Biden’s First Month, Trump’s Second Impeachment, and Cancelling Cancel Culture

Mark Fischler Integral Justice Warrior, Perspectives, Politics, Video, World Affairs, Worldviews 16 Comments

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ow is the Biden Presidency going so far?

Will Donald Trump be convicted in the Senate for his impeachment trial?

Now that the political left has regained tentative control of our government, what do we do about “cancel culture” and other illiberal tendencies coming from the left?

Watch this latest episode of Integral Justice Warrior as Mark and Corey shine a light upon these three questions.

Topics include:

0:00 — Biden’s First Year
42:50 — Trump’s Second Impeachment
1:22:05 — Cancelling Cancel Culture

We hope that you enjoy the discussion as much as we did! Let us know what you think in the comments below.

If you enjoy this episode, be sure to check out more episodes of Integral Justice Warrior. Watch them all for only $1!

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Mark Fischler

About Mark Fischler

Mark Fischler is a Professor of Criminal justice and current program coordinator for the criminal justice and criminology programs at Plymouth State University. Prior to joining the Plymouth State faculty, he practiced law, representing poor criminal defendants for the New Hampshire Public Defender’s Office. Mark has worked extensively with alternative theoretical models in law, constitutional law, and higher education, and has published on integral applications to teaching, being a lawyer, and legal theory. His focus in the classroom is ethics and criminal procedure, and is well respected for a teaching philosophy that emphasizes recognizing the humanity and dignity of each student. Professor Fischler was awarded the outstanding teaching award at his university in 2014. He currently offers a weekly Spiritual Inquiry class through Satya Yoga Studio.

Corey deVos

About Corey deVos

Corey W. deVos is Editor-in-Chief of Integral Life, as well as Managing Editor of He has worked for Integral Institute/Integal Life since Spring of 2003, and has been a student of integral theory and practice since 1996. Corey is also a professional woodworker, and many of his artworks can be found in his VisionLogix art gallery.

Notable Replies

  1. I’m not a member and so couldn’t watch the full discussion. The short video available ended right before they got to talking about the political left. But I wonder about a historical approach. In the United States, there is so much historical disinfo, historical revisionism, and historical amnesia. I can’t speak for the experience of people in other countries. Still, there is some shared history to consider.

    There is a long history of cancel culture in the West, but particularly in the United States: colonialism, slavery, genocide, patriarchy, theocracy, racism, Jim Crow, sundown towns, race wars, English only laws, internment camps, eugenics, McCarthyism, corporate blacklisting, COINTELPRO, torture prisons, class war, labor busting, book burnings, CIA coups, propaganda programs, voter suppression, militarized policing, mass incarceration, and on and on.

    Also, it’s never acknowledged the mass cancelling of the political left. Most Americans are to the left not only of the Republicans but also of the DNC elite and corporate media. On top of that, there is actually more recent attacks on leftist academics that never gets acknowledged because it doesn’t fit mainstream frames of the ruling paradigm. Large swaths of the left are so canceled as to be treated as not existing.

    Maybe even more I’d love to hear the part about privacy and its origins. In reading a book about the ancient world, Susan P. Mattern’s The Prince of Medicine, I was amazed by the description of Roman life. Everything they did was as a social activity, including going to the bathroom, but much else as well: eating, working, going to the doctor, etc. Privacy was almost entirely non-existent, even for the elite.

    Then again, that has been true for most humans in most societies, even in the United States prior to the 20th century of mass urbanization followed by suburbanization. Stephanie Coontz talks about that in The Way We Never Were. There didn’t used to be much respect for personal space, to say the least. From historical accounts, I know that on the frontier this was partly influenced by Native American practice where walking in unannounced was considered normal practice among those on friendly terms.

    This was also part of cultural and legal carryovers from feudalism. In early America, there was still protection of the commons. It didn’t matter what land someone owned on paper, they could only effectively control land by exlcuding others by fencing in property, which was difficult and expensive at the time. Any open land was available to the public for use. Private land was a limited concept. Even corporate charters were initially only given to public projects, not private businesses.

    In some rural communities, a more communal way of living persisted even into the mid-20th century. Joe Bageant, in both Deer Hunting with Jesus and Rainbow Pie, discusses his childhood home in West Virginia that still had large kinship networks built on subsistence family farming and a barter economy. Bageant lived in a white community. But interestingly, the majority of blacks weren’t urbanized until the 1960s or 1970s.

