Tuesday 19th of November 2019

post-comments about post-truths...

"Ever greater sections of the population are ready to ignore facts, and even to accept obvious lies willingly. Not the claim to truth, but the expression of the ‘felt truth’ leads to success in the ‘post-factual age’”.   Gesellschaft für deutsche Sprache

Post-truth communication

A catchword that has gone viral so quickly surely deserves careful attention and crisper definition, especially if we are not to be thrown off balance by a global phenomenon that sets out to do precisely that. 

We can say that “post-truth” is not simply the opposite of truth, however that is defined; it is more complicated. It is better described as an omnibus term, a word for communication comprising a salmagundi or assemblage of different but interconnected phenomena. 

Its troubling potency in public life flows from its hybrid qualities, its combination of different elements in ways that defy expectations and confuse its recipients.

Post-truth has recombinant qualities. For a start, it is a type of communication that includes old-fashioned lying, where speakers say things about themselves and their world that are at odds with impressions and convictions that they harbour in their mind’s eye. 

Liars attempt alchemy: when someone tells lies they wilfully say things they “know” not to be true, for effect. An example is when Donald Trump claims there was never a drought in California, or that during his inauguration the weather cleared, when actually light rain fell throughout his address.

Post-truth also includes forms of public discourse commonly called bullshit. It comprises communication that displaces and nullifies concerns about veracity. Bullshit is hot air talk, verbal excrement that lacks nutrient. It is shooting off at the mouth, backed by the presumption that it is acceptable to others in the conversation.

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Yes Donald Trump takes us for mugs. Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. The Mueller inquiry has left the door open for more post-crap from the other side. 

At some stage or another, we have to confront the “truth” that has been peddled for the last 2,000 years upon which we have defined most of our “post-truths”. 

That we have more communication tools to do post-truthism isn’t the entire story. Well it is in the sense that as a multitude of post-truths can enter the debate, we muddle it by a factor of hundreds. The underlying story is that we prefer to be deluded by whatever means, in order to feel comfortable. If a truth is painful, we don’t like it. Post-truth is a belief — religious, political or not — that make us accept pain in the hope of removing it. Hope is 99 per cent post-truth, but we need hope to sustain our delusions, otherwise we end up like old Gus — an existentialist. And a rabid one at that. 

Post-truth will also attempt to grab on our ingrained prejudices (all prejudices are ingrained  — is this tautology?) with sophism, although most pedlars of post-truths would not have a clue what a sophism is. They just lie to get into your pants — and sometimes they believe these lies to be true. 

In this context, a lot of politics is about managing bullshit with brilliance so it rains on your opponent. Few politicians are brilliant, but they need to believe in their own brilliant self-importance to serve you with post-truths and bullshit, otherwise they would cry while facing their dishonest porridge in the mirror.

Ever greater sections of the population are ready to ignore facts, and even to accept obvious lies willingly???? What a lot of bull-truism in this? 

We’ve ignored facts since… well, since someone concocted the story of Adam and Eve, which has been the main narrative — added on to with the Noah’s Ark and other idiotic fables — to make us “believe”… We love fables. We love illusions. We love the enlightening lights passing through the stained glass windows of Notre-Dame… Poor dame. Now entering a minefield of controversies with prayers and chalices full of modernising post-truths.

Sciences are attempting to rewrite the stories with more accuracy, but sciences are a bit too didactic, too complex and too longitudinally-long — and are still open-ended, as sciences do not have a glorious terminality, like a final judgement for our sins. Sciences are also too close to the bone —and as we become skinless, our sinew, organs and flesh become the origin, the rise and the fall of our billions of chemical reactions that relatively sustain us extraordinarily well, regardless of the surface bullshit. Unless we get shot on a battlefield.

Rather than the invention of the wheel, the greatest progressive invention of humanity has been the bullshit. Bullshit helps us, humans, to survive by ignoring reality and creating our own. 

