Is abandon culture a form of discrimination?

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As of: May 16, 2021 8:17 a.m.

Cancel culture is appearing more and more often as a catchphrase in debates. Some complain about it, others claim cancel culture doesn't even exist.

The Leipzig painter Axel Krause was invited to the Leipzig annual exhibition in 2019. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the AfD-affiliated Desiderius Erasmus Foundation. That caused a stir. After public pressure, the invitation was withdrawn. The Rostock punk band Feine Sahne Fischfilet was supposed to perform in the auditorium of the Bauhaus Dessau in 2018. After right-wing groups mobilized against the performance, the Bauhaus Foundation announced that the concert had been canceled. Actors are removed from films, poems from house walls, authors from publishing programs and authors from debutante salons. For a few months now, a term has been appearing in Germany in discussions about these processes: "Cancel Culture" - which means “culture of cancellation”.

The attempt at public ostracism

"Cancel Culture" describes the attempt to publicly ostracize alleged misconduct, insulting or discriminatory statements or actions - often by celebrities. A general boycott of these people is called for. "'Cancel Culture' - I will certainly deal with that later, because I find the term very interesting," said the cabaret artist Lisa Eckhart in August 2020 at NDR Kultur, when her launch from the Harbor Front Festival in Hamburg led to the term appeared everywhere in public discussion. "I see the culture - that is, the culture - in the term 'Cancel Culture' not as the subject - that is, as a culture that cancels - but as the object. Namely, that one strives in part to cancel culture as a whole is not something that I would assign to a political camp, but a tendency that can be seen in many things, "continues Eckhart.

"Cancel Culture" was created in 2014 - as fun

And yet it is also the political camps that oppose each other in determining the relatively young Internet phenomenon. It was first created on Twitter. In 2014, people in the USA talked about "canceling", which was meant as fun: "This person has been canceled for me" was written about someone whose opinion you disagreed with. But the protest quickly became more serious, more moral, and louder. Marginalized groups made their voices heard under the hashtag #CancelCulture, and have since been demanding bans and boycotts of people who they believe have been wrong. You describe this development as a democratic process that emanates from the Internet.

Victory of convictions over rational judgment?

But this process has reached film sets and universities, publishers and bookstores, all of the public space. On the other hand, there is an "appeal for free debate rooms" in Germany, which the journalist Milosz Matuschek published in 2020. It says: "We are currently experiencing a victory of convictions over rational judgment. It is not the better arguments that count, but increasingly exhibited attitudes and correct morals."

"Cancel Culture" - Pros and Cons

"Cancel Culture" is the subject of controversial discussion. Can you simply cancel appearances, films or texts instead of discussing other opinions and points of view? A pros and cons. more

Ghost or Serious Threat?

Leftists, on the other hand, doubt whether the culture of prohibition really exists or whether those who invoke it are more likely to fear losing their opinion leadership. Columnist Margarete Stokowski writes at "Spiegel Online": "The term 'Cancel Culture' is basically just a renaming of" You are probably not allowed to say anything more ", but actually more dangerous because a violent, powerful mob is fantasized about. "

Is the "culture of rejections" a ghost or is it a serious threat to any kind of debate? Is it about truth or censorship? Germany is currently discussing this, using a term that is, however, ambiguous and difficult to define.

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NDR culture | Classic in the day | 03.09.2020 | 06:40 am