The Contradiction in the Imperative

The Mask situation has brought Some interesting philosophical issues and insights.

COVID-19, as largely an entirely random occurrence from the chaos which exists beyond our ever reckoning, is not really the philosophical issue, unless we want to speculate about the various ideological imperatives.

Science arises outside of these ideological imperatives, or rather one could say “on the threshold”, or the borderlands or — I forget the intellectual word…something that starts with an “m”, I think…On the margins, but there is a academic word for that which I’m not bringing to mind right at this moment–  Science arises in our world as half in and half out, seemingly arising from nowhere, yet somehow firmly predicting and describing our real world. At once, making no ontological sense while inscribing to us what is ontologically sure.


It is the mask which is the symbol of our time, one could say. Covid, in this way, is just an occasion to mark out a social significance.

I don’t think I am too far off the mark in describing the main issue that developed around the masks but now perpetuated in the wearing of masks is: am I protected?

I think the whole freak out and the whole big thing that arose (arises) around the masks was whether or not I will be protected from getting the novel Covid. (The conspiracy theories arise in frustration of purpose and ignorance of one’s self, I’d say).  And while this is generally ideologically proper to what is human today and now, scientifically what they tell us is that these masks are not protecting me from the virus. This is to say, I am not wearing a mask because I’m trying to protect specifically and only myself from getting the virus. The only time I’m wearing an N 95 mask is when I am having to be in close proximity to people that indeed do have the virus; the reasons to wear an N95 anywhere else verges to almost pathological. Cloth masks are not a barrier to the virus getting into me; I am not wearing my mask to protect me from you. On the contrary; they are a barrier for my saliva and particulates which are carrying the virus from getting out to you.

In other words, The reason I am Wearing masks is to protect you from me, because I could be carrying the virus and not know it, and not showing any symptoms.

I think this sentiment is largely unknown; the reason why most people wear masks is because they think they’re protecting themselves. Whereas, the only way that they’re protecting themselves by wearing a mask is to symbolize and or model to other people that’s socially it’s OK to wear a mask, because if we all wear masks then we are all protecting each other from each other — And we wash our hands and don’t touch our face.  The virus staying alive on surfaces, at least the CDC in the United States says, is not a significant factor in the transmission of Covid. Even though animals and surfaces may have Covid on them, they are not transferred well into our bodies to give us the sickness. The main source we are worried about is transmission and that Has to do from humans to other humans directly. 


Now, here is where we get in to philosophy and the imperative.

I am consciously acting, I am consciously wearing a mask for the purpose of protecting you, of protecting other people. I have no concept that I carry within my mind or reasoning that tells me that Covid is going to be prevented from getting in me by wearing a cloth mask; there is nothing about my wearing a cloth mask which involves my knowledge, which makes me feel secure, which makes me feel protected from getting the novel Covid. I mean; It can make me feel protected, of course…

Hence by extension philosophically, one Could say that I do not differentiate things that I do upon a level or unitive ontological platform; i am able to do things socially for different reasons, for example, for my own good consciously, and then for other peoples good consciously, to help myself as opposed to others, or to help others as opposed to myself, but that is not upheld in that I might choose to do one thing altruistically. If I am choosing, then I have really chosen only for my self intrest with what I am able to view as other’s choices.

Indeed in so much as I might have the idea that I am partially protected from wearing a cloth mask from Covid and partially also protecting other people, we might say that I hold on to this unitive platform from which I occur or as which I occur as a subject in the world, as a human being as opposed to the world that I walk upon or in. In this frame I have all sorts of motivations at all sorts of times, from selfish to altruistic whether I’m alone or with other people. Yes.

On the other hand, once I understand that in no way am I wearing a mask to protect my self at all, but only for the sake of protecting someone else from me having the virus unknowingly, which is to say, that I am not having a pretense about other people wearing masks, even though the idea is that if we all wear masks then we are all safe, then I am able to differentiate what is in truth social and what is in truth the activity of myself. In short, AI am able to discern the truth of the matter that rises above relative opinion (that I ought to have chosen be-cause…)

The imperative here is that there is nothing that I am doing for myself socially.  What I am doing for myself socially is ultimately what I am doing for other people. If I choose, then I am choosing for other’s benefit.

Or I am not. Where I might decide wheather what I do is in my intrest or another’s, there am I invested in what Kierkegaard calls the ethical-universal. It is not that I am unable to arise outside of this universe, but that if I do then I exist by an absurdity, which is determined in my choosing, or what is called the choice that cannot be made.

Somehow, This can sound eerily similar to mid 20th century existentialism, but I would say that the difference is that the imperative carries only to the parameter where what is ideologically social stops enforcing its dictates upon what truth is able to be, which by all ethical standards, never happens.

For agency is ideological, but ideology is not informing a total occurrence of being.

The Imperative is irony. What never happens is happening. The question now, is then, can you see it?








9 responses to “The Contradiction in the Imperative”

  1. maylynno Avatar

    I totally agree with you on the mask issue and the paranoia that it creates. The mask is a mark of being responsible for oneself and others when in proximity of people. However, in my country, you will get a fine if you don’t wear a mask, even if you are alone in your car


    1. landzek Avatar


      Well , where I live, I work in a hospital in the town where I live, a mental hospital but still a hospital. We test everyone staff and patients who show any signs at all of any sort of sick symptoms. And we have only had one person who tested positive for Covid, and that person had already had it before she came in our hospital, and she was getting over it when she arrived.

      So that’s just kind of a picture of the town I live in because, knock on wood, there just isn’t anyone around who I’ve encountered who has it. In fact, I only talk to one neighbor who said that he knew someone who had it but they got better.

      So, if I lived in a more dense area, maybe I wouldn’t have difficult with law enforcements.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. maylynno Avatar

        I agree with you. I have a question though: what is it like to be everyday in a mental hospital? I have so much respect for you to do so. It must be nerve wrecking.


      2. landzek Avatar

        I love it. It is fulfilling in every respect philosophically for me and humanely. And. I feel like it allows me to see humanity for what it really is, like something we — all of us individually and societally — hide all the time. It’s like a sort of existential honestly everyday. Genuine. Somehow.

        I work with the most mild to the most acute patients. So I get the full range of issues.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. maylynno Avatar

        This is admirable. Maybe you should write a diary about this experience. Few people get to experiment this.


      4. landzek Avatar

        🙂 I am looking forward to when I am
        Not in school. So much to write about !

        Liked by 1 person

      5. landzek Avatar

        But. Oh yeah. Keep a diary. That would be good. But unfortunately, all my energy must goto school. Right now. There is too much to do all the time. Staying right sized is a virtue 👨🏽‍🚀

        Liked by 1 person

      6. maylynno Avatar

        Maybe for later project

        Liked by 1 person

    2. landzek Avatar

      Btw. I replied to your email.

      Liked by 1 person

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