    While talking of weak and broken families, it’s typically used as rhetoric to dismiss poor rural whites and poor urban blacks. Yet this is largely the middle-to-upper class bias of those who have embraced hyper-individualistic society and so can’t perceive what older social networks look like. From Poor Reason, Stephen Steinberg wrote:

    In her 1973 study All Our Kin, Carol Stack showed how poor single mothers develop a domestic network consisting of that indispensable grandmother, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, cousins, and a patchwork of neighbors and friends who provide mutual assistance with childrearing and the other exigencies of life. By comparison , the prototypical nuclear family, sequestered in a suburban house, surrounded by hedges and cut off from neighbors, removed from the pulsating vitality of poor urban neighborhoods, looks rather bleak. As a black friend once commented , “I didn’t know that blacks had weak families until I got to college.”

    It’s strange how the nuclear family has become so normalized. Like Bageant, my mother grew up surrounded by kin, though not like his small rural community. But she left her family behind to raise her own kids in a nuclear family. This has much to do with the rise of private identity and private space.

    It was the Quakers, in early America, who first pushed the more extreme version of each individual having a separate, personal, and private relationship with God. That led them to constuct the nuclear family as separate from the community where each family member was also considered separate in having their own private room (Barry Levy, Quakers and the American Family; & Arthur W. Calhoun, The American Family in the Colonial Period).

    The very concept of ‘privacy’ is built on a view of mind, self, and personal space in terms of a metaphorical container with an inside and outside. Julian Jaynes argues that was a new social construct that emerged after the collapse of Bronze Age civilization, whereas prior to that the dominant view was of the bundled mind, extended self, and communal space. It was in the Axial Age when the first appears writings on privacy. So, the enclosure of identity preceded enclosure of the commons by a couple of millennia.

  2. I also find the relatively recent “Cancel Culture” points and counterpoints to be extremely myopic.

    Conservatism literally means keeping the status quo and returning to the “God Old Days” of either 1980’s or 1950’s in White Christian Heterosexual Middle Class USA.
    Conservativism is the original cancel culture movement and goes to extremes to make it illegal or difficult to live as other than what they believe US culture should be.
    The examples are overwhelming. It was actually illegal to be LGBT and serve in the Military until “don’t ask, don’t tell” came along. It was impossible to have top secret clearance as well or have executive positions in most corporations. There was a reprieve from this for many years, but the Trump administration returned to an attempt to cancel LGBT culture through executive actions.
    Indeed, any alternative lifestyle is viewed negatively by American Conservatism. Single parent families are openly stated as bad for America and legislated against in tax code and Labor laws.
    One just has to listen to AM talk radio during any 15 minute time period on any day between 1990 and today to hear diatribes calling to cancel alternative cultures. Starting in 2016 with the election of Trump this active cancel culture efforts of conservatism moved from legal methods to extralegal methods, violence, vigilantism and finally an attempt to violently overthrow the results of a Democratic Election. To this day the planning continues in conservative communities to violently cancel culture. Formerly Alt-Right concepts are now redefined as mainstream conservatism, and conservatives who disagree with the extremism of the past four years are now ironically labelled RINO. We can call this cancel culture as well. Conservatism of 1950 to 2015 that was compromising, peaceful, logically consistent and ethical has been cancelled by conservatism that is uncompromising, violent, logically inconsistent and unethical.
    It really is difficult for me to empathize why these two cultures should not be cancelled.
    First the culture that forced myself and several generations of people to wear masks throughout childhood and into adulthood, pretending to conform to societal capitalist militarism in daily life while “Alt” culture was only tolerated in the shadows. Then the violent extremism that seeks to replace it and make the United States a place where only one culture is allowed.

    It’s just really hard for me to see the current cancel culture claimed by conservativism as other than holding an uncompromising position then claiming victim status when their culture is by definition and actions actively attempting even to the point of violence and revolution to cancel other culture.

  3. I’m more of a left-winger. I’m not much of a fan of either liberal identity politics or right-wing identity politics. Nor do I support “political correctness” and “cancel culture.” But let’s be realistic and let’s be informed. If we go back to the Cold War, we should remember that often the liberal class in the corporate media and corrporatist politics were among the most strident Cold Warriors in siding with the right and silencing the left. It’s never been easy to be on the left in Amerian society, not then and not now.

    Cancel culture is Bill O’Reilly repeatedly calling Dr. George Tiller a “baby killer” until one of O’Reilly’s viewers acted by killing Dr. Tiller. Cancel culture is Alex Jones rantng about the Pizzagate conspiracy about a cabal of pedophiles until one of his listeners shows up at the Pizza restaurant wth a gun. Or when Jones used harassment in trying to silence the parents of the students killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Cancel culture is right-wingers driving vehicles into crowds of left-wingers. Cancel culture is the constant shootings, hate crimes, and terrorism mostly committed by the political right. And the political left is disproportiionately the target of violence. One study found that the police were more likely to use violence against peaceful leftist protesters than against peaceful rightist protesters.

