A YouTuber Catches Stunning Dogmatism in New York City
During the culmination of the George Floyd protests, a YouTuber called Smooth Sanchez released a live stream of himself that strutted through the streets of New York City and interacted with random pedestrians. Some parts of the uncut, almost two-hour video do not provide good entertainment. Shorter clips of Sanchez's dramatic interactions with whites quickly went viral on social media.
A typical encounter of this type is as follows: Sanchez approaches a white woman (why he appears to have picked women is unclear) and mistakenly identifies himself as a representative of the Black Lives Matter. He next claims that his BLM manager instructed him to find white people on the street for his live stream and to bring them to their knees in a sign of solidarity with George Floyd. As soon as the topic kneels - something Sanchez can easily bring about in many successive encounters - the YouTuber asks her to apologize for her white privilege (a five-time action secured) or even to admit that she knows she's involved in minority crimes be (secured twice). Finally, Sanchez thanks his ignorant fraudster and sets off. If a white target refuses to follow Sanchez's instructions at some point, he embarrasses her by calling her a bigoted racist or a white supremacist. However, fear of this allegation should not be a major motivating factor; The women in the film are all anonymous and most of them are unidentifiable due to their masks. If all of that wasn't enough, Sanchez calls George Floyd "George Foreman" throughout the video, just for fun. Many subjects do not dare to correct it.
The counter-reaction of the conservative wing to Sanchez was serious. The audience spammed his upload with dislikes and claimed that he was "racist against whites" and a "tyrant". Even Tucker Carlson played a clip from Sanchez's video as an example of the "mob seeking total humiliation from his enemies". Strangely, what these critics did not realize was that Sanchez was not a genuine warrior of social justice; Rather, as he revealed on Twitter, he made the video to troll people.
Indeed, the undeniable belief that some show in the video is amazing. Almost no one wonders if the unknown camera wearer can be trusted. Nobody questions Sanchez's loyalty to Black Lives Matter, and nobody finds the premise of kneeling in a livestream and asking forgiveness for their race unsettling. (Incidentally, although Sanchez intends that the knee pads be mocked in his video, some whites knelt and apologized for their white privilege, without being asked to do so in a well-intentioned attempt at racist solidarity.) Finally, the notion that white - rather as the act of individuals - is responsible for the death of George Floyd remains largely uncontrolled under Sanchez 'Caucasian goals.
It feels like many of those who made Sanchez films have gone beyond the material plane and reached a mystical height in their political passion. For them, the awakened genealogy of repentance is like kneeling prayer, renouncing their own identity to pious asceticism, and the alleged minister of the Black Lives Matter pays homage to humility before divine authority.
But this passion is nothing new; It is astutely captured in Aurel Kolnai's essay "The Humanitarian Versus the Religious Attitude", which is added at the end of Daniel Mahoney's extraordinarily written "The Idol of Our Age". The 20th century philosopher therefore characterizes the phenomenon: “The modern civilization of Western mankind. . . has shown a trend of evolution towards a society in which religion, as a determining factor in private and public life, practically consists in giving its place to a non-religious, immanentistic, secular moral orientation, which is best described briefly and simply as "humanitarian" can.
Kolnai's comments make a lot of sense; Given the refusal to plunge Sanchez's goals into the flames of political correctness, one can hardly imagine a motivating factor other than this kind of "immanentist, secular moral orientation" - a "civil religion" as Rousseau envisioned . But what are the relevant characteristics of this "humanitarian" belief system? Kolnai theorizes:
The humanitarian attitude can. . . find expression in a kind of hyper-moralism. . . . An increased, systematized and specified moral burden can replace the disappearing mystical substance of religion; When belief becomes more dubious, reduced, and worn out, a cramped "immaculate" life can serve to demonstrate "effective" belief in what is "really essential" in religion.
Similarly, those in Sanchez's video seem to have accepted important virtues - pity for the oppressed and just anger toward their oppressors - and committed themselves to exercising them as essential, at the expense of dignity and truth. While one could easily protest the injustice of Floyd's death without disapproving of oneself and falsely professing to be involved in the killing, this would remove the badge of being "impeccable" in terms of the essential virtues. After all, the alleged livestreamer of Black Lives Matter, with all his authority, has disclosed the precise conditions under which one must currently deal with the virtues, and to protest against these conditions seems to contradict.
Although Smooth Sanchez offers valuable conversation feed, it should not be confused with a serious person. This is a man who has openly recorded how he harasses strangers, laughs at women because they are lesbians if he rejects his progress, and shouts "pigs" to the police on the street. He probably hasn't thought much about politics or political philosophy, or he definitely appreciates the shock factor about everything. By simply walking around and filming what he sees in New York City for two hours, Sanchez points out breathtaking Kolnaiesque hypermoralism among his subjects, whose piety goes beyond what most community members could achieve.
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