For the last five decades, the concept of relativism has been chipping away at our culture’s firmly held beliefs of right and wrong. Relativism tries to create moral ambiguity in an attempt tear down our moral foundations. The relativist paint people with hard moral beliefs as mean-spirited, hate-filled, and judgmental. They believe that only and greatest sin is intolerance. The so-called “tolerant” hated the moral standards our society believed in, our belief in right and wrong, and the concept of objective truths. All of this had to be sacrifice at the altar of tolerance.
Our media culture told us as a society, we were compelled to tolerate everything. And many times, the judgement of the sin was always deemed worse than the sin itself. Everything was relative. No one perspective, no one set of values was inherently superior to another, we were told. There were no objective standards of right and wrong. And if anyone tried impose their beliefs of right and wrong on another, then they were called intolerant. Judging someone else was wrong because we could never fully understand other people’s lives and perspectives enough to accurately pass judgement on another. The only sin that could not be tolerated was intolerance.
But the relativism that hit our country during the 1960’s was never about the real philosophical concept of moral relativism which factors in different cultures, different eras, and different life perspectives when deciding if something is right or wrong. It was always about tearing down the established moral structures in our culture to create the groundwork to establish another set of moral structures. Tolerant relativism was never the goal. It was a tool to replace one form of intolerant dogmatism with another form of intolerant dogmatism. Relativism was merely a ploy used by the morally marginalized to gain a foothold to unseat the power structure and replace it with their own marginalizing power structure. Revolutionaries tend to become what they revolted against. They can easily see how they have been abused but can’t see or don’t care to see how they abuse.
Now 50 years after we were first told time and again that there is no right and wrong, there is right and wrong. We went from everything is black and white to everything is shades of gray and now we are back to black and white. We live in a hyper-judgmental culture where one errant thought, one misplaced word is so intolerable that you will be cancelled, given a cultural and social media death sentence. People are not simply called wrong, they are deemed evil, so evil that they must be erased from our culture. There is no room for repentance or forgiveness, once you are canceled, there is no chance for recovery. But canceling someone is both a cowardly act and a display of unabashed arrogance.
The motivation behind all of this newly found judgement is a personal sense of virtue derived from hate filled self-love. The people behind all of this canceling and judgement can only love themselves by hating someone else. They believe that by exposing another’s sins to the world and canceling them, they become more virtuous. That’s why there is a continual struggle to find and expose villains. They are enhancing their own virtue with each moral skin they tack on their wall. And if there are no villains, they will create one. But we all know that’s not how it works. You cannot go to heaven off the sins of others. Another’s lack of virtue does not heighten your own virtue. You have to get there on your own steam.
These neo-puritans are the only people who can use objective truth. They perform a very adept form of moral jujitsu going back and forth between tolerance and intolerance, subjectivity and objectivity, relativism and dogmatism, to promote their own interests. Either way, they are always right and you are always wrong. This is not about morality or even relativism. This is about power, and they use both competing philosophies to bludgeon their opponents to further their agenda. This whiplash-like lurch from complete tolerance to dictatorial intolerance is so drastic that most people are frozen like a deer in head lights. No one really knows what is right and wrong in our accepted society anymore. It is changing by the minute, by the incident. And yet if you happen to fall on the wrong side of the line, you are canceled. No apology is accepted.
These cancel culture warriors are more judgmental, more intolerant, more puritanical than the most self-righteous of the Puritans ever were. There is no room for understanding, no chance for forgiveness. We are judged by our worst moments, not our best, and we are canceled without a thought. This is a modern-day book burning, doing what all repressive forces do, not just destroy people and ideas, but cultures and societies.
Let all voices be heard, let all perspectives be expressed, even those we disagree with, even the ignorant. The best way to destroy ignorance, bigotry and hatred is to expose it to the light of day. They all wither and die when they are revealed to the world. When they are repressed and hidden, they fester and cause more damage. Destroying free speech, the free exchange of ideas, rigorous debate does more damage, is a greater threat to our country than allowing even the vilest ideas to be expressed. Our goal should be to educate, inform, and improve our fellow man, not cancel and destroy. And it is when motivated out of love of humanity. But when our goal is power and dominance, we will destroy and cancel any and all of those who stand in our way. And this is what we are witnessing today.