As I work on my book about anticommunism, I see more and more clearly that we live surrounded by lies. And more than that, much more disturbing, much more frightening, these lies penetrate and saturate and compose our very selves. We don’t just swim in these lies like fish in the ocean, we live and breathe these lies and assimilate them to our flesh.
Journalist and philosopher Andre Vltchek writes:
All basic narratives on which Western propaganda is based, are either false, or at least have been heavily twisted and manipulated. This includes all story lines related to the Soviet Union, China, colonialism and the anti-colonialist struggle, Cambodia, Cuba, and even Rwanda. The list is long. Ignorance of the Western public is almost complete.
(He adds, by the way, that “in Beijing, in a normal big state-run bookstore, there is much greater variety of political opinion than on the entire island of Manhattan.” Interesting.)
It really shouldn’t be surprising, I guess, that everything we believe has been created and shaped to serve a purpose. So our world view, made up of a myriad components, reflects human interests, illusions, obsessions, purposes. And chief among those purposes, of course, are the interests of elite groups. “The ruling ideas are the ideas of the ruling class.” They have the greatest power to shape how people think, believe, feel, value.
But as I work on the book I am overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the lies. The absolutely breathtaking scope and audacity.
Physicist Denis Rancourt speaks of this in relation to science:
Realistically, virtually all citizens are entirely unable to critically evaluate what we take as being scientific truth, regarding public policy and regulatory questions. Thus, “public education” means state propaganda. We are reduced to “scientists have concluded” or “there is a scientific consensus that” and so on.
Systemically, from an operational perspective, establishment science is a state religion. It is not anchored in empirical evidence that can be evaluated by the non-expert individual using reason and intellectual discernment. It frames and supports the established order. It provides legitimacy to government programs. It purports to appease our deepest quests for meaning, and supplies a creationist mythology (cosmology, string theory, and so on). Its high priests are venerated and occupy top ranks in the class hierarchy.
Currently the main stream media are obsessed with fake news, but they are themselves the primary conduits of fake news, uncritically and enthusiastically promoting the new cold war against Russia. Fake news like the relentless demonizing of Putin. Like the false narratives on Ukraine and Syria. Like the evidence-free “intelligence reports” claiming the Russians hacked the election.
But this is exactly what I have found in my research on anticommunism. Shameless lies. Shameless. Anticommunists seem to feel they are entitled to lie, to just make stuff up to defame communism, and that somehow these lies are a higher truth and so are justified. And no one contradicts them.
I will discuss an example of this in my next post.