Worzels World - A borrowed commentary
It is strange irony that in these later days we are inundated with information yet starved of truth. As George Orwell observed: 'During times of universal deceit telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act'.
Yet truth can still be found by those prepared to sift through the trivia, misinformation, spin and propaganda. At a time when political correctness is championed, and free speech shut down, it is not surprising that much truth and pertinent commentary about today can be found in the prophetic words and wise warnings of those who have gone before us. As wise King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes: 'There is nothing new under the sun'.
So thinking that you may be tired of my own thoughts and ideas this column is comprised almost entirely of the words of others.
In the preface to his book Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Disclosure in the Age of Show Business Neil Postman writes: What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny, 'failed to take into account man's almost infinite appetite for distractions.' In 1984, Huxley added, people are controlled by inflicting pain, in brave new world they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us.
I would add that both these literary prophets who have proved so very accurate differed in their view of what would ruin us but unanimously agreed that ruined we would be.
'A lie told often enough becomes the truth' said Vladimir Lenin. Our modern power brokers pushing agendas every bit as malevolent as Lenin's are, as has been proved, not averse to lying. As former head of the American FBI, J Edgar Hoover noted: 'The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists'.
But now the traditional unscrupulous lust for power through deception has greater means to manifest as noted by Lew Rockwell: 'For the first time in human history free humanity is faced with the dominating threat of a truly global elite who have at their hands the technology to impose a truly global system of control: A global scientific dictatorship. The great danger is that through the exponential growth in scientific techniques elites will use these great new powers to control and dominate humanity in such a way that has never before been experienced’.
And how do you think this might be done? Former facebook executive in charge of user growth, Chamath Palihapitaya, gives us a clue when admitting to tremendous guilt over his roll in perpetuating the social media phenomenon that is facebook. He comments: ‘The short term dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works; no civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation... We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. If you feed the beast that beast will destroy you. You don’t realise it but you are being programmed’.
Donald Trump is well known for accusing mainstream media of propagating 'fake news'. What is not well known is that he is not the first or most lauded US President to do so. Thomas Jefferson observed: 'It is a melancholy truth that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive a nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood.
Nothing can now be believed that is in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle'.
While we are stealing words from presidents here is a quote from 'The Don' himself: 'The Washington establishment and the financial and media corporations that fund it exist for only one reason – to protect and enrich itself… It is a global economic structure that has robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities... This is reality, you know it, I know it, they know it and pretty much the whole world knows it’.
To complete this compendium of borrowed bits and bytes I will move from the contemporary to the classical. Several centuries before the birth of Jesus Christ, Plato could well have been talking of Donald Trump, myself and many others who dare to speak of the reality behind the smoke and mirrors when he said: 'Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught falsehoods in school. And the person who dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and a fool'.
Feedback? Email email@example.com
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
- Vladimir Lenin