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.
My obsession with social media performance indicators caused me to compromise moral conviction for the sake of self-preservation. I felt so much pressure to be actively anti-racist (in the radical sense which conflates anti-whiteness and the self-denigration of white people with anti-racism). Thus, my allyship was performative.
Anti-racism dogma condemns performative allyship, while simultaneously creating the conditions in which it thrives. Nevertheless, for most, such performative allyship occurs on the level of the unconscious. For example, I believed I was motivated by a genuine desire to be a “good person,” and on the level of the conscious, this was accurate. However, in the unconscious recesses of my psyche, I was actually driven by a compulsion to please the social authority, and it was a particular social authority, which set the standard to which I strived.
The sublime value of performance indicators enmeshed with the demands of the moral authority because my social media statistics were directly related to my ability to meet those demands. This is why my choice to assert myself in opposition to the crowd was radical, and therefore, free. I willingly sacrificed attachment to the sublime.
By asserting autonomy, I enraged the moral authority and lost hundreds of followers in the process. Regardless, in the end, it was the only choice I could make. As soon as I realized I’d been selling myself for the sublime, I had to punctuate my own migration. Any progress from that point forward would have been at great cost to my own psyche, and it isn’t worth it!
It’s never worth it.