Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Final Solution: Categorical Imperative City

 Immanuel Kant (Johann Gottlieb Becker, 1768)

Maybe the time for equilibration and its coadjutant relativism are gone. Tolerance of viewpoints and behaviors together with an understanding and respect for ambivalence can be humanizing forces. But there are times when everyone is not entitled to their opinion and when the expression of certain viewpoints is not simply, as the deconstructionists would have it, ideological. In other words, there's a Kantian categorial imperative, a right and wrong. Equanimity is a luxury that cannot be afforded in the middle of a pandemic and environmental crisis. QAnon supporters who believe the cornonavirus is part of a conspiracy theory emanating from a deep state don’t have a point of view that deserves a hearing any more than anyone can cry “fire” in a  crowded movie theater. If someone makes claims there's too much testing (as the president has done) and then goes on to give themselves an A+ for handling the coronavirus, he or she is actually causing more deaths. To say that some of the neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville are “very fine people,” as Trump did, is tantamount to a Sieg Heil. How does one maintain Enlightenment values on the eve of Kristallnacht?

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