sides are engaged in good faith arguments, obviously not.

Which extreme currently seems to be dominant, is it because of better arguments, or simply controlling the bandwidth.

The problem with cancel culture wielded as fire-fighting-fire is that in the end it only leaves the most cynical actors, who are careful with every thought and deed, standing. Personally, these are not the types I would want for thought leaders or cultural influencers.

I rather enjoy the more good faith arguments between Conservatives and Progressives- it’s just a shame they seem to be increasingly rare. I would posit one exception, though- if I was accused of making a co-worker feel unsafe because of publicly expressed views which were until fairly recently mainstream views, I would claim that their mischaracterisation of my views made me feel unsafe.

I wouldn’t really be getting at them, but rather my employer- last time I checked employers were not responsible for enforcing political ideologies, although I fully understand that in the institutions this has increasingly become the case. Perhaps if more people had been willing to take civil action this wouldn’t be the case. My guess is that we only hear about the few cases where the institutional pathology has become extreme- I would imagine there are a large number of cases where the employee holds firm and it is the HR department which is forced to back down from engaging in civil proceedings which would ultimately taint them as libellous and/or slanderous.


While on the surface it seems as simple as “pusillanimous” employers there maybe more to it than that. Perhaps a more accurate question might be are employers compelled to act if there are public complaints about their employees who fail to uphold values/obligations that are a condition of their employment & contrary to community standards/laws even if it occurs outside of working hours?