Monday, March 22, 2021

"In this case, a win for the cancellation artists would validate the dark prophesies one often finds in conservative writing, including on Substack..."

"... a future where 'woke capital,' in thrall to left-wing activists, makes it effectively impossible to hold a professional-class job without enthusiastically embracing progressive orthodoxy — especially on issues of identity. That world already seems uncomfortably close for journalists and academics, given that most of their institutions lean left. But self-publishing? It ought to be immune from cancellation unless the mob can somehow convince you to fire yourself. That changes, however, if activists can enforce a secondary boycott on the newsletter services, payment processors or web hosts that writers use. If that happens, it’s hard to see where viewpoint diversity could survive for long, except possibly in conservative outlets big enough to run their own technology and thereby survive the purge.... [E]conomist Cameron Harwick suggested... We actually are witnessing woke capital do what capital normally does, if the capitalist controls a monopoly. That is, extracting excess returns from the market — what economists call 'rents.'... And woke capital, Harwick argues, is actually the creation of a labor cartel: the highly progressive monoculture of professional workers. To keep them happy, institutions that employ a lot of professionals have been pressured toward a narrow ideological consensus, corresponding to the views of roughly the left-most 8 percent of the American electorate. It’s a hidden fringe benefit that Harwick dubs 'ideological rents.' If Harwick is right, then cancel culture can’t be defeated by Republican senators hassling Facebook or Twitter, because that doesn’t touch the monoculture...."

Writes Megan McArdle in "The Substack controversy’s bigger story" (WaPo).

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