Sunday, March 7, 2010
Lies, Lies.....All Lies
It is beginning to seem sort of surreal out there across our great land. There was a time when the concept of 'Truth' was simple: it was based on verifiable FACTs. Either something was true or it wasn't, based on the litmus question: 'did it really happen, or not?' Our entire legal system revolves around being able to distinguish and PROVE, beyond any reasonable doubt, that something either took place or it did not.
For it to have 'happened' meant that an actual event or circumstance had really manifested, yes, on the physical plane, here on Earth. Either it did...or it didn't. Seems a simple criteria to meet, right?
Well, hold on, because we are now moving into a time when people are treating that as if it were both optional and irrelevant. You may ask yourself how that is possible. And the answer is simple: people lie and say it is true...and a whole host of people accept it as true, BECAUSE THEY WANT IT TO BE TRUE. And, once we depart from the 'truth' being grounded in reality....we are suddenly in a great and dismal swamp. Nothing is either true or false, because suddenly it is all subject to a set of criteria that are unclear. Achieving the political or religious goals of a group is seen as more important than being HONEST. Whatever it takes to get there is fine, because, hey, WE'RE RIGHT!!
This means facts are subject to question and suspicion--and, ultimately, DENIAL--simply because they don't agree with someone's opinion or--worse--their ideology. Used to be that people believed everyone was entitled to their opinion and even though we might agree or disagree with them, well, hell, it was just their opinion and they were free to opine absolutely whatever they wished.
The new 'ethos'--if one can call it that--is that my opinion is the truth and yours isn't, so to hell with you and why am I even listening to your lies. Holy Cow, Batman! The widespread acceptance of this means that reasonable discussions and well-spoken arguments become IMPOSSIBLE. There are no longer divergent opinions, only your lies and my truth.
Any political, religious or ideological group who embraces this as being the modus operandi of a society, is walking in the hob-nailed footprints of tyranny. The Nazis, the Soviet Communists, and name your period in the development of western religions....all used the exclusion of any dissenting or incompatible viewpoints, as a basic measure for both obtaining and maintaining POWER. By doing this they relegated all opposition to the status of outlaws...and persecuted them mercilessly, often with lethal penalties as a part of their terror mechanism.
Many Germans who survived the Third Reich reflected back on how it all came to pass, and most of them agreed that by the time they realized what was really happening to their freedom, it was long gone. Only about 15% of the 68 million Germans who were alive when Hitler and the Nazis came to power were avid and committed Nazis themselves. Approximately 70% were so-called 'go along to get alongs', and refrained from any outward dissent because by the time they knew it was out of hand, they knew that the Gestapo would simply sweep them up and put them into the concentration camp system. Only another 15% resisted, either through passive methods, or actively. BTW: Most people think there were just a few KZs (Konzentration Lager) but there were actually over 250, more than enough so that any sizeable town or city had one nearby. People who might mutter their discontent with the lack of availability of meat, for instance, could expect to be informed on and receive a wee hours pounding on their door by men in black leather trenchcoats. This is how terror works: it instills the firm belief that you conform, or pay terrifying consequences.
So, when I hear people telling lies on what is supposed to be the 'news', and passing these lies off as 'truth', what I really hear is the first wobbly steps of a terror mechanism getting its legs under it. Yes, of course, we are still a good distance from what happened in Germany, but it didn't happen there overnight either.
I wrote recently about 'The Big Lie' as developed, refined and used to great effect by Hitler, Goebbles et al. The BIG part only arrives after people are successfully conditioned to believe a littany of 'little' lies. Holding onto the basic underlying necessity of any statement--political, religious, philosophical or otherwise--being based on solid facts is something we cannot, must not let slip quietly away in the night. The liars need to be recognized as such and widely rejected and condemmned for using shabby and unacceptable methods to put forward what is really merely their OPINION.
Sinclair Lewis said, "When fascism come to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a bible."
All we need to do is sit back and be complacent in the face of the little lies...and we soon will be hearing big ones. Not long after that we will be in deeper sh*t than anyone now imagines.