April 14, 2017

When truth becomes irrelevant, what remains is power

David MacKenzieRebel Columnist

A society that cares less about policy cares more about police. Nothing could illustrate this better than the recent experience of The Rebel’s own David Menzies while reporting on the Conservative Riding Association of King-Vaughan, northwest of Toronto.

When the rule of law is no longer respected by an organization’s supposed elite, the force of law is all that’s left. Due process bows out; the little guy bows down. That’s how it works.

Put another way: a society that cares less about truth cares more about power. We see this inverse relationship everywhere. We live inside a culture prone to fraud but eager for accolades. We’ll gladly lie and cheat for fame— which is just one way of saying that we’ll gladly trade the truth for power.

Think of the myriad ways in which fantasy is peddled in the hope of celebrity. We barely blink anymore at those bottom-dwelling web-ads which tell us that some blonde local-yokel is now earning $8K/week. Pictures apparently don’t lie— she’s partying right now on her private jet. And, amazingly, she’s from everyone’s hometown!

Where truth becomes irrelevant, what remains is power. This trend has various facets. A society that no longer cares about impartial principle becomes increasingly interested in advocacy. And what, precisely, is advocacy if it is not the desire for greater influence and power?

Hence, in times when truth matters less, partisanship matters more. Tribes and tribalism matter more.

Sounds like us.

A society that cares less about truth cares more about political image. That’s us, for certain.

Recently, an Irish investigative team stated publicly that in the now infamous 2011 trial of American doctor, Kermit Gosnell (the Philadelphia abortionist convicted of multiple counts of infanticide), prosecutors only brought eight counts of murder against him out of concerns that the annual murder rate in Pennsylvania might be significantly skewed if the full count was considered.

Sometimes truth hurts. Yet, if you haven’t noticed, culture is now more dominated by subjective feelings than by objective thoughts. Hence, it hates when it hurts.

In a Myers-Briggs sense, it increasingly looks as though all the thinkers have retired, leaving nothing but the feelers to dominate the culture. Dr. Jordan Peterson, a notable exception, is an eminent Canadian example of what happens when thinkers think irrespective of how cultures feel. Peterson is routinely swarmed by visceral outrage— but never logically beaten in debate. His graduate students are deprived of research grants— not because of shoddy research but rather because of the coercive use of financial power. Someone is offended.

And when truth becomes fundamentally offensive, all that remains is power.

Ironically, a society that feels truth should never hurt usually lacks emotional maturity. It is an adolescent society. Moreover, a culture that doesn’t care about truth also cares less about principle. Its news broadcasts are more sentimental than substantive. At some point, such a society no longer even cares about definitions. It will claim that it matters less what Islamophobia is, and more that we’re outraged about it.

Such a culture will, likewise, believe it better that we can read into the law, rather than exegete the true, original meaning. Consequently, such a “liberal” culture will despise an Antonin Scalia, and seek to reject a Neil Gorsuch.

Additionally, a society that cares less about truth doesn’t bother to argue on truth’s behalf. It increasingly finds the justice system too adversarial, and the parliamentary system embarrassing and distasteful. Perhaps this is why Liberal Senate leader Peter Harder, when musing upon ideals, thinks a caucus of organized opposition is detrimental to Senate politics.

Actually, he’s only partly correct. In truth, organized opposition is in no way detrimental to the quest for truth. Predictably, however, organized opposition is detrimental to power.

And there is yet another oddity about these times in which we find ourselves. As universities have debated less about philosophy and theology, they have obsessed more about the issue of power. Moral authority has been disqualified, shouted-down and even beaten-down, by hostile theories and accusations of “privilege”. The Marxist-inspired rage is palpable, and even predictable, because the issue is one of power, not of truth.

Historically, envy and political rage once put a man on a cross. His purpose, he said to Pontius Pilate, was “to bear witness to the truth”. Pilate didn’t care about truth, and even said as much. Not long after, however, he did say this to Jesus: “Do you realize that I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”

Of course, Pontius. In a raw Roman world, what matters is Caesar and not Socrates.

Power will generally attempt to kill the truth— all the way up to the One who says, “I am the truth”.

