I met a woman a few days ago who said something quite disturbing to me. Her statement was, “If you say anything with enough force behind it, other people will believe you.”
Translated, it’s another manner of saying, “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.” I’ll let you Google who said that on your own, because the lesson here isn’t who said it, but what it means and why. I immediately had an interesting test to apply to this woman. I asked her if she’d ever played Apples to Apples. Not only did she play it, she owned it and apparently ‘won it’ very often.
Another similar phrase I’ve seen a few times is, “Speak truth to power.” This is very similar to the previous statements. Moreso when you recognize that the truth and facts, though they should be correlative or even the same, but are not always so. I think the best theory to explain the difference is that the truth is a summation of all the facts. But by forgetting, ignoring or denying even one fact, the truth can be easily distorted.
The truth is like the product of a recipe. If a single ingredient is wrong, forgotten or measured incorrectly, the resulting food can be far from what it was intended.
The rejection of such thoughts forced on others is important. Critical even. Such forced ‘truths’ are the cornerstone of consensus reality, the acceptance that if all others believe something, it must be true. There are many examples of these falsehoods through history. There was a time when it was accepted that the Earth was flat, and yet the center of the universe. Or spontaneous generation.
But there is a catch-22. Not all collective thought is wrong, a fair portion of it is correct. Worse yet, those who reject consensus reality are often branded as fools or paranoid. This is often a mental ‘bludgeon’ used to coerce individualists who show resistance to the group’s accepted thinking. It must be noted however, that doubt gets one an education.
As democracy has taken an expansively larger role in our lives, the impact of consensus thinking has devastating potential. There exists fewer and fewer barriers from which those who disagree with the direction of a nation or community can take refuge. That’s why I feel it’s important to protect these sanctuaries.
With every act that expands the power of this form of government, those who have the loudest megaphones gain the most. However, these centralizations of power simply result in schism of thinkers, driving the markets to find new outlets to hold their voices. In the past, the news paper was the all overriding source of news and therefore the power. This powerbloc was cracked by the radio, then television before the internet.
Today, anyone with a voice can find audience through medias like Youtube or WordPress blogs. This is why I do not fear concentrations of monolithic economic power, for historically they are eventually cracked and splintered by the very markets that created them, as long as we are free to seek them. There is nothing that time cannot lay low.
I have to admit, it makes me smile darkly when I imagine those who claim to represent the tyrannical masses being, metaphorically, taken apart by the very masses they claimed to be the voice thereof. Irony can be delicious like that.
But I digress, splintering from my original point towards the political and anthropological aspects of my own philosophic views. But the lesson is simple. If you meet someone who won’t share the conversation, you can damn well bet they won’t share power either.