Some thoughts on “cancel culture”

“Cancel culture.” Members of the American right are outraged by it. Cries of “cancel culture” are pretty much guaranteed to rile the faithful. This is a complicated thing, in part because American conservatives have started throwing around accusations of “cancel culture” for ordinary free market activity and in part because “cancel culture” is a new name for a very old thing that goes back at least to Biblical times, and probably as far back as humans had language.

First, what cancel culture is not. Cancel culture is not someone choosing not to buy a product because they…