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THE TRUTH IN THE POST-MODERN AGES: AN IRRATIONAL PROPAGANDA/ COUNTER PROPAGANDA DIALECTIC


THE TRUTH IN THE POST-MODERN AGES: AN IRRATIONAL PROPAGANDA/ COUNTER PROPAGANDA DIALECTIC

“And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984

 

When certainties flicker, when the first democracy in the world has proved itself to be corrupted up to the core by an oligarchy whose sole ambition was the preservation of its own interests, it’s high time we review the wisdom of a great philosopher.

In Kant’s theory of Judgments, whether cognitive judgment (ie: object-representing, thought-expressing…) or practical judgement (ie: act-representing, choice-expressing…), the innate capacity for judgment or cognitive faculty of the rational human mind is combined with a theory of action, moral psychology and ethics in order to answer three fundamental questions able to reach out to the Universal Good :“What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope?”

How can I respond to those three ontological questions” eventually brought Kant to consider the relationships existing between judgments, objective validity, and truth.

A necessary but not sufficient condition of the objective validity of a judgment is its logico-syntactic well-formedness (grammatical correctness) and logico-semantic well-formedness (sortal correctness), but only if all of its constituent intuitions (from experience) and concepts are objectively valid. In other words, fully spelled-out, the objective validity of a judgment is “its anthropocentric rational empirical referential meaningfulness”. If so, there emerge two issues:

What can be considered being the truth, if the truth depends upon an anthropological referential? Can, what is believed to be the truth in my society and/or civilization, be different in another one? If the answer is yes, can mankind rally around what my society has or will define as true, and can that truth-which encapsulates all of those values that are held up as a standard around the world- be valid? Moreover, when I do realize I’ve been lied to and when concrete evidence is out through WikiLeaks for instance, then how far can I trust the ones who have or will define what the truth is? Actually, why should I ever put my ability to think and decide for myself (The Horace’s “aude sapere”), in others’ hands?

Then, what does Kant say about the truth? In fact, the objective validity of a judgment is equivalent to its propositional truth-valuedness, but not equivalent to its propositional truth. Any political discourse can appear as logical as wished, but that doesn’t mean that what is claimed is true, does it? This is all about epistemology and logic when not worse; worse being the use of a demagogical rhetoric with the purpose of seducing the heart, rather than convincing the brain with rational arguments. Kant believed that nature has allowed a plasticity of the human brain such as “the acts of the cognitive faculties of sensibility, imagination, understanding, apperception, and reason are all brought together and fused in the unifying act of judgment or thought”. But he was also an idealist. The strongest version of Kant’s idealism, both transcendental (unreachable) and empirical was based upon a revolutionary concept called Universalisability. Kant had faith in mankind, its perfectibility through two great virtues : Ethics and Duty. “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law. In other words, there exist two questions that we must ask ourselves, whenever we decide to act.  1/ Can I rationally will that everyone act as I propose to act? If the answer is no, then we must not perform the action. 2/ Does my action respect the goals of human beings, rather than merely using them for my own purposes? Again, if the answer is no, then we must not perform the action. So, to the question “what can I know?” in the empirical world, he would reply: Pretty much everything, as long as you never take anything for granted. In this respect, the Kantian judgements’ dialectic has sometimes been considered as a form of verificationism. So can be regarded the French Cartesianism.

THE MODERN TRUTH: BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL

In a post-modern era where propaganda and counter-propaganda seem to have become the exclusive admittances of truth, verificationism appears to remain the only crucial progress for mankind. When Wikileaks reveal facts objectifying that a CNN contributor has given Mrs. Clinton questions prior to the debate against Bernie Sanders, suspicion of “Fake News” vanishes. On the contrary, when the CIA’s Director declares Russian hackers have hacked into the DNC, the RNC and Mrs. Clinton’s emails, one is entitled to expect solid evidence able to corroborate the veracity of such allegations. When the FBI’s Director suddenly reaches to the same conclusion, whereas declaring the opposite the day before, what is the democratic world supposed to understand?