The popularism of rejection of diversity is based on some realities. Popularism rise in politics. You are comfortable in your recently discovered secularity and suddenly some loonies build a minaret next door to your old church steeple. And your council lets them do it! You are an accepting sort of person, but you feel there is a competition of ideas, space and behaviour. Competition has been instilled in your psyche as a means of survival since you were a kid fighting to keep your sandwiches, in the schoolyard full of bullies. Your butcher now only sells halal meat to cater for the new “locals”, the women of which hide under “tents” — black thick costumes devised so you can’t even look at their ankles. One or two, you can cope, but a horde? You rejoin your church, like in the days of Luther who hated Jews and Muslims. You pray with new fervour and join an Ultra-Right wing group at night. You state your grounds. Your new post-truth has been based on long held religious delusions which made you value your hard-earn comforts. The “new comers” also have their own delusions — which by virtue of their temporal applications like floggings, stoning and death penalty for abandoning the “faith” (apostasy), and “refusal" to be honourably challenged, may be stronger than your own beliefs — that were silly enough to give-up the racks of the inquisition 400 years ago... You feel belittled and sense the days you’ll be irrelevant, being side-swept by your own compassionate acceptance.

Religions are the epicentres of deceit and bullshit. You say bullshit, I say deceit... Deceit is the theme of my “the Age of Deceit” in which we invent stories on which to build our own self-importance for profit. Bullshit is slightly more benign than deceit. Deceit has a deeper intent. 

Some of the stories we invent eventually loose traction and are replaced by new ones, in which our own deluded acceptance, often based on latent guilt, give us the stick to self-flagellate. Religions encourage the breeding of the species under specific rules that have nothing to do with opportunities of more enlightened survival but on having more souls to control.

Thus there are many new levels and new narratives of Post-Truths. One of the main one at present is “global warming is crap”. This leaves us with nowhere to go for understanding the natural processes. 

Even sciences need to iterate a lot of caveats in regard to feedback mechanisms and need to crunch megapetaflops of relative data to come up with 97 per cent that GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL AND ANTHROPOGENIC. The 3 percenters have a field day in pumping the MSM (MMMMM) as the MSM cannot survive without controversies. Imagine a world where the news are defined by truth? The news industry die in the bum. The news industry needs post-truths and discussion about it. Doubt is essential. But more essential is the cultivation of the truism: my arse is not on fire, thus global warming is crap.

Trump’s post-truths are obvious — and dare we say hilarious. Hillary's deceptions were more hidden, and dare we say possibly more dangerous. Who knows. The USA were left with the most wicked choice at the 2016 Presidential election — and it looks that the 2020 elections are not going to be any better. Already, Biden — claimed to be by some half-truth pundits, a living fossil — has displaced the older guy, Bernie, who is trying to limit inequality in the USA by shush... “social equality”. Horror! 

Meanwhile someone like Tulsi Gabbard gets nought attention from the MSM (MMMMM) because, let’s face it, she's more of a Hindi than a Christian. That’s a no-no. Yet she ticks far more boxes in the political arena about why she would make a better president than the rest of the candidates. She is TRULY (and so appears to be) progressive, and her position on most issues are on the correct side of the spectrum for more equality and happiness for most without the empire mentality. Oh… There’s your problem. In the USA, any real candidate should subscribe to the "US is best, is exceptional, is necessary and is superior to the rest of the world”. As well, if you do not believe in the need for the US Empire existence and that “in God we Trust”, you will be dirt.

And ain't this the truth.

Gus note: picture at top doing the email rounds. Should the person in the photo object, please advise by contacting this site by email. We will replace the picture...

the end of the world, relatively...

Up there in the article above I write:

"Sciences are attempting to rewrite the stories with more accuracy, but sciences are a bit too didactic, too complex and too longitudinally-long — and are still open-ended, as sciences do not have a glorious terminality, like a final judgement for our sins."


In fact, sciences can tell us that the end of the world will certainly be, if we don't destroy each other before hand, in 5 billion years, when the sun burns out into a red dwarf. Contrarily, despite claiming that Armageddon will happen tomorrow, religions have no way of knowing when, as we all know that "tomorrow never comes"...

the US can destroy iraq’s highways, but not build its own...

Since announcing her bid for the Democratic Party nomination in 2020, Tulsi Gabbard has been on a one-woman quest to confront America with reality.