It is a sobering political principle, well worth remembering.

And, to this day, well worth rejecting.

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commented 2017-05-19 19:33:25 -0400
Can anyone remember the phrase ‘An Honorable Person’ and better still, can anyone remember when they actually existed?
commented 2017-04-16 22:59:25 -0400
A truth that has power to upend a lot of our corrupt system is the distinction between Federal citizenship and state citizenship. Some are aware that congress has authority to legislate for two different jurisdictions the 50 states/DC + federal territories. In the states it is bound by the Constitution, but in Federal jurisdictions they have unlimited authority.

Do you know which jurisdiction you are subject to?

Explore here for more info: http://sedm.org/Forms/10-Emancipation/CitizenshipDiagrams.pdf

This is the best summary (25 pages) of a 1000+ page book I’ve been able to find yet. The law is a very complex topic. To our detriment.
commented 2017-04-15 17:33:05 -0400
Thanks for your comments, folks. God bless you all this Holy Week.
commented 2017-04-15 09:28:41 -0400
Noteworthy, last month, TIME Magazine’s cover was a stark all-black background with three words in bold red: “Is Truth Dead?”, based upon TIME’s cover from just over 50 years ago (April 8, 1966) also featuring a black background with three bold red letters: “Is God Dead?”
Just like night follows day!
commented 2017-04-14 19:50:44 -0400
Great article, David. I can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. Unfortunately, human nature is such that we would often rather embrace fantasy and legend than truth, simply because that gives us comfort. I’ve certainly been guilty of that myself. I never want to believe it when the warts and foibles of my personal heroes are reveled, and it often takes some time and much irrefutable evidence for me to reluctantly come around. Of course, that’s not quite the same as subverting truth for the expressed purpose of asserting power over others and suppressing opposition. The first is naive, the second is evil. And it’s the second that permeates western culture and our government and courts today.
commented 2017-04-14 19:21:57 -0400
Excellent piece! Your essay reminded me of a passage in George Orwell’s 1984, "How does one man assert his power over another, Winston? Winston thought. “By making him suffer.” he said. “Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure he’s following your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation.”
commented 2017-04-14 19:04:34 -0400
well covered DAVID MACKENZIE , like a mini social studies course
commented 2017-04-14 17:47:19 -0400
This is true comment and journalism, well done. And what really pissed me off today was not only reading that libtard Anthony Furey, but other “journalists” as well, actually try and still say that Asssad did a chemical attack in 2012. This has been fully investigated and admitted, by the Obama administration no less, that it was done by the Rebels. It is FACT. Hillary is the “Assad” that gassed babys, not Assad. They came from Libya. It is all out in the open. Everyone knows it. So to Anthony Furey, et all, you are a fking Liar. Capital L, small i, small a, small r. You are a BS propagandist. You are, like most of the MSM, a disgrace to the word “journalist”. I look forward to your collapse, you BS artists. Again, great account David. You are one of the good guys.
commented 2017-04-14 14:46:07 -0400
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7

" For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

For even though they knew God, they did not honour Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

Professing To Be Wise, They Became Fools,

and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever."

Romans !:18-25
commented 2017-04-14 14:27:06 -0400
Where society starts to value fantasy over truth comes from the self-proclaimed “progressives” rejection of absolutes, truths that are grounded in reality, for basing principles on the every changing values embraced by society.
commented 2017-04-14 14:15:07 -0400
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic” ~ John F. Kennedy 1962
commented 2017-04-14 14:13:17 -0400
There is no truth in news, and there is no news in truth.
commented 2017-04-14 14:13:00 -0400
A thoughtful article, filled with truisms. On a more philosophical note this trade-off of truth for power/success has propelled a once stable free nation into a period of pathocratic and kleptocratic dysfunction which immediately precedes a dystopian police state. We are closing in on Orwell’s nightmare (which is rife with examples of truth being distorted to consolidate power). Tyranny anf dystopia are always the by-product of distorting the truth – from Plato’s cave to Orwell’s 1984 to John Carpenter’s “they Live” our culture’s history is permeated with warnings about abandoning truth for expediency – but lessons of culture and history are wasted on a generation who have been indoctrinated in untruths.