Articles

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Life in Post-Truth America

Next month Americans will experience the fifteenth anniversary of the time that the President of the United States shook his finger at the country and informed it, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never.”

Bill Clinton was lying. But the lie was more significant than the thing that he was lying about.

When the lie came crashing down, Clinton and his defenders deconstructed the English language, questioning the meaning of every word in his sentence rather than admit that the lie was a lie.

Given a choice between telling the truth or challenging the definitions of such words as “sex” and “is”, they decided to burn their dictionary.

Clinton’s antics set the stage for a current administration which can never be caught in a lie because it’s lying all the time. Obama and his people don’t just lie, they lie about the lies and then they lie about those lies. Bringing them in to testify just clogs the filters with an extra layer of lies.

Invite Gruber to testify about the time that he admitted that the administration had been lying and the only thing that will happen is more lies being told by a man who is there only because he lied.

Like the old lady who explained her cosmology to Bertrand Russell as being “turtles all the way down”, with modern progressives it’s lies all the way down.

Lena Dunham served up a rape accusation against a conservative Republican named Barry only to hide behind the ambiguity of being an unreliable narrator. The unreliable narrator likewise takes the stage at the University of Virginia where a high profile case has dissolved into contradictory stories in which it becomes difficult to tell whether it was the reporter or her subject who was doing the lying.

The unreliable narrator has crossed over from a fictional device in novels to memoirs, journalism and into politics. Journalists repeatedly dismissed ObamaCare scandals by arguing that no one could have taken Obama’s claims at face value anyway. When Obama promised Americans that they could keep their doctors, the housewife in Topeka, the freelance programmer in San Francisco and the geologist in Tulsa were supposed to be as knowing as the Washington press corps and realize that he didn’t mean it.

Like Lena Dunham, Obama was an unreliable narrator. No one was ever supposed to expect the truth from him. The significance of Bill Clinton was not in his affairs, but in his cynicism. He got away with lying by dismissing the idea that anyone should have ever expected the truth from him. Obama expanded on his work by eliminating the base truth underneath the lies.

The device of the unreliable narrator puts truth out of reach. It says that there is no such thing as truth, only various perspectives on an event.

Lena Dunham doesn’t claim to be providing facts, only different versions of a story. The facts themselves cannot be retrieved because there are no facts. The man in question is no longer named Barry. Every descriptive detail about him might be equally false. The whole thing may never have happened, but it’s important to believe that it happened without ever expecting it to be true.

This is the Doublethink state of our progressive Oceania. We are expected to believe a lie while remembering that it’s a lie and therefore never really fooled us or caused anyone any harm.

We were supposed to believe Obama’s assurances about ObamaCare while knowing them not to be true. We are supposed to believe Lena Dunham and Jackie and Gruber while disbelieving them. “The essential act of the Party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty,” Orwell wrote.

The conscious deceptions of the modern Doublethinkers depend on them telling a lie in the service of the greater truth. That pursuit of a greater truth built out of lies is what motivated a Rolling Stone article about fraternity rapists that even Mike Nifong would have turned his nose up at or Gruber’s arrogant truths about lying. The greater truth gives them the firmness of purpose and the complete honesty.

Lena Dunham in BuzzFeed, the apologists for ObamaCare and the activist cheerleaders for Rolling Stone, insist that the facts are a technicality that is obstructing the greater truth. And the greater truth is a worldview that is out of the reach of facts and can never be disproven.

Bill Clinton and his allies deconstructed the English language rather than admit a lie. Their successors deconstruct reality. They deny that objective truth exists or even matters. They didn’t lie because there is no such thing as truth. There are perspectives, some of which agree with Bill Clinton’s version of reality or Lena Dunham’s version of reality. And then there is Obama’s version of reality.

Obama is the nexus of Doublethink. He is the man whom reporters have denounced as the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation and whom they compulsively defend with every possible lie. Why do journalists protect and serve the man who threatened them, bugged and even tried to lock them up? They too have long ago become unreliable narrators of their own profession.