WELCOME TO THE US DEMOCRATS’ NEW PROPAGANDA FACTORY

When you’re toasted and thrown into absolute disarray because you were aware of the suffering of your people but were pursuing a selfish agenda, the concern that any citizen should be devoted to is the attempt to estimate the extent of the retaliation. Here is some food for thought.

On Thursday December 8th, the U.S. Senate quietly passed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which approved the funding of a new propaganda Agency directly handled by the Secretary of State. The text reproduces almost verbatim from the Portman-Murphy “Countering Disinformation & Propaganda Act”, except that the name of the Agency was changed from a foggy “Centre for Information, Analysis and response” to a more activist “Global Engagement Center” which among other goals, shares the following agendas:

1/ “(…) develop, plan and synchronize (…) whole-of-government initiatives to expose and counter foreign propaganda and disinformation directed against U.S. national security interests and proactively advance fact-based narratives that support U.S. allies and interests – in NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act), page 1576 – §1259 C, a3 below subtitle E labeled “Other Matters”, below title XIII.

In other words, the emphasis is to be put on the writing of fictionalized narratives that will dispatch what “truth” should be spread and supported in allied countries and especially where the U.S. have interests. So the problem is still about truth. Firstly, why would you need a “narrative”? Doesn’t fact-based truth speak for itself? Secondly, why should we put more trust into a propaganda narrative than into a counter-propaganda one, if no evidence or highly questionable elements are submitted? In 2003, the CIA exposed fabricated evidence and false testimonials in front of the United Nations to justify military action in Irak. Will this NDAA bill serve as a legal basis for the U.S. Democrats’ new propaganda factory? If the plan is to jeopardize the Trump’s presidency by fueling the public opinion with more Godless Communists’ interferences or accountancies with the Trump’s Administration, one could also think of more Democrats’ excuses for more corruption.

2/ “(…) to establish cooperative or liaison relationships with foreign partners and allies and other entities such as academia, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector…§1295C, a5

Put in other way, will the Democrat party be appointing more faculty Professors, researchers, NGO’s staff and Industries’ CEOs willing to enhance a “proactively advance biased fact-based narrative”? Will this propaganda extol the virtues of progress through more blind globalization and more questionable Islam partnerships? No doubt, Russia will remain the easy scapegoat of the dirty game, and the irony is to consider that the section also approves funding to spy on journalists, social media groups, political parties & NGOs…

3/“(…) identifying current and emerging trends in…information obtained from print, broadcast, online and social media, support for the third-party outlets such as think tanks, political parties and non-governmental organizations (…) and the use of covert or clandestine special operators and agents to influence targeted populations and governments…” § 1259 C, b4

This section speaks for itself. Any comment would be redundant.

IS THIS THE END OF JOURNALISM?

Hubert Beuve-Méry, one of the most prominent and respected French journalist once declared: “you cannot have two masters at the same time; Money and Information. If ever so, then you accept another gun registry which is the disinformation or misinformation of your readership, from one article to the following one”. So when in France, all of the 24/7 TVnews channels and most of the written press belong to major pro-globalization industrial players. When in the U.S, The Washington Post which has recently committed unsupported libels against 200 Russian websites, belongs to the Amazon’s CEO- a reported member on a U.S. Committee- what signal does it send to the public opinion? Is the system rigged? Dishonest mainstream media have become the unreliable Muppets of a totalitarian oligarchy, and it seems reasonable to assume that according to the progressive Democrats around the world, WikiLeaks-style journalism will now be considered as “a despicable Russian propaganda”. Well, does a political Islam propaganda suit you better?

  • 4/”AUTHORITY FOR GRANTS- The center is authorized to provide grants or contracts of financial support to civil society groups, journalists, nongovernmental organizations, federally-funded research and development centers, private companies or academic institutions for the following purposes : (…) to counter efforts by foreign governments to use disinformation, misinformation and propaganda to influence the policies and social and political stability of the United States…” 1259 C, f(1) & § 1259 C, f(1) D

In plain English, does that mean starting subsidizing journalists, researchers, schools and Universities that would subscribe to a certain regime inside the regime, while potentially threaten the viability of a decent education and truly independent media altogether? When a democracy has been perverted, there are many ways to exercise censorship. One is “to lead from behind” which recapitulates wonderfully the Obama’s Presidency

ARE THE ALTERNATIVE MEDIA, THE NON-ALIGNED INTELLECTUALS AND TEACHERS UNDER THREAT?

