On the lack of facts

http://bankbabble.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/apathetic-violence/

I watched John Pilger‘s film ‘The War We Don’t See’ (ITV player) and episode 103 of the Keiser Report (Russia Today) earlier this week.  The first pitched the line that we are always at war and governments and journalists collude to prevent us knowing what is really going on.  RT reminds me of the old Radio Moscow, though without the ludicrous propaganda phrases that made me laugh as a kid listening with my elder brother.  Yet its language on the financial crisis, in a bad show, is refreshing.  The idea in the Keiser Report is that fraud has become the business model, and that fraud squared is how it is all being covered up.

What is easy to say, is that we should, in social democracy, be making our own minds up on the facts.  Almost no one disagrees with this, yet the extent to which we ever do, or even can as a populace is very doubtful.  Banksidebabble, linked at the top of the page, ascribes this to people not being able to think beyond their own interests and, if you like, when these interests are threatened with a slap in the face with a wet fish.  That the media doesn’t put facts before us so we can make up our own minds, whether we are watching Pilger, Keiser, BBC lickspittles, Murdoch’s toadies, reading newspapers or listening to Radio 4, surfing the net or whatever, is utterly obvious.  That claims to the opposite are often made by bureaucrats of reporting rules and duties is disturbing.  Most academic material is really only polemic disguised.

Very nasty fascism took over Germany when it was the most educated, cultured and scientific nation (and a democracy).  We like to think we are beyond such nonsense, yet we are as far now from an open society as when Karl Popper wrote about its enemies (around WW2).  Spinoza once called politics the art of survival amongst ignorance, in a statement much like Banksie’s.  In all this, we are confronted with something similar to a response cop, trying to make sense of multiple claims being made in a dispute, or a detective trying to find evidence amongst those set on concealing it.  Often, the very people doing the investigations are the vested interests themselves, or highly subject, like journalists, to reporting what the interests say (the lobby, being embedded and so on).

One might say, that the Lakatosian legal-commercial paradigm in the West has become decadent (articles in the Harvard Law Review etc.) – but what’s the point of that kind of intellectual argument?  We need something we can drive!  The biggest fact we seem to miss is that life could be much easier than it is, with much less work and that we are screwing even this up with ideologies suited to the days of spades rather than tractors.  The big fact on street protest and the ‘militarisation’ of our cops is that our society is so dud we need either.

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