In the absence of facts, there can be no reality. There is only ideology.

Obama doesn’t simply lie. He exists in a truth-free zone. He doesn’t stumble with any construction as clumsy as Kerry’s “I actually did vote for the $87 billion, before I voted against it.” He does not start with truthful facts. His starting point is in an imaginary territory. It ends in an imaginary territory. If the two imaginary territories are different, it scarcely matters because neither place was ever real.

When he came into office Obama insisted that we had to pivot to fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan even though it was no longer in Afghanistan. He went on claiming victory over an enemy that didn’t exist while dismissing ISIS as a jayvee team even when it was capturing entire cities in Iraq.

These weren’t mere lies. This was a foreign policy being conducted in an imaginary territory. It was Wag the Dog being played out in real life. But then again what is real around Obama anyway?

Bill Clinton lied. Obama tells stories. None of these stories have anything to do with reality. Lena Dunham’s biography is a peek into a disordered mind that is incapable of grasping the concept of truth. In her world there are no facts, only stories that elicit emotional reactions. Obama’s entire career rests on the same technique of telling stories for emotional effect without any regard for reality.

ObamaCare was an ugly collectivist bureaucratic dinosaur clothed in imaginary stories. The stories about it, about the economy, about the war are still being told. Added to it are new stories about racism. The stories are passionate, compelling and appealing. They are also completely unreal.

Progressives don’t only live in a post-American world; they live in a post-Truth world. A world without facts and without truth is one in which the America that was cannot exist.

America had prospered because of a firm belief in a discoverable and exploitable reality. That was the country that could build skyscrapers and fleets in a year. Post-Truth America has little interest in big buildings because it’s too busy enacting a psychodrama in which the earth is about to be destroyed. And fleets, like horses and bayonets and facts, are 19th century toys that are much less interesting than the manipulation of people through lies and deceit.

Lena Dunham’s Barry and Obama’s Barry are both imaginary creatures. They are the sophisticated products of disordered minds and a disordered civilization whose leading figures lie as instinctively and as shamelessly as any pre-rational culture that could not distinguish between lies and truth.

31 comments:

Marylou said...

And we keep asking ourselves how the Left and Islam could possibly ally with each other when they differ on so many fundamentals. Maybe the answer is just as simple as no objective standard of truth.

meema said...

This era is no different than any other in terms of lies used as weapons to subjugate and manipulate us, however, this era is unlike all others previous because of unlimited access to us. How many lies do you suppose you are told on any given day? Through interactions with individuals, but mostly through media, TV, radio, print advertising, news accessed via Internet on computers, large and small, smart phones and iPads. Human nature being largely unchangeable, we have learned to deflect, ignore and dismiss most of it. We DVR our favorite programs and then fast-forward through the commercials. We click the X to ‘skip ad’ so we can read an article. We toss, unopened, the envelope full of coupons for duct-cleaning and BOGO dinners. We ignore giant billboards and signs on moving vehicles. We flip past the full page ads in magazines.

Those with average intelligence know that most of what is pushed at us is either out and out lies or truth stretched beyond recognition. But still there is an undeniable impact. We are so accustomed to being lied to, we have been conditioned to expect lies, and, what’s worse, we have adapted to the illusions swirling around us as though they are a new kind of truth. Expedient, useful, exaggerated, pretty, wouldn’t-it-be-nice-if-that-was-real, non-truth is actually embraced as something as good as the real thing now.

This is the dangerous part.

Once we have been reprogramed to expect we are being lied to, the next stage is that we just ‘go with it’, slowly forgetting how to tell the difference between lies and truth. Slowly adjusting to the ‘popular comfortable lie’ and ultimately rejecting the more painful, disappointing truth, until finally the liars with the self-serving dark agendas are able to lie with impunity and no one knows the difference.

Anonymous said...

Kantians, I think.

DAN III said...

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, USC....the grand daddy of all lies by Barry Soetoro. And nobody in the FUSA seems to give two damns.

