For starters, the more good, ethical people push back against my critique of Critical Race Theory, the more invested I am in its study. Not because I wish to prove these good folks wrong, but because I am really trying to find the good in the framework, to see what it is they must know, which I am missing. The cycle, then, persists, because the more I investigate the theory and its practice, the more suspicious I become of its widespread acceptance and use across disciplines and social communities. After engaging in dialogue with a few individuals about the Voice of Color Thesis, I discovered an analogy for said thesis, which I would like to present to you today. It will take the shape of a metaphor, or a parable.
With that said, I have begun to read the text, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic for myself. I haven’t even completed the introduction, but I’ve already discovered what I believe is a glaring blind-spot in the theory, which I feel is precisely why this ideology, when universalized as the primary framework for analyzing racial tensions, is likely to lead to further division between the races.
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When an object (or dream or goal) holds sublime status for us, it has the power to steer our movement in the world, in less than wholesome ways. Recall that an object (or dream or goal) attains the status of the sublime when we fantasize its attainment will satiate desire. Spoiler alert: no object, dream or goal will ever satiate desire because desire is innate to our experience as humans.
I oppose Critical Race Theory. Well, I cannot say if I oppose the text, Critical Race Theory, or its academic study because I’ve absolutely no experience with either, but I absolutely oppose the practical application of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as it is increasingly absorbed by culture and social communities (particularly online advocacy spaces). Whether it is CRT in truth, or a conflation of CRT with Robin De Angelo’s White Fragility cult, the CRT I’ve encountered in online social communities has been nothing short of toxic.
I love the way Žižek uses currency as an exemplar for the sublime. Currency has a corporal body subject to decay, like any other corporal body. However, because an external authority deems it to be, currency retains its market value, regardless of its wear and tear. Unlike a car, which loses value as soon as it’s driven off the dealership lot, currency possesses its full market value as long as it remains in circulation. In this manner, due to the intervention of authority, money, as a thing, transcends decay, because regardless of its condition, it always possesses the fullness of its value.
What is religion, but a system of beliefs with codified standards for enforcing the norms of their practical application? Not every religion is sacred. Political activism risks taking the shape of religion, as overzealous adherents establish formulas for regulating and enforcing ethics, based on dogmatic belief. As it currently stands, the Western Social Justice Movement contains the requisite ingredients for transformation from a revolutionary tool of resistance to an oppressive secular religion, in its own rite. This is unfortunate, as the aims of the movement are just: freedom, liberty, and equality; however, any method rooted in fundamentalism yields, not the former ideals, but tyranny and retribution.
Statistical measures–likes, follows, shares, views–can never fully articulate the actual value of an individual’s presence or performance online. Like the remnant value unaccounted for in the commodity form (Marx), there is a remainder unaccounted for by social media performance indicators. The exchange value is disproportionate to the actual value of the creation or creator.
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