[this analysis was written for the Unz Review]
In lieu of an normal introduction: the eternally evolving BDA
Friends, the Pentagon did it again. Through CNN, of course. Here is this “latest news”:
Over 100 US service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the wake of the January 8 Iranian missile attack on the al Asad military base in Iraq, according to a US official with knowledge of the latest information?
X stands for “surviving casualties”
Y stands for “dead”
1. X = 0, Y = 0
2. X = 11, Y = 0
3. X = 34, Y = 0
4. X = 50, Y = 0
5. X = 64, Y = 0
6. X=100+?, Y = 0
7. X> 200, Y> 80?
(that last line is, obviously, hypothetical, but at the time of writing, we are already up to 109 casualties!)
Notice that while the number of surviving wounded steadily goes up, there is no corresponding increase in the number of dead. All we have are “aircraft crashes” (all, we are told, accidental). Ask any military specialist (or military historian) and you will be told that this kind of “evolution” is exceedingly unlikely (see here for one discussion). Simply put – these kinds of numbers are pretty obviously impossible, which means that from the moment the Idiot-in-Chief tweeted “so far so good”, the US was already lying:
All is well! Missiles launched from Iran at two military bases located in Iraq. Assessment of casualties & damages taking place now. So far, so good! We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far! I will be making a statement tomorrow morning.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2020
Is there really anybody out there who will deny that the US government lies pretty much about everything and anything?. And it’s not just the Executive Branch, Congress lies possibly even more (both parties, of course). In fact, I would argue that lying is both necessary AND expected from any US politician. When somebody like Tulsi Gabbard or Ron Paul don’t abide by this rule, the media immediately dismisses them as “Putin agents” or something equally insipid.
The truth is that lies have become the norm of the western political discourse.
That is bad enough by itself. But there is worse.
The worst is not that western politicians lie, the worst is that almost nobody cares.
That is really scary.
Because in a society which expects everybody to lie, facts simply don’t matter any more.
So that is the key question: do we care or don’t we?
Well, some clearly still care. Or we would not have Howard Zinn’s books, or Oliver Stone’s movies as best sellers. Neither would we have a vibrant 9/11 Truth movement. You want more evidence? Sure! How about all the folks who are willing to go into exile (or to jail!) to uphold the rights of historians to freely investigate the history of WWII? How about Ed Snowden, Julian Assange or Bradley Manning? How about the millions of people in the West who took to the streets to protest the various GWOT wars? No, there clearly are a lot of people who care.
The problem is that their impact is minimal, and that is what I want to look into today.
Have facts and truth become redundant?
I doubt that there are many reading these lines who don’t already know for a fact that Kennedy was not killed by one “lone gunman”. Likewise, we all know the truth about the “Gulf of Tonkin” incident. Then there are those who realize that something about the Pearl Harbor attack stinks to high heaven. Some even remember the USS Liberty. Most specialists know about GLADIO. And I could go on and on. The fact is that most of the worst lies of the 20th century have been debunked beyond reasonable doubt, really.
Chris Hedges really nailed it when he spoke of an “Empire of Illusions“. He names the following types of illusions: the illusion of Literacy, the illusion of Love, the illusion of Wisdom, the illusion of Happiness and the illusion of America. The book is most interesting, and I highly recommend it. But I think that there is one crucial aspect of the Empire being an “Empire of Illusions” and that is the illusion of Reality. What do I mean by that?
I mean the following: most people are aware that there is a “reality” of some kind out there. Of course, many people are aware of how difficult it can be to ascertain what the “real reality” really is, thus they prefer to cautiously state that getting to the truth is a very difficult endeavor. These are the folks who know enough to know that they really don’t know much. But then there are also those who misinterpret this caution as to mean that there really is no such thing as reality at all and all there is, is the sum of our subjective perception thereof (of reality that is). Pretty soon we have slipped from:
- Reality is often very difficult to establish
- Reality is impossible to establish
- Reality does not really exist at all (or, if it does, it really doesn’t matter)
Of course, most people won’t directly declare that reality does not exist – they just act as if it didn’t.
It all began centuries ago by a quite formidable indifference to Truth on the part of the leaders of the Papacy. These folks were all about power, so if religion could give it to them, then religion was good, but when religion placed limits on what the Latins could or could not do (say like during the famous “Valladolid debate“), then suddenly religion became a hindrance which had to be “reformed”. And, indeed, once the original Christianity was “reformed” (be it by the Reform or the Counter-Reformation) all hell broke lose for most of mankind and the Age of Imperialism was fully ushered in and the ancient motto “exitus acta probat” became the de facto measure of morality.
Then came the first blow of the scientific revolution of the late Renaissance which left the Papacy with very little credibility left.
