The Struggle with Cancel Culture and Deconstruction in America
By Phil Hotsenpiller – September 25, 2023
I think we have all had about all we can take when it comes to “cancel culture” and “fake news.” Week after week we are forced to stomach the nonsense from the progressive left. The concept of cancel culture and historical deconstruction, which George Orwell showcased in his novel “1984,” reverberates in contemporary American society.
Orwell’s protagonist, Winston, worked in the Ministry of Truth, where his duty was to falsify historical records, allowing a totalitarian regime to rewrite the nation’s trajectory. Orwell’s ominous words, “Those who control the past control the future, and those who control the present control the past,” mirror current concerns over the suppressive nature of cancel culture, which targets dissent and demands unquestioning conformity.
Cancel culture, described as totalitarianism, is antithetical to American values and cultural norms. It suppresses discourse, alienates divergent thoughts, and strives to marginalize or demonize anyone who contradicts the established narrative by shaming, ostracizing, and professionally incapacitating them. In a nation built on the foundations of free thought and expression, such suppressive tactics erode the core values that have upheld American democracy.
Karl Marx’s statement, “Accuse others of what you do,” highlights a psychological projection technique. It’s a method where individuals, often driven by hate or prejudice, attribute their malign traits and thoughts to their adversaries. This deceptive tactic of psychological warfare is akin to injecting an autoimmune disease into the body politic, destabilizing societal harmony and cohesion. One of my good friends, a U.S. Army special forces expert in psychological warfare, told me that what is happening in America is classic psy op as he calls it. Control the narrative and put your opponent on the defensive.
This method of gaslighting has been prevalent in the strategies employed by socialists and radicals aiming to overthrow nations. It revolves around manipulating the younger generation’s perceptions of their nation’s past, teaching them to disdain their heritage and view the architects of their civilization not as heroes but as villains. The education system becomes a battleground where history is selectively retold, every virtue obscured, every motive twisted, and every fact distorted until the national legacy is unrecognizable. According to College Pulse 2024 College Free Speech Rankings, “Harvard ranked last out of 248 colleges in a survey of more than 55,000 students across the U.S., receiving the only ‘Abysmal’ rating.”
In an age of widespread misinformation and polarized discourse, Orwell’s depiction of a society where “every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten” is prophetic. The selective erasure and rewriting of history impair collective memory and truth. It leaves society in a perpetual present where ideological conformity is prized, and dissent is systematically eradicated.
The cancel culture and deconstructionist approach breed intolerance and narrow-mindedness, forcing conformity and quashing any debate or discussion. The relentless pursuit of sanitizing history and suppressing differing views only results in a fragile and divided society susceptible to the shackles of totalitarianism. Given the current administration, it seems they are bent on destroying the great American idea!
The visions and warnings from George Orwell’s “1984” serve as a reminder of the destruction that awaits a society that allows its history to be rewritten and its values to be trampled upon. I don’t know about you, but I like the America of yesterday with all of its rich culture, diversity, free speech, and love for God and country.