No, That is Not a Witch Hunt

The votes are in, and I am delighted to inform you: no, that is not a witch hunt!

Great news!

This is the correct response to all discussion of ‘modern witch hunts’. To every example from your life and from public debate that you want to point to.

Well, every example except the actual witch hunting that does happen in a range of places around the world where real people are prosecuted, attacked, or persecuted because other people suspect they have the power to cause supernatural harm. Those are witch hunts.

Can you see why? I’ll give you a clue: it’s the involvement of suspicions of witchcraft.


So. Did you notice a parallel between the cultures of suspicion, fear, envy, and denunciation of the early modern witch hunts and something that happened to you on social media?

Or perhaps something that happened to a high-profile figure, and is now being widely discussed in the media?

Well done, you!

You have discovered that social dynamics are patterned in similar ways across time and space.


But you know what’s missing from the witch hunts you insist on telling me about…

… anything at all about witchcraft.


The thing is, yeah. Could choose another tediously oversimplified historical parallel to dredge up? I would be sooo grateful.

Especially if this means I could talk to non-specialists about my interests without having to endure monologues about the dangers of ideological purity in the twenty first century, or why the most powerful voices in contemporary media are the ‘real victims’ here.

Thanks and bye!

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