The next blow came during WWII when the Papacy saw its very last hurrah come and go, pretty quickly, in fact (it lasted just as long as Hitler’s “1000 year Reich” did: 12 years). By the end of the war, western Christianity was left in shambles and, even worse was the fact that none of the victors of WWII (Reformed Anglos, Atheist Soviets, Jews – secular and not, etc.) had any warm feelings left for the Christianity (truth be told, neither did Hitler or Mussolini). At this point the Papacy decided to commit suicide and organized the Vatican II Council, which must be the most massive surrender of values previously held for sacred in history. This ill-advised attempt to show “Roman Catholicism with a human face” resulted in a total failure. Those who hated the Papacy were unimpressed did not like it any more. As for the confused rank and file “Roman Catholics” (whom I refer to as “Latins”), they were were left with the following conundrum: if the Pope is infallible (which he is as per the First Vatican Council of 1868), how can he so clearly contradict the teachings of his own Church (not to mention the teachings of his putatively infallible predecessors!)? Some declared that the Pope was a heretic, others simply declared that the “Holy See” was unoccupied (“sedevacantism“), but most simply gave up in total disgust (sex scandals did not help!) and simply stopped asking “what is the truth”?
When a Church which had declared itself “The Church” (all in CAPS, and at the exclusion of all others) for 910 years (almost a millennium!) suddenly acts as if all religions were equally “true” (this is logically impossible, but never mind that) and when a once powerful “Holy Father” (and Vicar of Christ, no less!) becomes just another public figure somewhere between Kim Kardashian and Greta Thunberg, you know that something very big has taken place.
Something very bad too.
The truth is not only unwelcome, it does not even exist, right?!
Both world wars were the manifestation of an immense civilizational collapse. WWI saw the collapse of the traditional European monarchies and empires. WWII, and its absolutely unprecedented explosion of hatred (political, class, racial, linguistic, religious, etc.) saw Europe, once the center of our planet, being subjected to a monstrous (but also highly predictable) bloodbath which resulted in two non-European powers splitting the world into two spheres of influence (at least that was the plan). More interestingly, while nominally “Christian” rulers and countries could not openly advocate for mass terror, the “enlightened” secular folks had no such problems at all. Just read Trotsky’s brilliant, if clearly satanic, “Dictatorship versus Democracy” or Hitler’s 5th chapter in Mein Kampf (here in German if you can!).
Both Dostoevskii and Solzhenitsyn predicted what would inevitably happen to a world in which Nihilism prevails. Dostoevskii very simply summarized it all when he wrote (in the Karamazov Brothers) “if there is no God, then everything is allowed“. The Nihilists have simply logically concluded that if there is no God, and everything is allowed, then nothing really exists, most certainly not any “real” (objective) reality. Even the very notions of “good” and “evil” are absolutely meaningless absent an absolute reference system.
Bertrand Russel (and, apparently, also Voltaire) once brilliantly wrote that “God created Man in His image and Man returned Him the favor“. Amazing words, really! If we are not the creation of God, but God is our creation, that makes us very much God-like, does it not? And, as “gods” – don’t we deserve to define for ourselves what is “good” and what is “bad”? Of course we do! Once life/existence has no meaning, how could concepts such as “good” or “evil”? And that is exactly what we have done, especially our post-modern 21 century Nihilists!
Back to where we started – assessing the “so what?” defense
I have already mentioned many times the mind-blowing hypocrisy of the Dems, who all hate on Trump for his alleged “so what?” defense (which, by the way, is a mis-characterization – his defense was much more solid and logical), but have absolutely no problems with people like the Obamas or, even better, the Clintons next to whom Trump almost sounds like a paragon of honesty, integrity and an acute sense of decency. I mean, really, the Clintons made even violent mobsters (Italian or Jewish) look pure and innocent. And when they lie, this is absolutely no big deal. But when Trump lies, then he elicits the kind of blind, impotent, rage which in the Gospel is described by the words “weeping and gnashing of teeth“. Maybe that is what they refer to when they speak of a “Trump derangement syndrome” amongst US liberals?
The truth is simple: we all know that Trump lied. About the Iranian counter-strike and about many other things. We also know that Obama lied. And Baby-Bush too. And the Clinton and his no-sex cigars… And we remember “read my lips, no new taxes” just as well as we remember “We did not, I repeat, did not trade weapons or anything else [to Iran] for hostages, nor will we“. So yes, we remember.
We just don’t care anymore.
We have been completely desensitized not only to truth, but even to reality.
So what, right?
And the consequences are dire indeed!
Conclusion: life in a reality-free world
The fact that we, who live inside the Empire, live in a reality-free world has a huge impact upon the actions of our rulers. After all, if nobody really believes in, or cares about, reality, then why should our rulers bother with making reality any better, especially for us? It is much, much, simpler to simply present a “feelgood” message about how great “America” is (as in “We have the most powerful and well equipped military anywhere in the world, by far!“) and never mind that this most powerful military in the Galaxy could not even protect its own soldiers even though they knew exactly when and where the Iranian counter-strike would come.
Of course, with time, the entire edifice of lies built by US and EU politicians will come crashing down, either as a consequence of a military defeat impossible to hide, or from a major economic shock. This will be totally unexpected for those who choose to live in a reality-free world.
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