Cancel culture is no culture

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Needless to say that freedom of speech is in danger. Needless to say that freedom of speech is misunderstood. Shaming, bullying, harassing, insulting, humiliating are no freedom of speech but a boiling violence. For anyone who is familiar with this issue, it is known that violence is the opposite of freedom. Violence is enslaving and therefore a sign of weakness. Obviously, the main issue is to understand what causes violence everywhere. However, for this post, the topic is about the new phenomenon of “cancel culture”, a direct consequence of violence. So what is cancel culture?

According to the dictionary, “Cancel culture refers to the popular practice of withdrawing support for (canceling) public figures and companies after they have done or said something considered objectionable or offensive. It is generally discussed as being performed on social media”. But as we witness on daily news, cancel culture can become “cancel physically” by kidnapping or killing a disturbing opponent. Here, there are two different levels of analyzing the problem.

The first one is theoretical. When cancel culture is applied with common sense, it can become a way to shut down violent people, harassers, offensive statements and all the ugly things that we can watch and see or perhaps be victim of. The theory itself is good.

However, the second way is less positive. For example, who decides what is offensive and what’s not? People in charge, usually people of power, do this, but on their own terms. So there is a high risk that decision makers are subjective in their decisions. Hence, journalists being threatened, opponents kept silent, Julian Assange under surveillance for revealing the truth, George Floyd murdered and so on.

Cancel culture is a bitter reminiscence of Nazi, Soviet and Fascist regimes.

I am afraid that these regimes have been globalized.

What is a strong will?

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We hear a lot these words. Commonly known as mental strength, a strong will is acting with intentions towards a goal by overpassing inner and outer limits.

Most of the time, inner limits are the real limits whose determination distinguishes a “strong” will from a “weak” one (only if the word “weak” can be an adjective of the will). In other words, it takes decision, discipline and consistency to have a strong will.

But is it really all the work of a free will? Or is it the action of a certain type of will? Maybe is it something deeper?

Perhaps, a “weak” will is a choice of a free will to be irresponsible.

The 2nd wave of the lockdown

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Talking again about the lockdown is not a pleasant subject; what else can be said? What more advices can be given to overcome it? None of us saw the lockdown coming again.

The lockdown is in between fighting the pandemic and the full control of the State over people. Whilst the quarantine is necessary for saving people, it is at the same time a political act. So, it is health versus freedom.  According to a study done by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics of the Georgetown University in 2014:

 “Implementation of medical quarantines in America brings into conflict various legitimate arguments regarding who, if anyone, should have the authority to restrict movements of citizens.  Quarantines are not new, but they exist now in a world with new dangers and new opportunities for abuse”.

How to fight the pandemic without individual freedom restriction?

The full study is on link below:

Breaking traditions and breaking free

Traditions, what are they for?

Traditions are an endless repetition of an event, a behaviour, an action or just a way of being based on a cultural idea brought to light by society over generations. Repeating is cementing an identity, a cultural heritage and an ideology. Christmas tree, white wedding dress, Sunday family lunch for example and much more are Christian traditions and collective consciousness (to pick this concept from Marx0 perpetuated even by non Christians. It does tell then how religions in general shaped up and influenced our daily life until this present day.

Are traditions bad? Some are and some aren’t. However what is bad about traditions in general is limiting individual freedom. Identity goes deeper and wider than its social characteristics (nationality, race, religion etc.) and it is linked to individual freedom. Not only a background defines a person but this person does, what lessons they learned from their experiences, what they have been through and so on. Therefore, identity and freedom are beyond traditions and repetitions. They are endlessly evolving.

This is why, breaking free and “becoming who you are” to rephrase Nietzsche is to break free from traditions or at least to make the latter work for you and not the other way around.

What are we discussing?

It is commonly known that philosophy is about discussions and debates. However this common idea is not totally accurate; some philosophers might say it is totally wrong. Therefore, what is the source of this misconception?

Discussions and debates have always been present with opinions; to be more precise, when democracy was invented. We discuss opinions and this goes alongside the freedom of speech. Regardless of this much needed sense of freedom, philosophy is not a gallery of opinions.

“Opinion”, from the Greek doxa, is a subjective and sometimes emotional point of view. An opinion is never based on any rational analysis not on a scientific proof, in spite of the sharpness and the truthfulness of some opinions. This is the reason why we argue about opinions because the latter has no rational foundation.

Philosophy treats with concepts. A concept is an abstract idea that synthesizes many relevant empirical and concrete representations. For example: the concept of freedom is the collection of many ideas about freedom: freedom of speech, the belief that freedom is to do whatever one wants to do, for some people a natural scenery like watching the sea or walking in nature is representative of freedom etc. All of these are implicitly contained in the concept of freedom. Therefore, discussing freedom is about what each one believes freedom is; it means discussions goes to opinions and representations.

Philosophy is concept crafting. When philosophers criticize one another, it is through long analysis and essays. Philosophy is not a talk show.

Epictetus vs Jesus on Figs. The relationship between philosophies… | by Massimo Pigliucci | Stoicism — Philosophy as a Way of Life | Medium

Massimo Pigliucci refers to two passages on the fig tree. One is from the Gospels, where Jesus cursed a fig tree and it died completely. The second passage is from Epictetus, the stoic philosopher, who explained that it is wise to take advantage of what life has to offer; therefore it is foolish to desire the impossible.

Through the comparison of these two references, the author explains the difference between religion and stoicism as a philosophy.

It is a well written article, easy to read but profound. There is a freedom in picking religion over philosophy and vice versa. This choice, along many others, dictates our life in general.

Check the article by clicking on the link below:

https://medium.com/stoicism-philosophy-as-a-way-of-life/epictetus-vs-jesus-on-figs-the-difference-between-philosophy-and-religion-3f47939375d1

The invisible people

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Human history mentioned invisible people without mentioning them. The mass, the vast majority, the anonymous are mainly forgotten in all walks of life.

In Plato’s “Allegory of the cave”, the invisible people are left to their destiny, choosing between comfort and manipulation or the arduous journey of freedom made by Socrates, the only visible one.

The invisible slaves changed history with Spartacus, the visible slave.

Mandela, The King, Gandhi are still vividly visible men of salvation and justice.

The invisible people are the people we choose not to look at. Beggars and homeless are faceless and nameless people of the modern world.

History, ethics, philosophy taught us that ideals of justice and equality are to fight for. However, society is still based on hierarchy, on visibility and invisibility.

The real force lies in the invisible world!