Friday, January 27, 2017

The War on Facts and Truth

For those of you who questioned why I hit the theme of Trump as chaos agent so hard yesterday, this is the kind of environment I see this administration creating. It’s also why so many writers lately, including Mike Lofgren, are using the term “gaslighting” for what is happening. He spells out the effects on the public with this:
Aside from reinforcing the Trump base, the next four years of non-stop gaslighting could erode the basic standards of discourse in a healthy civil society. The truly horrible thing about propaganda in authoritarian regimes is not that it convinces the true believers, but that it demoralizes opponents by saying in effect: “Yes, we know that you know we are lying, but we don’t care! We do it because we can and you can’t stop us!” As for the majority of apolitical citizens, it infects them with a corrosive cynicism and dissuades them from all forms of public engagement. Apathy may be a more powerful silencer of dissent than overt physical coercion.
That’s why, for an authoritarian regime, “If nothing is true, then anything is possible.”

No comments: