In his new book, Cancel This Book, longtime activist and labor lawyer Dan Kovalik argues that cancel culture is entirely mean-spirited, a danger to progressive movement building, and serves only the interests of the extremely powerful. Getting people fired or socially ostracizing them because they ran afoul of the ever-changing language norms or made a simple mistake is a strategy that hands more power to bosses and authority figures. While It may make the accusers feel good, it is destructive,“ Kovalik insists. CANCEL THIS BOOK argues not just for an end to cancel culture, but for a renewed focus on solidarity, compassion, and civility, all of which are required to build the mass progressive movements that we need now more than ever. Like many on the left, Kovalik has watched with concern as works of classic literature have been summarily cut from curricula, individuals have been traumatized and pilloried, jobs lost, reputations destroyed.
“The liberal proponents of cancel culture,” says Chris Hedges,” have become the Grand Inquisitors of speech. They wallow in cloying self-righteousness while at the same time they refuse, either because of cowardice or ineptitude, to confront the real centers of power—the array of intelligence agencies that monitor us 24 hours a day, the rampant out-of-control militarism, Wall Street, Silicon Valley, and the bankrupt corporate media outlets. Proponents of cancel culture are part of the American burlesque of anti-politics masquerading as politics.”
Dan Kovalik is the author of critically acclaimed The Plot to Scapegoat Russia, The Plot to Attack Iran, The Plot to Control the World, The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela, and No More War. He has been a labor and human rights lawyer since 1993. Kovalik received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, has written extensively for HuffPost and CounterPunch, and has lectured throughout the world.
Mickey Huff is the current Director of Project Censored and president of the nonprofit Media Freedom Foundation. He has edited or co-edited ten annual volumes of Censored, and contributed numerous chapters. He is currently professor of social science and history at Diablo Valley College, where he is also co-chair of the history department. He is executive producer and co-host of the Project Censored Show, a weekly syndicated public affairs program aired over KPFA Radio and fifty community radio stations.