Cancel culture is getting many headlines recently, so I thought I’d add my two cents worth to the discussion.
When an 4$$h013 spouts off about their repugnant views. They’re cancelled. Unfriended on Facebook, blocked on Twitter. I don’t have the time or the energy to engage with people who find my existence offensive. It’s usually people who dislike immigrants. I are one.
My personal view is that what is being called “cancel culture” is an integral part of the capitalist system.
When I get mistreated at a store, I no longer give my custom to that store. It’s cancelled.
When I get mistreated by my internet service provider, I no longer give my custom to them provided I have an alternative. They’re cancelled.
Ultimately, the only leverage I have with companies that I do business with is not to do business with them.
Sure, I can give them a bad rating. And I have.
First, I try to resolve the issue with them. I try to follow the “if you’re happy, tell everyone, if you’re unhappy tell us” approach to customer service.
But, apparently, some companies don’t want my money.
So I don’t give it to them again.
The capitalist system uses the creative destruction of markets to change what is being produced to match what is needed or wanted by consumers. I use whatever minor purchasing power I have to remove revenue from companies I don’t like so that, one hopes, they can no longer make enough money to survive.
Do I actively plot their destruction? No.
Do I wish for their destruction? Also no.
I wish them to improve. And the best signal I have to get them to improve is their bottom line.
Years ago, my father used to fly domestically in Australia for business. Back then, the airline business in Australia was a duopoly: Ansett and TAA. My father joined the business club of whichever of them he was currently with. But, every so often, they’d piss him off. And he’d cancel his membership, and start to fly the other one. This happened several times, so he flip-flopped between Ansett and TAA.
TAA eventually merged with QANTAS, but Ansett is now defunct.
And do you know what?
When I’ve cancelled companies, I’m happier.
My most recent example is when I needed new hearing aids. I didn’t have time for an appointment, so I needed to get some supplies to fix the aids I had. So I tried my usual audiologists. I called them, and they said they had the supplies I needed. So I said I’d be right over.
When I got there, they confirmed that they had the supplies… but that they couldn’t sell them to me because I wasn’t an audiologist. These supplies were plastic tubes that connected my hearing aids to the moulds that fit into my ears.
I tried to understand what they hadn’t understood about me asking for them and saying I’d be right over to get them. To no avail. All I got was a rude rebuke.
So I ordered the tubes from Amazon Prime and they arrived the next day.
A few weeks later, I had time for a full audiologist appointment and selection of new hearing aids. So I went to a new provider. They were much easier to deal with.
I’ve been with them for two or three years now, and they’ve been very attentive to my hearing and ensuring my hearing aids keep on working.
Cancel culture works.