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Author: Bernard Rosset
To: dng
Subject: Re: [DNG] FSF, RMS and a danger to almost all GPL code
On 02/04/2021 19:46, Mason Loring Bliss wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 01, 2021 at 08:39:30AM -0400, Steve Litt wrote:
>> Didier Kryn said on Wed, 31 Mar 2021 12:07:50 +0200
>>>   cancel-culture
>> Please don't use that phrase, unless you're the second coming of Rush
>> Limbaugh. It's an ugly, Foxnews/right wing radio epithet for the
>> time-honored practice of boycotting, perhaps the last tool of power for
>> the average citizen.

> This bears some discussion.

> This notion of "cancelling" someone is different. It's aimed at an
> individual, and it generally seeks to do them harm - see them out of a job,
> for instance, beyond public humiliation.

aka "justice by the mob"

> It's worth using the phrase "cancel culture" because it's very different
> from a boycott

Yup, although beyond the whole "moral person" or "physical person"
difference, an individual boycotting a company will always be on the
weak side, hence it can be seen as exercising some rights.
On a case of a mob against target individual, the mob will always be on
the strong side.
This is radically opposed.

However, that is not even enough to explain it.

The most worrysome aspect of cancel-culture is the aspects you quoted
Victims (real, alleged or even just remotely feeling so) claim the right
to fight back on a personal level, therefore becoming bullies.
- There is public humiliation.
- The target shall lose his/her job.
- Beyond work, (s)he shall be barred from having a normal life anymore,
getting "tagged" as bad anywhere, including in any casual or leisure
location, having his/her reputation destroyed.
- (S)He must "pay the price", although his/her wrongdoing is not clearly
established and/or debatable and "the price" to pay is limitless.

In a way, this is the same logic as "lock him/her up": prison is the
final destination. You switch in a binary logic from white to black, and
the stain is eternal.
No rehabilitation, only pain until you withdraw, and eventually you die.
Cancel-culture is such a prison without walls. Once you're targeted, you
bear the stain for life.

Anyone engaging in that is blinded by hatred, fear and/or pain.

> So, there's the problem. What are possible answers?


Final sentence (destroying a life for good)
without cause (basing oneself on circumstantial evidence, if any),
without debate nor cross-examination (not all parties are heard nor
tried equally),
without an exit (pre-determined sentence).
That is the exact opposite of any sound juridical system.

The answer has always been the same: forbidding harassment and trial by
a mob, making people seeking justice to bring any claim in a judicial
system, which will deal with any legal offence swiftly, according to a
set of laws which content is known and pre-determined at the moment of
the trial.


Bernard (Beer) Rosset