Cancelled in Canada – Freedom Philosophy

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I ran in the last Canadian election as a Libertarian candidate. I was invited to participate in an LGBTQ+ debate and I went to a property manager I hired for one of my income properties for advice. He’s transgender. I was excited to spread the message of LGBTQ+ tolerance and fiscal restraint, and I figured they would love the idea.

He said, “Don’t go to this debate, whatever you do, they will want to hurt you”.

I countered with the Libertarian Party platform and our history, and he told me that I don’t get it. He’s trans, almost all of the tenants he brings in are LGBTQ+ — it’s considered a “safe house”. He told me a story: One of the tenants was watching the TV show Friends and another tenant complained, and the complainer said he couldn’t live with someone homophobic enough to watch Friends.

The show had some jokes at the expense of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s not enough to be tolerant — one must be actively intolerant. Sure enough, my property manager was correct: After the debate I was physically attacked (I have a blackbelt, and the assailant is a senior citizen, with no teeth, and likely weighed under 100lbs, so I use the word ‘attack’ in a broad sense).

The issue at stake was that I aggressively pursued the Liberal Party’s candidate’s friendly attitude toward Saudi Arabia (including arming them) — a country that executes homosexuals. Their community sees Justin Trudeau and the left in general as their protector, their ally in Ottawa. My assailant wasn’t alone. Nearly the entire room was ready to have my lynched for criticizing the Liberals on any issue, even if it was in defence of homosexuals elsewhere.

The Liberal Party doesn’t merely tolerate LGBTQ+, they actively discriminate against anything in that movement’s way. Their response to me criticizing the Liberal politicians was akin to mother bear seeing someone approaching her cubs.

Cancel culture is about the left-wing love of marginalized groups. Once they’ve identified a group they organically support, they will become the mother bear and remorselessly maul any opposition to it — even the slightest encroachment. Ethically, an individual can’t align themselves with people who murder homosexuals, but these people would overlook that if the murderer is an ally.

There are libertarian perspectives on this. The cancel culture advocates are saying that we have the freedom to say as we wish, but not the freedom from consequences of our actions and justify their tyranny on those grounds. While this is true, as individuals we have a decision to make in terms of whether or not we maximize misery for our fellow human or not.

Those among us who obsess over such things have gone to lengths to the extent of contacting employers to eradicate the income-earning potential of the transgressors. This is a clear cut violation of the non-aggression principle. It’s not incumbent upon us to ruin someone’s life for disagreeing with us.

The pendulum of tyranny between right and left has shifted. 25 years ago the right was mercilessly mocked for wanting to cancel the Teletubbies because one of the allegedly male characters was effeminate, and therefore likely a homosexual. Ten years before that they had moral sway and caused cancellations. The right was tyrannical.

At present, the left proudly wields its power of cancellation. This is tyranny. This is destroying individuals. This is a mob mentality that seeks power. This is a power-hungry gang like any other. Libertarians need to take a stand. 

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree with the University of New Brunswick. He works for a Cayman Island hedge fund service firm, owns a real estate company, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada. He is a member of the People’s Party of Canada and the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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