Ned said...

One "can't even believe them when they swear they are lying" seems to fit nicely here...

Anonymous said...

The father of lies is very busy these days because he knows his time is short.

Anonymous said...

Is there any coincidence that many of the leftist strongholds are also in the more corporate areas of the country. Manhattan can be absurdly leftist. It also has people whose daily lives is lying because the corporations they serve are big enough to remove personal responsibility in favor of responsibility to the organization. The same people who are shipping jobs offshore because it creates a momentary bump in the balance sheet so they can pump and dump stocks while ruining the company's ability to produce are the same people who pretend to care oh so much about income inequality.

meggy8868 said...

This is one of the best among many. Terrific analysis and I have liberally borrowed your phrase "the deconstruction of reality," because that is what is going on in this world where evil is good, lies are true and perception is reality. Thank You. You are brave and brilliant.

mushroom said...

The wolves you pretend aren't there may eat you anyway.

Another great analysis. Thank you, Daniel.

Doug Mayfield said...

Thanks for the article.

The hallmarks of the Left are:

Subjectivism - There are no values or morality. Everything is a matter of opinion.

Multicuturalism - No culture is superior to any other. Therefore, the West with its emphasis on freedom and individual rights is no different than either socialism with its emphasis on malevolence, violence, and obedience to Left wing authority, or Islam with its emphasis on outright slavery and death.

Political Correctness - Since in speaking one's mind, one might hurt someone else's feelings, the government must regulate, or abolish, freedom of speech.

In that context, it's not surprising that the Left embraces and practices lying at every opportunity.

They have nothing else to offer and no place to go but evasion and deceit.

Danoso said...

Hands up, don't shoot!

Rex Crouch said...

It was written about in the book "Mein Kampf:" Tell a simple lie, keep repeating the lie, eventually people will believe the lie. Why is Obama reading and executing on books written by Adolph Hitler?

Anonymous said...

proggtardia explained

Reg T said...

"Why is Obama reading and executing on books written by Adolph Hitler?"
Because fascism and socialism are two sides of the same coin. They have the same agenda, just a slightly different path to get there.

Anonymous said...

Hands up!
I can't think.

GunnyG said...

No one goes after Obama (comment above) because 50% of the government likes what he is doing and the other 50% is afraid of being called racists.

Anonymous said...

Congresswoman Holmes-Norton, when asked about whether she read the evidence in the Michael Brown (Ferguson, Mo.) case said "I did not, and that is not a concern". - this after doing the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" (w/ other members of the Congressional Black Caucus) stunt on the floor of the House of Representatives.

But, hey, they have a hand gesture now, which always seems important for their type of movement.

Dennis Latham said...

Since I was in Vietnam and Johnson stopped bombing the North while we still had men getting killed, I haven't believed one thing the government says or does. They are all rich people getting richer and we are little people (Ginsberg called us that) and we just don't matter. Clintons are some of the biggest criminals this country has ever seen. She should have been tarred and feathered for saying they were poor when they left the White House. What a joke. It's impossible anymore to tell what is true and not true. The bad part is most people in America can't find their state on a map.We're pretty much screwed.

Tjspeaks said...

Your eloquent analysis is spot on. Your explanation of their lieing for a greater purpose exactly defines the elitist mindset. The end justifies the means. The only means to accomplish their utopian society is to put forth a. Godless ideology, contradictory to truth and freedoms bestowed by the God. A frightening scenario of a world given over to a Godless neophyte who rises from obscurity was written in 1906 by Robert Hugh Benson, "Lord of the World" a must read. How a writer in 1906 could have had the insight to describe Obama, his cult of personality is amazing, prophetic and scarey. You will be convinced we are at a crossroads and we are on the right side of history.

Northern Observer said...

You guys in in such deep denial you don't even have an inkling of your love of lies. The left is wrong on social issue but if you think the right does lie about economic issues you are a delusional lover of lies

Chris said...