In speech after speech, interview after interview, and in social media post after social media post, the Democratic Party congresswoman from Hawaii has served up a merciless indictment of US militarism, making the elementary point that Washington’s obscenely inflated defense budget and its addiction to regime change wars, military interventions and the subversion of sovereign governments in pursuit of the full spectrum dominance that lies at the heart of the malignant creeds of neoconservatism and liberal interventionism, is harming rather than protecting the interests of the American people.

The harm is measured in an ‘official’ poverty rate of 12.3 percent, in other words 39.7 million people. It is measured in a homelessness crisis of indictable proportion, affecting over 500,000 people. And it is measured in the fact that as one of the richest countries in the world, tens of millions of its citizens are without healthcare.

The money and resources that could be used to alleviate the aforementioned and other crises engulfing America is instead being thrown into the black hole of a military-industrial complex that sustains over 800 officially recognized US military bases in over 70 countries around the world with the objective of making the world safe not for democracy but for US and Western corporations to exploit the world’s natural and human resources in the interests of the country’s economic elite.

In his classic work, ‘A People’s History of the United States’, Howard Zinn quotes US historian Marilyn Young, who after the First Gulf War in 1991 pointed out that “The US can destroy Iraq’s highways, but not build its own; create the conditions for epidemic in Iraq, but not offer healthcare to millions of Americans. It can excoriate Iraqi treatment of its Kurdish minority, but not deal with domestic race relations; create homelessness abroad but not solve it here.”

In a field of candidates for the nomination that includes former vice president Joe Biden, veteran congresswoman Elizabeth Warren, and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard stands out as the only one who’s been willing to subject the sacred cow of US hegemony to close scrutiny and even harsher criticism, earning in consequence the mounting opprobrium of a Washington political and media class that is hard wired to the myth of US hard power and force as the last best hope for mankind.

In a recent Facebook post promoting her bid for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, she put her case succinctly: ‘Say NO to neocon/neolibs beating their war drums. As Commander-in-Chief, I’ll put American people first, END wasteful regime change wars, work to END new cold war/arms race, SERVE the people: healthcare, education, infrastructure & more. Will you join me?’

Even prior to announcing her bid for the White House, Tulsi Gabbard had stood as a lone voice of reason when it came to the conflict in Syria. Unlike her detractors, she actually took the trouble and time to visit the country and meet its leader, President Assad. She said of the Syrian president: "Assad is not the enemy of the United States because Syria does not pose a direct threat to the United States."

Bringing things up to date on the attempted coup in Venezuela, inspired by Washington’s unhinged neocon-in-chief John Bolton, Gabbard tweeted in January: “The United States needs to stay out of Venezuela. Let the Venezuelan people determine their future. We don't want other countries to choose our leaders--so we have to stop trying to choose theirs.”

On relations with Russia, she is a strong advocate of replacing the current policy of sanctions and confrontation with serious diplomacy and normalization, and is committed to ending what she describes as the “New Cold War”.

Tulsi Gabbard, in sum, has been inspirationally fearless in her willingness to confront the neocon and liberal interventionist establishment in the US with a political vision that is rooted in anti-hegemony, anti-war and pro-peace, a vision she articulates with great passion and eloquence. Oh, and by the way, she’s also served in the military, ticking thereby an increasingly necessary box for putative leaders in a country in which the cult of the armed forces is the most pervasive cult of all.           

Though very much in the minority in opposing US hegemony as being coterminous with human progress and civilization, Tulsi Gabbard’s emergence fills a glaring lacuna in a political culture in Washington chronically afflicted with the moral and rabid sickness of an empire that has entered its mad dog days.

In this quest, she calls to mind another great American champion of peace rather than war, of the substitution of human connectedness for American exceptionalism, and of the principles set out in the UN Charter of respect for international law, national sovereignty, and self-determination.

His name was Henry Wallace, a true progressive who had served as Roosevelt’s vice president between 1940 and 1944, before being replaced by Harry Truman. Wallace campaigned for a vision of the rest of the 20th century at the end of the war as the ‘Century of the Common Man’. It set him miles apart not from the mass of the American people who’d seen loved ones perish and permanently maimed, physically and psychologically, in the war, but from the arms dealers and war hawks in Washington for whom permanent war was the only road to the Roman peace they believed in.


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