Soon after the great defeat, the Democrat party launched a wide “anti-Fake News” campaign in order to tarnish alternative media reputations and eventually shut them down. All through the presidential campaign, the mainstream media had been insulting Donald Trump on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, and the irony is to consider that in his last press conference, Barack Obama blamed “partisan media which now creates the need to fight Fake news”. The President isn’t the most grateful man, is he ? But let’s not be naïve. How poor an excuse to hide a vicious plan! In the recent days, the International fact-checking Network (IFCN) drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept.

1/ A commitment to nonpartisanship and fairness

2/ A commitment to transparency of sources

3/ A commitment to transparency of funding & organization

4/ A commitment to transparency of methodology

5/ A commitment to open and honest corrections

On the paper, that looks great. However, the only little problem is that IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies which is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google and the National Endowment for Democracy. Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by Omidyar Network; a nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Furthermore, the Omidyar Network has partnered Open Society on numerous projects and has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S, including the Democrat Party.

In addition, Poynter Institute benefits from generous donations from The Craig Newmark Foundation (a charitable organization created by The Craigslist’s founder). On December 15th, Facebook announced it will work with third Party fact checking organizations, declaring that” if a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Moreover, it may appear lower in ‘News feed”

Besides, Poynter issued a press release revealing that Newmark donated $1 million to the group to fund a Faculty Chair in Journalism ethics.

Okay. Now, let’s get things straight. Firstly, which credibility can you hope from the Poynter’s IFCN, when Newmark also finances the investigative journalism group called “The Center for Public Integrity” and serves on the Board? Soros’ Open Society is another Public integrity donor…

Secondly, in the recent years, Poynter has also hosted controversial journalism programs including one that has been accused of undermining the threat of global Islamic terrorism. Fox News reported that the course would recommend to reporters “to keep the death toll from Islamic terrorism in ‘context’ by comparing it to the number of people killed by malaria, HIV/AIDS and other factors, each year”. The course also taught reporters that “the term ‘Jihad’ would mean internal struggle and that ‘right-wing activists’ were only trying to link American Muslims to terrorism. Lastly, the course about Islam was supported by a group calling itself “The social Science Research Council’, which has received funding from Soros-Financed groups.

In response to Fox News report, the Poynter Institute explained that “it created the course as a tool for journalists who want to be accurate in educating their audience about the religion and the culture of Islam, Muslim communities in the U.S. and the distinction between Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists (…) The values underpinning the course are truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, minimizing harm an context; the core journalistic values on which we build our teaching here, at Poynter”.

THE ABSOLUTE DISGRACE

According to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the State Department gave $349,276 in U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to a political group in Israel with the aim to deploy a campaign operation which subsequently was used to try to influence Israelis to vote against conservative Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election for Prime Minister.

So when Obama and the mainstream media are not busy doing all they possibly can to distort the truth about Syria and undermine the heavy responsibility of the U.S. President in the disaster occurring in Aleppo and the region, they try to corrupt the only democracy present in the Middle East.

The truth has never been as jeopardized as today. Just before this article goes for publication, the Russian News Agency RIA Novosti reports that the Russian Ambassador to Ankara has been killed in a gun attack at an art gallery in the Turkish capital. Soon into a public speech, a man shouted “Allahu Akbar” and fired at least eight shots, according to an AP photographer. Other bystanders alleged he shouted “Aleppo” while shooting Andrei Karlov in the chest. The old question of who would gain best from such a crime, or as Cicero would put it “cui bono”, helps provide an answer here.

Copyrights© Mylene Doublet-O’Kane, Dec 19-2016





Post Graduate in Philosophy and Education, Mylene Doublet-O'Kane is an Israeli-French teacher, an independant editorialist and the author of a partially fictionalized biography entitled "L'Humanité devant soi" which exposes a philosophical vision of the modern world through the eyes of a Holocaust survivor and the ones of a young Professor. The relationship between the two heroines can be compared to the holding of an international conference where a critical debate takes place on key ontological themes in the post-modern era.



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