The Cancel Culture of the Liberty Movement – Freedom Philosophy


I spent a lot of time in churches studying theology, listening to lectures, talks, sermons, and podcasts on the topic. I noticed something that I thought was exclusive to religion: cancel culture. Some pastors would underline one sentence in a book that contradicted their church’s doctrine, and the book was to be treated as worthless or perhaps even dangerous.

A cornucopia of riches was to be discarded based on one supposedly sour line. The real world doesn’t operate in this way. In the financial industry, I can’t ignore investment advice from someone because he made one bad call – else I would never get any advice. Intelligent people don’t succumb to cancel culture based on one perceived mishap.

The real world rejects cancel culture. If the weatherman informs us of an oncoming hurricane, only a fool would ignore the advice because he made an incorrect call the week before. Reality comes into conflict with the demand for pristine truth, pristine ethics, and pristine accuracy.

As the left in the developed world became increasingly tyrannical in the 2010s, we saw the rise of their cancel culture. As libertarians, we can cite the infringements on free speech, the tyranny on campuses, and the frustration leftists are having with shows that aired decades ago.

Cancel culture has arrived in full force in the liberty movement. Very few are more demanding of pristine adherence to doctrine than the libertarian community. If one thing is out of the ordinary for online libertarian culture, then the community will descend like vultures.

In America, the liberty movement has a woman running for office that makes Donald Trump look like a communist. Also, she wants to eliminate deficits, end foreign wars, and end the Drug War. Lastly, she has an impressive resume.

At one point she was overly friendly with the sentiment that black lives matter. Given that many of the organizers of this movement are Marxists, and a sufficient number of their protestors are violent, because Jo Jorgensen shared a sentiment many libertarians opted to play six-degrees of separation and declare her in league with the violent Marxists.

We’re expected to ignore that she’s the most peaceful candidate for President and by a wide margin, the least Marxist. The reason why is because cancel culture has set in – the mob mentality has taken root, one thing appeared off to some, thus Jorgensen is to be discarded. Amidst a cornucopia of libertarian riches for a candidate, one tweet has been highlighted and underlined, and organically memeing libertarians have canceled her.

There is a reason that conversations with these people are likely to be fruitless. People who can’t engage with that which disagrees with them are necessarily and tautologically unintelligent. Intelligence is the capacity to adopt unfamiliar information and organize it.

People who get triggered by things they disagree with don’t have this ability to a meaningful degree. Just as muscles gain strength by facing resistance, so too does the mind. This is why reality conflicts with cancel culture – intelligence and competence begins with humility and is comfortable with disagreement.

The problem isn’t exclusive to BLM. Some libertarians aren’t anarchist enough, some libertarians wear masks during a pandemic, libertarians who believe in some slight regulation, libertarians who believe in open borders, libertarians who believe in closed borders, libertarians who believe in cryptocurrency, there are feminist libertarians, and libertarians that believe in some wars. One must tow the libertarian line.

There is something more valuable than the echo-chambering of memes, laugh reacts, and organically-formed opinions. It’s engaging with those who disagree. It’s reading books by people the reader would never countenance. It’s knowing another opinion beyond one’s own. The liberty movement must abandon our cancel culture.

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Brandon Kirby

Brandon Kirby has a philosophy degree from the University of New Brunswick and is a current MBA candidate finishing his thesis. He is an AML officer specializing in hedge funds in the Cayman Islands, owns a real estate company in Canada, and has been in the financial industry since 2004. He is the director of Being Libertarian - Canada and the president of the Libertarian Party of Canada.

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