Cancel culture zealots threatens to ‘cancel Australia’: Study
The recent wave of "cancel culture" needs to be taken seriously or it will tear at the social fabric of Australia, according to a new report to be released by the Centre for Independent Studies on Monday.
The push to silence unwelcome voices, stifle debate and "cancel" anything or anyone deemed unacceptable - from old TV shows to food brands - will led to a "dangerous orthodoxy", the researchers say.
It will also result in a lack of trust, civic discourse, and ironically, disturb social cohesion by allowing bigotry to flourish, author Peter Kurti argues in his analysis.
The report comes just days after Australian musician Nick Cave also sounded a warning on cancel culture declaring it is a "bad religion run amok".
"As far as I can see, cancel culture is mercy's antithesis," Cave said. "Political correctness has grown to become the unhappiest religion in the world. Its once honourable attempt to reimagine our society in a more equitable way now embodies all the worst aspects that religion has to offer (and none of the beauty)."
Mr Kurti - who is director of the culture, prosperity and civil society program at the Centre For Independent Studies think tank - said cancel culture emerged in response to a sense of "imagined fragility and fear of harm" among university students.
"However, no longer merely seeking protection of the fragile on campus, advocates of cancellation sought the eradication of anything deemed to cause distress, offence, or to provoke disturbing memories," he argues.
Recent attempts to vandalise Captain Cook statues are cited as examples, as well as attacks on Jacinta Nampijinpa Price over her discussions of Indigenous history and the "cancellation" of best-selling author J.K. Rowling for objecting to the term "people who menstruate" over "women".
Mr Kurti said debate becomes impossible when counter arguments are rejected.
"The challenge facing Australians now is to confront these three dangers,'' he said.
"They may seem trivial as 'insect bites' today, but their cumulative impact will be to undermine our way of life and to tear at the social fabric of our nation."
Originally published as Cancel culture zealots threatens to 'cancel Australia': Study