Even Vladimir Putin—who is currently waging an unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine—finds himself distracted by the CultureIt seems war. The authoritarian Russian President rebuked the West in a Friday televised speech. cancel culture Against the Russian People
They are trying to cancel the country.” he said. “I’m talking about the progressive discrimination of everything to do with Russia—this trend that’s unfolding in a number of Western states, with the full neglect and sometimes encouragement of Western cultures. Now they are engaged in cancel culture even though Tchaikovsky is being removed.
Putin also condemned the West for its treatment of Putin. Harry Potter J.K. Rowling is an author whose prominent disputes with transgender activists led to her being condemned by many liberals, progressive media and the broader public. Harry PotterFan community: Warner Bros. seemed to be distant from her and declined to include the creator of the franchise in the 20th anniversary HBO special.
Putin said that J.K. Rowling was recently canceled. “She didn’t fulfill the gender rights demands.”
Putin worrying about the children’s book author who is so wealthy, while he’s not there. It’s a strange thing to do. invading a sovereign country, destroying its cities, and murdering its people—It’s as though Rowling’s cancellation, which was not entirely justified, is somehow an excuse for Russia’s aggression. If I can think of a better metaphor, and since I won’t “read another book”, this would be Voldemort complaining that the quality of Hogwarts meals is declining while sending an army to destroy everyone.
Putin, indeed, is in a sense the greatest “canceler”: Putin silences critics and not with the informal social stigmatization usually implied by this term cancel cultureBut by imprisoning them and then killing them. Rowling doesn’t seem to be able to ignore this irony, as she clearly does not want to hear Putin’s hypocritical plea to her.
On Twitter, she said that “critiques of Western cancelculture are perhaps not best made currently slaughtering civilians in the crime or resistance to it, or who imprison and poison their critics,”
People who currently murder civilians as a crime of resistance or imprison and poison critics of Western cancel culture might not appreciate the criticisms. #IStandWithUkraine https://t.co/aNItgc5aiW
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) March 25, 2022
The wider embargo on Russian culture in the West is a result of Putin’s invasion. It’s reasonable to say that the cancellations Tchaikovsky concert are foolish and borderline racist. Putin is the West’s problem, and not their people, music or history. It does not help to demonize all Russians. In fact, it gives Putin intellectual ammunition when he slams the West in his speeches.
The various governments and organizations cracking down upon Russian media outlets, penalizing Russian composers and engaging in performative denunciation are all things to be criticized. The public attempt to hold Rowling for her views regarding gender issues has turned out to be equally sinister, especially with The New York Times A bizarre advertising campaign was run in Washington, D.C. Metro Station asking commuters to imagine Harry Potter without his creator.
None of those decisions are as morally deficient as Putin’s war in Ukraine, however—nor do they begin to justify his actions. Although cancel culture is bad it is not Putin’s fault. Widespread destruction and murder are far worse.