Between Caligula and Nero: Cancel Culture and the Future of Western Civilization

cancel culture

When rot sets in the intellectual capacity and ethical outlook in the elite of an empire or civilization, a supposedly conscious, rational and logical collective, the body soon begins to whither and shall eventually die. History is replete with such examples as warnings, such as the often cited decline and fall of the Roman Empire. The increasingly detrimental and destructive effects of “wokeism” and cancel culture as the chosen mechanism of a western “Cultural Revolution” by the dystopian visionaries of radicalised and ideological “Liberalism” have rightly caused much attention and cause for concern. Centrists and moderates have become the new radicals in this exercise of eliminating the public persona and the ability to function as part of society, after being labelled as an “Enemy of the People”. This exercise of idea and character assassination is often done in the name of tolerance and understanding, in a truly chilling Orwellian twist. But what is the purpose of this self-destructive activity and ideology, and why now?

An evident decline of Western civilization and culture is taking place 

It is clear, an evident decline of Western civilisation and culture is taking place owing to the effects of the coercively imposed dystopian and self-destructive policies of the Liberal political establishment. There is an attack on those fundamental elements that created and enabled a foundation of Western global (political, military and economic) dominance through a direct attack on the fundamental intangibles (history, central values and norms). This is being done, and in fact accelerated during the current crisis of Liberal Democracy, which has led to an increasing ideologically radicalised binary political, social and cultural identity environment. Therefore, cancel culture and wokeism should not be viewed as a sign and position of strength, but rather an indication of weakness and desperation in their inability to bring to life their dystopian vision of the world as they see it.

A great deal of use is made of such concepts and practices as the “Orthodoxy of Knowledge”, presumed “truths” and “realities” that are supported by informational and cognitive dominance. This is seen in the current catch phrases and slogans being used to capture the imagination and minds of the public a “brave new world” if you will – “new normal”, “build back better” or the “great reset.” These are the tools of attempting to shape a dystopian totalitarian vision through shaping a cognitively homogenous citizen that is an object rather than a subject. This has been done historically, such as the Soviet attempt to create Homo Sovieticus, the “perfect” Soviet citizen.

Cancel culture movement are driven by calculated and methodical plans to envisage their utopian dystopia 

British comedian, Rowan Atkinson, referred to the woke and cancel culturalists as being like a medieval lynch mob, however, I would argue that they are in fact even worse. The medieval lynch mob were caught up in the heat of the moment, driven by superstition, acting on cognitive impulses in a herd mentality. Whereas the current age, those driving the woke and cancel culture movement are driven by cold, calculated and methodical plans to envisage their utopian dystopia on Earth. It is a cancerous ideology that should and must be resisted, which is certainly the case with some prominent and ethical public figures, such as John Cleese and his moral public stance.

There is a definite ideological theoretical and practical likeness of the woke and cancel culture movement to Bolshevism, a totalitarian ideology that seeks to create an unfree human environment where there is no private sphere to practice one’s thoughts and ideas free from fear. There is no separation between the public and private sphere of individuals, which exists in more tolerant and free societies. An “Enemy of the People” once declared and outted is systematically cancelled in all aspects of their life. Nothing is free from the attention and interference from the thought police, the so-called “intellectual Taliban” that see to create a purely impure society that is controlled in their thoughts and actions. To bring to life this vision of how society “should” be organised relies on creating an ideologically primed homogenous mass public, whose consent is engineered and compliance is coerced. It is the antipathy and enemy of all that is critical, free and independent in a pluralistic and tolerant democratic society.

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Wokeism and cancel culture treat non-sanctioned and approved ideas and thoughts from the mainstream political liberal elite like a virus. These are something dangerous and subversive to their dystopian ideological vision. Those ideas and thoughts are regarded as being dangerous and contagious, therefore something that needs to be isolated and destroyed. Otherwise, these may be the seeds that ‘corrupt’ and destroy the political and social project of creating the “ideal” dystopian ideological project that is currently underway. This extremely zealous and messianic pursuit of the “Brave New World” based on a 1984-like framework is not viable or sustainable, the host (Western civilisation) is withering and shall inevitably die and this is something that is not seen from the high ivory towers of carefree privilege that this class of elite liberal strata they inhabit.

Dystopian totalitarian vision is shaping a cognitively homogenous citizen

The title may sound provocative for some, but there is substance and reason for using concepts and terms as Neo-Bolshevism and Intellectual Taliban when referring the ideology and practice of wokeism and cancel culture. These are an abhorrent ideological dystopia that threatens to undermine and divide truly free and tolerant communities, nations and civilisations. Ironically, this is done in the name of spreading “tolerance”. These cancerous ideas and practices are coming at a time of evident Western civilisational decline, the one thing that history has taught us time again is that the beginning of the end for empires and civilisations tends to origin from within and not externally. Those zealous ideologues driving the process are isolated in their reality impervious filter bubbles, sheltered from the tangible and intangible effects of their imposed dystopia, perhaps their moment of realisation shall only come with the final fall of the curtain on Western civilisation.

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*Expert in strategic communication studies, Senior Researcher, Uppsala University (Sweden). Expert Member of Eurispes’ international network EU-RU-CM.

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