Truth and Anti-Truth

Posted: October 20, 2007 in anti-truth, republicans

While surfing the web looking for things to be pissed off about (a popular pasttime with me), I ran across something I hadn’t encountered before. Someone has come up with a new terminology to describe the Republican agenda and their attitude towards the rest of the world.

Anti-Truth. I like it. It has a nice ring to it. It’s gritty and honest without being too over-the-top. But what does it mean?

It’s not merely the opposite of truth. That’s what we call lies. The “anti” modifier implies something much more tangible than that. It implies not merely telling lies, but actively being opposed to truth and acting upon that opposition.

Alvin Toffler wrote of a similar attitude in his book War and Anti-War. Being “Anti-War” is not merely promoting peace, but being actively opposed to War.

So, in similar vein, if we are to accuse someone of being “Anti-Truth”, as it appears the Republicans have become in recent years, then we are, in effect, accusing that person or group of being actively opposed to Truth.

That’s serious stuff. Is it really apropos to use it to describe the current crowd of Republican politicians (and, by extension, their legions of lackeys, lickspittles, liars and losers)?

Of course it is.

To wit: When the President tells us that the American government “does not torture”, despite all the evidence to the contrary, he is not merely lying.  He is being Anti-Truth.  He knows it’s not true, but he believes repetition will produce not a new truth, but a general denial in the public mind of the truth, and a willing acceptance of the untruth.  It is  a statement designed to 1) deny the fact that his government does indeed torture detainees, and 2) replace that fact with disinformation of his own choosing.  It is, in other words, Anti-Truth.

Likewise, when he told us last year that “Stay the course” was never part of his war agenda, he wasn’t just lying.  After all, he was on record saying “stay the course” dozens of times before that incident.  The statement wasn’t meant to be merely untrue; it was fundamentally Anti-Truth.

When the Vice President told us that there were “clear connections” between Al-Qaida and Iraq, this wasn’t merely a lie.  There never was any credible intelligence or other source indicating such a link.  The statement was intended to be Anti-Truth, a reinforcement in the public mind of exactly what the Vice President wanted us to believe.

Being Anti-Truth is far more dangerous than merely being a liar.  All politicians are liars, but very few are actively Anti-Truth.  Liars know they’re lying, and don’t really expect you to accept the lie as truth.  They know that you can fool some of the people some of the time, and that’s what they’re counting on.  Anti-Truth politicians are just the opposite.  They expect everyone to accept their version of the truth, despite the evidence against it.

Politicians are liars.  Tyrants and Dictators are Anti-Truth.

This administration is not just a bunch of liars.  It is Anti-Truth.

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