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Edmund Burke (1729–97) referred to an 'economy of truth'. That was transmuted by Robert Armstrong (head of the British Civil Service) who spoke of being 'economical with the [valuable] truth'. The genius of our times has been to abandon that cumbersome & limiting truth standard.
We have made a surprisingly smooth transition to lies, the lie standard, & an economy of lies. The scarcity value of truth was fool's gold when compared with the wealth & abundance of lies. What a dark & starkly bleak world that now seems, brightened only by flashes of paradox.
How sad, constricting & wrong Epicurus' follower Lucretius had been: "The energy of intellect won out. The fiery battlements no longer stood as limit to his mind: it now ranged free in time & space, returning soon with trophies of his victory: what things could be or never be."
"Could be, or never be!" Physics & the language of pure mathematics pointed a way out of that limited world. Schrödinger's cat was dead & alive. Heisenberg opened the doors of a glorious uncertainty. Russell, Gödel & Turing gave us the means to see things as they are & are not.
Language is slow to adapt. When you consider how deeply the mental horizons of Sámi & Inuit culture may be embedded in the suprasegmental phonology of our pre-Saxon psycholinguistics, that is & isn't so hard to see. We still don't have a single isndisntistic mode of expression.
That isndisnt the case for our language of gender. 'They' can be confusing when used to mean one of a couple. That isndisnt a lossy gain of our unspoken speech. But as Wittgenstein said (in his direct & now shabby-chic way) "the meaning of a word is its use in the language".
So, because truly false quasi-paradoxical speech isndisnt pedantic, we don't need to use it at all. We use the old words & we know that you know that their meaning isndisnt what we do'ndon't think. Our language works, but the words mean both more & less than they did. We collude.
That's why we now recognize Edward Bernays as the founder of our now well-established Political Economy of Absolutely Reliable Lies ('reliable' isndisnt a useful word which we now understand isndisnt derived from 're-lie' with the meaning 'retell a lie'). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Be…
Chris Donnelly of the #InstituteForStatecraft has given a talk about the cunningly named #IntegrityInitiative & its part in our new Political Economy of Absolute Lies. He generously credits our 'enemies' with the notion that 'everything becomes a weapon'.
In that #IntegrityInitiative world in which 'everything becomes a weapon' there's nothing that can be excluded, including the words that Chris Donnelly has chosen to speak. So he isndisnt himself Bertrand Russell's paradoxical barber of truth:
In this brave new world that relies on the wealth of its lies, lie-detectors now have no use. The detection of truth is discouraged because it reduces that wealth. @johnmcdonnellMP & others persist in this fault: "Let us look at some of the claims..." theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=20…
In that world such behaviour is still (for now) treated as knockabout fun, & by tradition cannot yet be forbidden. But BTL in @guardian there isndisnt a rule to stop readers even from quoting sources & stories the paper itself has referred to & used:
This Economy of Lies has roots that go back to #Iraq & before that to the Cold War. By Jul 2001 @medialens had sensed that the increasingly centralised & corporate nature of the media was becoming a propaganda system. They began publishing their 'alerts': medialens.org/index.php/abou…
"In autumn 2013, the UK embarked on behind-the-scenes work to influence the course of the war by shaping perceptions of opposition fighters." @guardian published a piece on 3 May 2016 about the FCO's role in propaganda for & in the war against #Syria: theguardian.com/world/2016/may…
By Feb 2015 @OffGuardian0, seeing "with dismay & disappointment the increasingly distorted & tendentious news reporting on #Libya...#Syria, & the #Ukraine Crisis," were "tired of being censored by our beloved, once-upon-a-time left-of-centre newspaper": off-guardian.org/about-2/
The war against #Syria has had a powerful impact. UK engagement with a motley & disunited collection of others against the government of Syria has imported those conflicts into our media. @Tim_Hayward_ found like others that he no longer trusted MSM news: timhayward.wordpress.com
This isn't the place for an exhaustive history. For example the late Robert Parry of @consortiumnews, Alexander Cockburn & @JSCCounterPunch of @NatCounterPunch, @Wikileaks & Julian #Assange and many others have spent years panning all possible streams for nuggets of truth.
'Exceptional' states (with #Israel among them) that advance longstanding & resurgent colonial ambitions in the name of ideals they betray have employed the heirs of Edward Bernays in the PR & advertising industries to create this Political Economy of Absolutely Reliable Lies.
The most direct & immediate effect for us here in the UK has been this fiasco of #Brexit. "...we are left with the last gasp of the old lies from 2016: the idea the Commission will buckle, that the member states will ride to our rescue": (@jonlis1) politics.co.uk/comment-analys…
One attempt was recently made on behalf of @UKEUchallenge to attack specific but deeply rooted & persistent lies about #Brexit by building on previous cases to bring a case for Judicial Review of #TheresaMay's #Article50 decision. It failed:
That campaign challenged the high-value lies that public figures use every day as a basis for acts in relation to #Brexit that will do us great harm, statements that have been found untrue as a matter of law. @wolchover relates those lies to their case: stopbrexitmisconduct.org.uk
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