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Cancellation & Corporations: Fire at Will

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In the face of a global pandemic, climate change and escalating threats from China and Russia, the American right is laser focused on cancellation. As commonly used, “cancellation” is excessively vague and encompasses a range of things from celebrities being fired over Tweets, to Dr. Seuss’ estate deciding to stop publishing certain books, to Major League Baseball deciding to change the location of a game. Because of this vagueness, I will be focusing on specific types of “cancellation” in the essays in this series. While discussions of cancel culture are fraught with hyperbole and lies, there are significant matters buried under all this garbage and I will endeavor to focus on these. This first essay is about “cancelling” people by firing them for expressing their views, typically on social media. While non-famous people do get fired for expressing their views, most of the attention is on celebrities who suffer this fate. One recent example is Disney’s decision to fire Gina Carano in response to her social media posts. Like many “cancelled” celebrities, Carano has found new employment: she is slated to produce and star in a film funded by the Daily Wire. This is fortunate, since being unemployed in America is difficult.  While I do not want to get bogged down into the specifics of Carano’s situation, it does provide a clear focus for the discussion to follow. The narrative presented by many on the right is that out of control woke leftists are cancelling people like Carano for expressing views that are not politically correct. The danger, they claim, is that the left has the power to cancel anyone and will eventually get around to doing so. As such, one way to explain what happened is that the left overpowered a hapless multibillion dollar multinational corporation and bent corporate leadership to its will. The obvious problem with this narrative is that it collides with another narrative of the right: the left aim to destroy America by imposing socialism. If the. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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