Multi-Package Cancellations: The New Left-Woman-Centered Cancel Culture Is Self-Destructive.

A woman is standing against a wall.

Nancy Fraser is a philosopher and one of the best-known American feminists. Photo: Stephan Pramme

American philosopher Nancy Fraser signed the open letter “Philosophy for Palestine” in October 2023. This text minimizes the terror of Hamas and further paints Israel's guilt. He was one-sided. The University of Cologne has canceled Fraser's visiting professorship. You don't have to be a follower of the text “Philosophy for Palestine” to find this more than unpleasant. Currently in Germany open discourse in art and science is administratively restricted. The Fraser case is not the first and probably will not be the last.

Star African philosopher Achille Mbembe was ostracized with completely exaggerated accusations of anti-Semitism. An exhibition by Candice Breitz was canceled and the artist was slandered as an anti-Semitic. American musician Laurie Anderson gratefully turned down a visiting professorship at Essen after a blogger apparently discovered something unruly on the Internet. Bremen pulled out of an award ceremony for Masha Gessen because she compared the Gaza war to Nazi crimes. This series is much longer. If something looks like a forest and smells like a forest, then it is more likely to be one. In this case: a German forest.

What is striking is the radiant and calm conscience of those Germans who present themselves as heroic defenders of the achievements of the German federal commemoration policy. In fact, this cancel culture of anti-antisemitism surprisingly often affects left-wing Jewish women like Breitz, Gessen or Fraser. The same media outlets that otherwise strongly warn against left-wing cancel culture are casually stirring it up here. Jürgen Kaube presents at the FACE sincerely declares that the Fraser case has nothing to do with a “restriction of freedom of expression.”

Established prohibition practice

Even these rhetorical smokescreens cannot hide the fact that a practice of prohibition is rapidly being imposed here. Like many ideologies, this one will fail at some point due to its own contradictions. Sanctioning any harsh criticism of the sometimes far-right government in Jerusalem and the occupation regime damages freedom of expression and corrodes like rust at the core of liberal democracy.

He New York Times has evaluated the price of this practice and has discovered a “climate of fear and guilt” in the Berlin cultural scene. Berlin is in serious danger as a spiritually open place. This is more than just a concern about location policy. This practice of prohibition, based on reasons of state, is also self-harming. Federal Germany's self-image of being emphatically liberal and emphatically cosmopolitan was also a reaction to the arrogance and isolation of the Nazi regime. Does that no longer apply?

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