Post-Truth, an end of democracy.
The term "post-truth" has been recently used to refer to circumstances where objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief. Under this definition the United States has been a post-truth society for quite some time. In fact, it has been this way for at least since the early 90s when the term post-truth itself started to gain currency in public discourse. While the term itself has only recently gained popularity, the concept of post-truth politics is not new. The idea that there is a fundamental difference between what people think is true and what really is true has been around for quite some time.
The idea of post-truth itself has been around for at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. The Greek Philosopher Socrates, who also coined the famous phrase "the unexamined life is not worth living" believed that in order to really live a moral life one should seek out and discover the truth. Truth, for Socrates, was the core of moral behavior.
He believed that people should always strive to know the truth, even if that knowledge was unpleasant or would force one to act in a manner that one would rather not. In fact, he believed that one could only reach moral perfection by fully coming to know all of the truth.
In his view, if one did not know the truth then one could be easily misguided by the whims of public opinion or the powers that be. He believed that if one did not have the truth, then one was defenseless when confronted by those who did. He gave a famous example of this in ancient Athens. At the time, it was illegal to practice another religion besides the established religion of the day. However, the government of the day did not enforce this law and allowed people to worship their own gods. In fact, the government often gave into public pressure to allow the people to worship foreign gods within Athens. Socrates felt that this was wrong. He felt that the government should not give into public opinion on an issue like religion, as doing so would be lying to the people and misleading them. He believed that one should always act in truth, even if it went against popular opinion. For this belief, he was sentenced to death. This is just one of the most famous examples of the consequences of the belief in post-truth politics. The belief that it is acceptable to lie or mislead people in order to further a political agenda has been around for a very long time. Indeed, this belief has been around since the dawn of politics itself.
However, this does not make it correct.
The concept of post-truth is an anathema to the principles upon which America was founded. Indeed, it is a concept that is completely foreign to the very idea of democracy. The entire idea of democracy is that the government is supposed to be run by and for the people. If the people do not have access to the truth, then how can they properly run their government? How can a people make informed decisions if they do not have access to the facts? How can a people control their government if they are lied to about the most basic of issues?
The belief in post-truth politics is the antithesis of the very concept of democracy. A government that lies to its people is no better than a dictatorship. Democracy and post-truth cannot coexist. One will eventually consume the other.
This is why the concept of post-truth politics, regardless of where its adherents stands on the political spectrum, is a direct threat to the very existence of American democracy. The consequences of post-truth politics are too great to be ignored. Indeed, the very future of America could very well be at stake.
In the ancient world, there was a concept called the "noble lie." The noble lie was a concept created by Plato in which certain beliefs were instilled into the population through myths and propaganda in order to maintain social harmony. The noble lie was used by many ancient empires, such as the Romans and the Chinese. It was used by the Romans to maintain their social order and it was used by the Chinese to maintain their social order and also to maintain a sense of national pride. The noble lie has taken many forms throughout the years. In the 20th century, there was a famous book written by Adolf Hitler called Mein Kampf in which he explained his views on post-truth politics.
The book was essentially a mix of logical arguments and outright lies about the state of Germany at the time. Through the use of half-truths, misdirection and outright lies, Hitler was able to convince the German people that Jews were the source of all their problems. The book is an excellent example of post-truth politics and it demonstrates how dangerous the concept can be.
The 21st century has seen a rise in the use of post-truth politics on a variety of different issues. One of the most infamous examples of post-truth politics is the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The American government led the nation to believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the war in Iraq would be a quick and decisive victory. Both of these claims turned out to be false. The American government did not tell the truth about why it was invading Iraq and the consequences were completely disastrous. Not only did thousands of American soldiers die, but the war destabilized the entire region and gave rise to ISIS. The consequences of post-truth politics in this case were a destabilized region and a stronger ISIS.
Another example of post-truth politics is the global warming controversy. Many conservatives believe that global warming is a hoax and that the science behind it is not certain. But the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real and is significantly shaped by human activity. The consequences of this post-truth politics could be environmental catastrophes that could potentially end human civilization as we know it.
The rise of post-truth politics in America has given rise to fake news. Fake news is a broad term that refers to the spreading of misinformation and disinformation on the internet. The rise of social media has enabled the fake news industry to thrive. In addition now, artificial intelligence is being used to create completely fake videos of public figures saying and doing things that they never said or did. These fake videos are incredibly realistic and it's nearly impossible for an average person to tell if a video is real or fake.
This applies now also to written news. With AI, it is entirely possible to take a real news story and rewrite it with different details and present it as fact when it is entirely fictitious. This has had a significant impact on the American public's trust in the media. In a near future, an article like the one you are reading could be entirely made up of falsehoods and you would never know the difference. The consequences of this are terrifying. How can one hold an informed opinion on important issues if they are surrounded by lies?
Related to this, obscurantism has become a major problem in society. The term obscurantism refers to the willful act of surrounding one's self with ideas that are deliberately confusing and complicated. The purpose of this is to make the ideas unintelligible to the common person, thus giving the impression that they are complex and intellectual when in reality they are meaningless.
The masses do not seek truth. The masses seek comfort. Seeking the truth will probably one day become an illegal act. Like in middle ages, rumors and legend will become more popular than science. The masses will believe in ghosts and demons and angels and gods. They will not tolerate the abstractions of science. They will not tolerate the pure rationalism of philosophy. They will not tolerate the search for wisdom.