The Factual

Since the Enlightenment, we have been immersed in a process of de-factualisation against the old truths of nature and God, only to create a new factual world defined as and fashioned by the term the economy.

The factual is that which determines everything and cannot be escaped from. It is that which is perceived as reality. As reality, it has an organising force that always pulls diverging wills back into the fold, or, if not, at least nullifies their influence in the immensity of its own truth. Nevertheless, the economy is a false-factual.

The factual, therefore, is a two-faced concept, because there are true-factuals and false-factuals. True-factuals exist in natural laws: humans need oxygen and water to survive; fire is hot; ice is cold, etc.. False-factuals are the laws and truths we take for granted as being irrefutable, but are actually not irrefutable at all – the Bible is the word of God; the economy must keep growing or die; capitalism is the only system that can create jobs; the nation is great; our democracy reflects the will of the people, etc..

True-factuals are true until they can be transcended, whereas false-factuals are true only until their fallacy is exposed for what it is: a spurious belief, nurtured from doxa and habit.

Reality is a blend of true and false factuals, but the tragedy of the contemporary world is that the false-factuals that shape and drive our lives are undermining the true-factuals and pushing humanity into an existential crisis.

There is no more dangerous scenario for reality than when the true and false factuals are antagonistic to one another, as in the case of the world today.      

WHERE DOES SO MUCH STUPIDITY COME FROM?

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“… man’s continued nescience of his desire is not so much nescience of what he demands, which may after all be isolated, as nescience of whence he desires.

(Jacques Lacan, ÉCRITS, p. 689)

Our ignorance of where our desires truly come from, is the basis of all psychoanalyses. Might it not also be the foundation of all our socio-political disasters? Democratic processes give free reign to the expression of great, social desires and yet psychoanalysis tells us that we are in fact unaware of what those desires really are and where they come from. The modern trend of spreading Fake News in social media in order to sway elections or create systemic chaos, brings this problem of our ignorance of our desires to the fore. At the macro-political level, a nescience of desires creates a dangerous socio-pathology, that allows individuals to be easily manipulated and produces stress and anguish throughout the societies it effects. In order to desire what we truly need, we need to be able to understand what our desires really are, and where they come from. In order for society to progress in a purposeful way, it needs to understand its own drives. For societies to progress, there needs to be a political will to tackle head-on the question of whence our desires come from. More than ever before, societies need to place emphasis on educating our awareness of media manipulation. Big Brother IS watching, and we need to understand how that affects our own passions, longings and beliefs.

Ignorance is not an infirmity or an infection, it is a lack of knowledge and the capacity to deal with that information. When the society detects a lack in one of its fields that is detrimental to its own condition, then it must act and operate in the field in question, to fill the hole that has been formed within it.

However, in the case of social nescience, the field itself is lacking and needs to be created. Or, seen from the opposite perspective, the abyss that stands before us, and has always been there, must now be filled in and levelled out as a field, so that purposeful seeds of social-progress can be sown there.

The field to be studied could be called Manipulation Theory, that could be simplified to the subject of Wanting at primary levels of education. Recognition of desires and how they are manufactured and manipulated needs to be taught at the earliest age possible. Only through an educated populace, wise to the idea of where their desires come from, can a purposeful democracy ever truly be possible. Only when we are sure of the manipulation can we decide if we want to be manipulated or not. But in order to come anywhere close to having this capacity of understanding our part in the game, we have to create a culture of awareness and of aware individuals.

FAKE NEWS

When President Donald Trump brazenly whines about the Fake News of his media coverage he is unwittingly – as most of Trump’s disclosures are – proclaiming a very uncomfortable truth, i.e. the basis of all the news we receive is fundamentally fake. But that’s not what Trump is saying. He’s not proclaiming that all news in the media is false, only that which gives him a bad coverage.

On the HBO programme Real Time, comedian Bill Maher made the claim that viewers of Fox News (Trump’s favourite channel) when asked about Trump’s ties to Russia said they knew nothing about it, because, concluded Maher, on Fox News  they don’t talk about the Russia-gate enquiry; and as such, Fox’s news is fake by omission. On the other hand, Trump and his supporters, argue that the rest of the media use the same tactics of falsity through omission, by never talking about all the great and wonderful things his administration is doing to make America great again.

Both Trump and Bill Maher are right … and wrong. Falsity-through-omission is perpetrated by all the mainstream media outlets at all levels and, practically, all the time, and so they are right. But what neither trump nor Maher see is that the truly grave omissions in reporting are not the one’s spurred by ideological interests, but rather the great omissions concerning the structural organisation of our civilisation that ignore the root causes of all evils. Lack of systemic criticism and the complete absence of systemic culpability is where the Fake News really resides.

We live in a civilisation that preaches the virtues of competitiveness and successfulness. This is the motor of our lives and money is the oil-blood that keeps that machine working. From this point of view, when Trump stood up before the United Nations and told every member of those supposedly united countries that he was going to put America first and that every other leader should put their own country first, it was pure madness (how can we be united if we’re all competing against each other?) but it wasn’t hypocritical. Quite the opposite, Trump was proclaiming pure market-system ideology – compete and succeed, no matter what that the demands of that competitiveness are.

But the ideology that Trump so honestly adheres to, is also insane. Seen in the context of the United Nations and international diplomacy we immediately see the dangers behind it – such a doctrine leads to wars; and in the case at hand, a possible nuclear war.

Trump may or may not be criticised for making his honest claim, but what will never be criticised will be the system itself which Trump is just a loud symptom of.

And there are a lot more serious symptoms, not just Trump. Not only wars but all violence in societies stem from this structural emphasis on competition and success. Yet, when the media report this violence, there is never any attempt to put the blame where it stands, on the competitive market structure of the global economy world itself. Poverty is another result and poverty also intensifies violent conditions. But the media don’t report on that, or debate in their in-depth analyses on how the structure might be changed … and therein lies the great Fake News.

Crime in our civilisation is not an aberration in society, but an honestly determined expression of its values to be successful – no matter what – even if it means breaking the rules.

And, of course, there is our interminable problem of biodegradation that is also deeply embedded in the system itself. This is yet another manifestation of the violence perpetrated by competition and success. Of course, with the issue of climate change there is an awareness that things have to be done, but a great lack in reporting how the system of competition and success is incapable of making the adjustments that need to be made to halt the lethal degradation.

In a psychological sense, the media seems to be in a blind state of denial to the ugly truth. in order to clean the filthy pond we’re swimming in, we have to change the water – which means we have to stop swimming, get the water and filthy scum out of the pool, and find some clean water to swim in again. And that is a lot of hard work. Yes, Donald Trump himself promised to drain that swamp for us, but he is just making it murkier than ever, and, how could we expect a billionaire capitalist ever to clean up the neo-capitalist cess-pool?

The truth is: for humanity to succeed, we must clean out the competition and success and replace it with a new purpose based on the creative potentials of an authentic humanity that is allowed to be creative without carrying the burdens that competitiveness implies. We need a systemic revaluation, a vision of a different future, and … a revolution. That’s the real news.