…and nothing to get hung about.
Living is easy with eyes closed.
Misunderstanding all you see.
Do you think maybe they were trying to tell us something? Well, my eyes are open. And I’ve accepted Mark’s generous invitation to blog here to try to share what I see from my perspective. I told him I wouldn’t have time to contribute for awhile, but dagnabbit it’s just too compelling. I was previously commenting here under the pseudyonym ‘daddie_o’ but that username is already taken, so now I’m ‘daddieuhoh.’
A little bit about me: I’m a disenchanted academic. My field is in the social sciences. About the 1st of this year, I happened to start watching a documentary called “9-11: The New Pearl Harbor.” The scales fell from my eyes, and I was thrust into a couple of months of intense reading up on many different conspiracy theories, trying to sort fact from fiction. I’m still at it. I’ve come to the conclusion, mainly thanks to others’ research, that much of what we see on TV or read in the newspapers is fake and phony. We’re being manipulated and duped on a grand, almost unimaginable scale. Our thoughts and passions are being molded and orchestrated. So much of the world we think we live in is a sham, a conjob. And so many of the conspiracies we read about are false leads and misdirection. Waking up to this realization was psychologically difficult at first. A bona fide ontological rupture. But I would not trade my newfound perspective for anything. I’m wide awake inside the Matrix, and I’m not going back to sleep.
Back to the topic of this post: nothing is real.
Thomas Jefferson has a famous quote about preferring newspapers without a government over a government without newspapers. Here is the full quotation:
The people are the only censors of their governors: and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution. To punish these errors too severely would be to suppress the only safeguard of the public liberty. The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs thro’ the channel of the public papers, & to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
Hooray for a free press! It provides a check on government power! That is how the quotation is usually interpreted. But I want to suggest a different reading. Notice the statement, “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right.” So he’s saying the government needs to keep public opinion ‘right.’ Well, what does he mean by ‘right’? Does he mean keep them informed? Look what he says earlier: “The way to prevent these irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information through the newspapers.” He says “full information,” but what does that mean? Did Jefferson believe that the newspapers provide reliable information? No, he did not. There is another quotation by him, one that is less famous and harder to stumble upon. It was written to an aspiring newspaper publisher who wrote to Jefferson in 1807 asking for advice. This was Jefferson’s reply:
To your request of my opinion of the manner in which a newspaper should be conducted, so as to be most useful, I should answer, “by restraining it to true facts & sound principles only.” Yet I fear such a paper would find few subscribers. It is a melancholy truth, that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits, than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood. Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day. I really look with commiseration over the great body of my fellow citizens, who, reading newspapers, live & die in the belief, that they have known something of what has been passing in the world in their time; whereas the accounts they have read in newspapers are just as true a history of any other period of the world as of the present, except that the real names of the day are affixed to their fables. General facts may indeed be collected from them, such as that Europe is now at war, that Bonaparte has been a successful warrior, that he has subjected a great portion of Europe to his will, &c., &c.; but no details can be relied on. I will add, that the man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. He who reads nothing will still learn the great facts, and the details are all false.
Anyone who has read Miles Mathis’s paper on Napoleon will find this reference to Bonaparte quite telling.
If we look at the first quotation in light of this new understanding of Jefferson’s view of the press, then it actually looks like what he’s saying is that propaganda in the form of newspapers was more important to governing (keeping public opinion ‘right’) than creating an actual government. It was not for nothing that Edward Bernays told us that “propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.”
Of course it’s possible that Jefferson’s view of the press changed between the first quotation from 1787 and the second from 1807. Or that he was really a champion for truth in the press. But somehow I doubt it. I also find it interesting that the first quotation is the famous one. The other one is buried. Because it is so telling.
What was true in 1807 is still true today. Nothing can now be believed. I try to avoid the news, but I’m curious and old habits die hard (used to be a real news junkie). I think it’s also good not to get too detached. But my assumption whenever I read or see anything is that it’s a lie. I now assume any event that is covered, any speech or interview or press conference that is given, is fake. Until proven otherwise.
“But, how can a speech or interview or press conference be fake?” you might ask. “I mean, the person might be no more than an actor hired to play a part, and the words written by someone else, and the background projected onto a green screen. But the person is actually there talking, aren’t they?”
Well, after you watch this video, you might not be so sure:
Nothing is real. And I for one do think that is something to get hung about.