On Words: Fake News, Opinionating Facts, Self-Deception, and the Demagoguery of Ideas

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
John Adams

I wonder what our esteemed second President would make of the state of the world today. Facts are stubborn things. But are they always real facts? Now of course, facts by their very nature are imbued with truth and honesty. But facts can be twisted and  rearranged so that they appear less like facts, and more like how we want to view our sense of reality. In other words, we are opinionating facts.

I don’t think, opinionating facts, is even a recognized in a dictionary, but something I just made up. Which of course would be apropos for today’s world, in which so much of our reality is not real at all, but an amalgam of social media posts, humble bragging, and self-promotion. Our self-deceptive lives as the end result of our self-esteem reality trophy.

In the age of the Internet, photoshop, and twitter, can we really say that everything we know to be true,  is true? And if that is not true how much of what we rely on for our own edification is false?

Last week the Pakistani defense Minister threatened Israel with nuclear annihilation because of a fake news story. That threat, even though based upon a proven lie, has not been withdrawn. The threats to world coherence is unimaginable.

Meanwhile, the President of the US and his UN Ambassador misquoted Ronald Reagan in their attempt to prove that the recent US security counsel resolution, that they helped create, saying that the Jewish holy sites in Jerusalem do not belong to the Jewish people, is not new US policy. Since Google is our friend, they were easily and quickly debunked HERE. But it is still a fact that Reagan said those words, it is just not a fact how the present US Administration said he used them, and in what context.

So technically  Obama and Powers are not wrong, they are simply opinionating a fact. In other words, they are using a real truthful fact, to create a false narrative, to support their present ideological reality. This, without a doubt, also leads to the direct conclusion that if  they had to lie about their facts, then their reality is duplicitous, malicious, and threatening. People who are honest, forthright, and your partner, do not need to manipulate the truth. Those of good intentions are not afraid to let the truth stand on its own accord.

Now what does this really mean? Have not people always used and quantified facts to back up their own opinions? Well yes and no. One area of opinionated facts is the oft used modern political survey.

This tool is employed in order to prove a point that you, or the political opinion you hold, is right in line with the rest of the country, or the world around you. Yes, surveys use math, in math there are numbers, and those numbers have one outcome when combined. But  it is how you use those numbers that defines whether they are speaking the truth of the matter or not.  In other words, when you take numbers, and use them to discuss an outcome of a survey, the issue isn’t the numbers, but the questions asked, and how they are asked.

We fisk political opinion surveys, which always end up having hard numbers that pundits use to prove their point. At that point though, the issue isn’t the numbers, the issue is exactly how dishonestly the survey questions were asked. Hence, once you realize that the questions are illegitimate, then the numbers themselves become contrived. In other words, when a survey is taken, it is based upon a narrative, and if the questions were leading, actually looking beforehand for a particular outcome, the numbers while truthfully characterizing how people viewed the question, are in reality false because the questions themselves are spurious.

As usual, this comes back then to the modern concept of narratives. How you view your world is your narrative. You use facts, albeit contrived facts, to prove your narrative. You bask in your narrative, and no one can tell you your narrative is not righteous, correct or on the level. Opinion uber alles, or Post-truth is the reality of our times.

Hence, opinionated facts can, and are, manipulated to suit the reality that is most comfortable to the user. Now remember too, when something is an opinion as defined by modern social convention, it is personal and therefore, never wrong. Hence, opinionated facts are never wrong in their use, formulation or discussion, since they are based upon how the user sees these facts.

Yet, those of us who hold at least one foot in the world of sense and understanding will call this fake news, conspiracy theory, or simply out and out batcrap crazy nonsense. In truth, it really  is a thin line between fake news, conspiracy theorists, and opinionating facts. One is simply constructed our of thin-air facts, the other is manipulated facts out of context.

The conspiracy theorist takes disassociated facts, even made up facts, and strings them together to come up with some kind of paranoid delusion about the world. Those that opinionate facts, takes disassociated facts from their original source, and then uses them to prove a point that is actually not provable without their misappropriation of the facts from their original purpose. Hence a fantastical view of the world. In the end, it is all lies. It is the purveyors of factual mendacity feeding off delusions about a world that simply does not exist.

So in a world of fake news stories, in a world where even the most powerful opinionate facts to suit their political machinations, the question is what do we do to stay ahead of the game of hide and seek reality?

I doubt there is much we can do beyond searching for the truth of the issue ourselves. We are all now deputized in a war of words that could have come out of a novel on dystopia and Big Brother. It is not a false sense of our world, this in fact is our world.

The purpose of fake and opinionated facts is simple. It is manipulation of the masses. It is yellow journalism and jingoism and demagoguery all rolled into one. Pundits decry the Trump campaign. But in the end, when you lie to the masses on any level, how is that not demagoguery no matter who you are and no matter your political leanings?

Simply because you dress up lies in soliloquies and  couplets doesn’t make it any less falsehoods used to manipulate how people think. When politicians of any ilk, opinionate facts to support their machiavellian hold onto power, how is that not demagoguery? Simply because you like what is being said, doesn’t make it any less a lie, or the politician any less a lout. Taking facts out of context, lieing to make a point, and telling people that they are too stupid to think for themselves, is all demagoguery.

We live in the age of fake news, opinionated fakes, and political demagoguery for power. Some of it gives us comfort because it supports our version of events. Some of it is disquieting because it challenges our sense of reality. The truth of the matter is, that it is all manipulative, used for one purpose and one purpose alone: To lull us all into complacency and dependency.

I think  John Adams would agree with me on those facts.

 

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About Elise "Ronan"

#JeSuisJuif #RenegadeJew... Life-hacks, book reviews, essayist...
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One Response to On Words: Fake News, Opinionating Facts, Self-Deception, and the Demagoguery of Ideas

  1. Pingback: On Words: Alternative Facts and Narratives…Lies, lies and damned lies – journaling on paper

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