Spend enough time marinating in the Left's alternate reality and you can empathize with poor Lou Costello, faced with Bud Abbott's verbal meanderings.

It makes their skit crystal clear in comparison. (Did you know that they somehow overlooked naming the guy in Right Field? On the other hand, perhaps WE are all just political "Right" fielders, forever wondering Who's on First....)

Michael said...

This goes 'way back, to the academic deconstructionists who teach that there is no truth, only narrative, and before them to Marx and Nietzsche and the privileging of "revolutionary truth" over factual/historical truth. Progressives have been immersed in this stuff for 100 years. Once you accept that there are no facts as such and that whatever helps you get your way is true, you are capable of anything. It seems that the leadership of the Democratic Party has reached that point.

topshot said...

Lying politcians are nothing new but I agree that the Clinton lie was the catalyst for a new era of ethical degradation and moral relativism. Others might point to the Viet Nam war. My mother in law used to blame it on the Beatles.

Desiderius said...

It's actually worse than mere lying:

On Bullshit
Harry G. Frankfurt


The driving dynamic is overselection for abstract-thinking aptitude leading to Gnosticism. The cure:

Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates

Brian Yoder said...

Don't forget Kant. This is precisely his view of truth in action.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, as usual. I thought back then when Clinton lied to the nation, that it would take a generation, to feel the effects on truth.

And here we are...

Mo said...

Oh, wow, it's been that long since that man wagged his finger in our faces and talked to us like we were stupid children? I remember the moment so clearly! I wasn't very politically aware at that time. But even then, I KNEW I was being lied to by this man. I knew he was playing word games. I remembering feeling so insulted and angry at his condescending tone and that finger wagging. I remember thinking what a liar, what an evil man this was.

And Clinton's an angel compared to the man sitting in the White House today.

Every world of this article is gold. I am so glad someone else understands this and sees it.

We long ago gave up on the notion of truth. "Everyone has their own truth" has been the mantra of our culture for years now. That's what you get when everyone has their own truth! Lena Dunham says she was raped by some Republican guy called Barry. That's "her truth". Whether it actually happened is irrelevant. The same with all the other examples you listed.

Michael Brown was an innocent black man murdered by a white cop, while he was surrendering, for no other reason than because of he was black. Every bit of that sentence is factually false. Michael Brown was not innocent. He was not surrendering. He was not murdered. (Justifiable taking of a life in self defense is not murder.) And Officer Wilson did not kill him because he was black.

But none of these facts matter. All that matters is that people "feel" it's true, and so it's their truth. And therefore it can never be questioned.

How can you even REASON with people like this? I type until my fingers literally hurt sometimes, trying to set the record straight with facts. None of it ever matters, because no one cares about truth anymore. They don't even believe truth exists.

What do you DO at that point?

Anonymous said...

It's easy to spot the lies. When they are talking, they are lying. The more outrage, the bigger the lie, because volume trumps truth every time in a 24 hour news cycle. Not just limited to progs, it is some sickness that comes with political power. The "greater good" is all that matters. That the greater good is NEVER defined.... Saddest part is that the purveyors of this sickness are the least moral creatures on the planet. They aren't very smart either, just possessed of a great willingness to do the bidding of the adversary. Our job is to call out the lie, to not comply. Laugh at the hands up and other mindless gestures and give them the ridicule such infantile manipulation deserves. If they aren't in charge, they are just mind numbed members of the death cult, after all, this,ends in death.

Anonymous said...

We need a pithy number sticker and hand gesture? Hands up, I'm gullible?

Anonymous said...

And how can we expect a justice system to work in a country where there is no such thing as fact?

Brian Yoder said...

It's not a justice system that the destruction of truth makes impossible. Without truth you can't have such a thing as a contract. You can't have a job, or a marriage, or children, or any property at all. You can't get a patent or an invention or write a newspaper article. It is the dead end of civilization to abandon truth. Without it we are just hairless apes scratching in the dirt for roots.

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