Here, for example, is the meat of an email I just received from Truthout, which describes itself as “a nonprofit news organization dedicated to providing independent reporting and commentary on a diverse range of social justice issues” from a perspective “anchored in principles of accuracy, transparency, and independence from the influence of corporate and political forces”:
“We live in an age where lies can be used to justify pretty much anything: revoke a press pass, deny thousands of people asylum, change laws affecting people’s basic rights. This is somewhat ironic, considering that we live in an age of technology more sophisticated than ever before.”
The proposition here is that, with Trump’s election, we have entered an “age of lies,” with the features listed above.
This is multiply precious.
First of all, the triumph of Trump has been foreseeable, if not predictable, since at least 1987, when The Art of the Deal consolidated this megalomaniacal rentier cretin’s Reaganite fame. Certainly, the thesis that government should be run like a business has always been at the heart of the ongoing Great Restoration/Reagan Revolution.
Et voila, this TV terminator.
Meanwhile, what kind of age do Truthout‘s people think we lived in before the wonderful Electoral College seated this mentally ill, proudly ignorant election-loser?
Here at TCT, we have always been impressed with the power of this observation by the late Robert L. Heilbroner:
“At a business forum, I was once brash enough to say that I thought the main cultural impact of television advertising was to teach children that grown-ups told lies for money. How strong, deep, or sustaining can be the values of a civilization that generates a ceaseless flow of half-truths and careful deceptions?”
Finally, how cute is it that Truthout supposes that modern technology somehow supports, rather than clashes with, truth-telling? Has the climate for realism and democracy ever suffered a more fateful blow than the one struck by the continuing ascendancy of electronic audio-video machines? That a lefty operation with “truth” in its name can possibly miss the deep importance of the old tech of print literacy and direct human conversation is, I fear, a true sign of the times — times which did not begin in November of 2016.