    Also, cancel culture is when Donald Trump, Fox News hacks, etc constantly go on about how anyone who disagrees with them should be fired. Cancel culture is Jordan Peterson’s habit of suing people who are critical of him. Cancel culture is when David Graeber couldn’t find work in any US university. Cancel culture is when professors are fired for supporting Palestinians or being critical of Israel.

    Did you know there is still a US law on the book that makes belonging to the communist party illegal? It hasn’t been enforced in a long time, but Trump when president suggested it should be used again. Also, think of COINTELPRO that was used to destroy leftist groups in the past. Technically, COINTELPRO is illegal; and yet that hasn’t stopped the government from using COINTELPRO tactics since 9/11.

    And corporate media supposedly as a left-wing bias. Really!?! Give me a break.

    Using Free Speech Rhetoric to Silence Opponents
    Right-Wing Political Correctness, Censorship, and Silencing
    Framing Free Speech
    Anarchists Not In Universities
    Corporate-Ruled MSM & DNC Is Left-Wing, Says Corporatist Right-Wingers

  4. In the last part of the episode Corey argues that the idea of free speech developed alongside the concept of privacy. And that the latter started only about 300 years ago when rich people started building private toilets. He also said things have been going downhill since we stopped looking each other in the eye when shitting together. This last was said half jokingly. I find his very interesting, just like the points you raise about he concepts of privacy and family in “non-western” cultures.

    I see also a link between these 2 concepts and some aspects of reading and writing, like writing a diary or a novel. I see some connections with the orange meme as well. I could also see the need for privacy arise as a reaction to religious violence such as the inquisition and the canceling of other cultures and religions.

  5. Here is the bit from David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous (as quoted here):

    *“It is important to realize that the now common experience of “silent” reading is a late development in the story of the alphabet, emerging only during the Middle Ages, when spaces were first inserted between the words in a written manuscript (along with various forms of punctuation), enabling readers to distinguish the words of a written sentence without necessarily sounding them out audibly. Before this innovation, to read was necessarily to read aloud, or at the very least to mumble quietly; after the twelfth century it became increasingly possible to internalize the sounds, to listen inwardly to phantom words (or the inward echo of words once uttered).”

    I came across an account of of someone who could read silently during the early Middle Ages. It was so rare that he would perform this feat publicly and audiences would be amazed. At the time, it seemed like a magic trick. Oral tribal people often expressed similar awe when missionaries and anthropologists read out of books. That is probably because the very experience of an inner voice was so rare that silent reading seemed incomprehensible.

    Yet the basic foundations of individuality were in place by the Axial Age. Religious practices like Buddhist meditation seem partly about developing an experience of inner mental space or a movement in that direction. Think of the Stoic’s notion of inner liberty. That puts individuality or at least proto-individuality as part of blue vmeme. That is when writing took hold as a literary tradition. Then following the Axial Age, there were the early Christians who were the first to use bound books.

    Silent reading is an advancement for having an inner voice. But reading in general and a phonetic alphabet in particular seems even more key to developing an inner mental space. There has to first be a space in which to hear a voice. That leaves the question of what would an inner mental space be like without an inner voice? Maybe that is why early religious practices sometimes involved trying to hear God as a small quiet voice, as an attempt to attain the inner voice, which was hard if not impossible to do before punctuation.

    One could note that voice-hearing has always been more common among the illiterate. In the ancient world, it was typically those least exposed to literary culture, such as young women and rural shepherds, who often became oracles and prophets. The Jaynesian bicameral mind lingered on in certain populations. Even into the modern era, it was the illiterate like Harriet Tubman who still exhibited strong voice-hearing.

    There is a reason, though, why one might associate much of this with orange. Literary culture had been around for millennia by the time modern mind took hold. But widespread literacy did not become common until the Protestant Reformation. It might be unsurprising that the Protestant Reformation followed not only the moveable type printing press but also punctuation. Starting with the English Peasants’ Revolt, there can be discerned a new independence of mind where even some peasants came to think of themselves as equals to aristocrats and monarchs.

    That is what would later incite certain strains of Enlightenment thought and the revolution of the mind. There suddenly was this idea that all humans, including women and non-whites and the poor, had minds just the same as rich white men. But in a sense, maybe prior to that most people did not have private ‘minds’ as individualized inner mental space. Even though, the foundations of individuality came earlier, the strongest expressions of individuality required not only literacy but a new kind of silent reading that Protestants emphasized.

    I’m not sure what to think of games, some of which have ancient origins. They seem to have arose out of the period of time when the voices of gods, spirits, and ancestors were becoming less common and harder to hear. So, people increasingly turned to divination tools to discern divine will or fate. Only later did these develop into games. Money, particularly as part of intercultural trade, is a more interesting link to early mindsets of individuality or proto-individuality.

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