Conservatives love to drone on about free markets and capitalism. Yet the very purest form of capitalism now practiced in liberal western democracies they not only reject, but are completely aghast about – the so called “cancel culture.”
“Cancel culture” really is, the most conservative of things which puts capitalism in the driver’s seat. It’s the free market expressing its will based on consumer choices and preferences without the prodding or interference of government. “Cancel culture,” is private industry making decisions to stay ahead of the curve in a world unlike politics, where accountability and good public relations makes or breaks you.
Unlike many politicians who run in safe seats and need only to appeal to activists to win low-turnout primaries that are tantamount to election, corporations must evolve to survive or they die. “Cancel Culture” is part of the evolution and survival in this day and age – corporations responding to the free market and consumerism. Isn’t that what conservatism and capitalism is all about? Or at least was all about until Donald J. Trump became President?
We hear from “conservatives” like South Carolina Nikki Haley, Governor Ron DeSantis and others that “de-platforming” politicians whose words and spreading of lies encourage violence is what they do in Communist China. Actually it is the OPPOSITE of what happens in totalitarian countries. Under the DeSantis remedy which has he has implemented here in Florida , much like the Soviet Union or Communist China, tech companies would have to abide by the will of the government. They would be forced to allow any politician of the ruling class to spew whatever nonsense they wish. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW ANTI-DEMOCRATIC DICTATORSHIPS OPERATE.
This is the new core of the Republican Party. Deeply committed to non-conservative principles, personality cults, conspiracy theories and in economics, the type of direct government involvement objective people might call “Lemon Socialism.” Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) one of the leading inspirations for the January 6 coup attempt has articulated a new populist vision for the GOP which can be summarized as direct government subsidies for those who support the GOP, regulations on anyone who opposes them and outright demonetization of the media and “elites” that are no longer supporting the GOP. Hawley’s ideology is a mixture of left-wing socialism and right-wing racially coded populism. This is who the Republicans are today. Yet they claim they are against “Cancel Culture,” when they are actually cancelling people and corporations at will using their anointed mouthpieces like Fox News, OANN and Newsmax to do so.
Under Donald Trump, the GOP completed its transition from a conservative party to one obsessed with regressive social views which combined with populist anti-market driven economics lead to a morally bankrupt and inconsistently hypocritical movement. These “conservatives” more closely resembled the old styled segregationists of the Democratic Party here in Florida and other parts of the south – those who embraced the largess of government except when it infringed on racism and lynching.
Conservatisim was once sunny and optimistic. Now it’s bitter and angry and not conservative at all. They whine about popular vote majorities for their opponents and make no real attempt to build a majority behind their policy views. They are a movement of angry, aggrieved, drop outs from polite society, a group committed to personality-cults and “winning” at all costs rather than democracy or traditional American values.
Governor DeSantis here in Florida has worked to cancel “Cancel Culture,” by implementing the most anti-free market agenda of any recent Florida Governor as well as unprecedented (in modern times) state interference in education. Here is a review of the DeSantis moves.
- Businesses are not allowed to govern themselves accordingly to protect customers nor are they permitted to put in place basic public health standards in order to attract customers. They are not free to practice business in Florida unless they play by the state’s rules. This is effectively Communism or Fascism depending on your preferred term.
- Tech companies are not allowed to regulate the platforms they own in accordance with user standards every customer signs if it conflicts with the agenda of politicians. This is effectively state control of mass media.
- Businesses are strongly discouraged by the state from being “woke” or promoting things like Pride Month or African- American History since it conflicts with the new ideology of the DeSantis GOP. As noted above, the free market is the reason companies promote “wokeness,” because it HELPS business. DeSantis’ reaction to “wokeness” and “cancel culture” will potentially drive businesses out of Florida. Then again for all the huffing and puffing about tax incentives its not like the Republicans have attracted that many top-line businesses that hire a professional managerial class to the state anyhow.
- Educators must teach a sanitized mythical version of American History, one which not only is based on out-of-context views of events but one which also discounts Florida’s own role in shaping the real history of this country.
All of this points to a party, led formerly by Trump but now by Governor DeSantis that is anti-market, anti-capitalist and pro-statist. So the next time a “conservative” complains about “Cancel Culture,” remind them they’re being more Soviet than conservative.