2007 - 2020

Dazed and Confused: Alternative Facts and Conspiracy in the Age of Stupid

“The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Community, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction […] and the distinction between true and false […] no longer exists.” – Hannah Arendt.

In a society riddled with anxiety, conspiracy and propaganda and dominated by new authoritarianism and the rise of the far-right, in a ‘post-fact’ world where everyone is supposedly ‘sick of experts’, in a pandemic world, this matters again. From day one of President Trump’s administration his own press secretary Sean Spicer provided his own ‘alternative facts’ about the attendance numbers of Trump’s inauguration. Very simple verifiable truths were beginning to be re-moulded. The political world was beginning to alter shape.

Hannah Arendt was born this week in 1906. She was a German Jew and a political philosopher trying to make sense of the experience of Nazi Germany. After completing her education in Berlin, she studied at the University of Marburg under Martin Heidegger, with whom she had a brief affair. She obtained her doctorate in philosophy writing on Love and Saint Augustine at the University of Heidelberg in 1929 under the existentialist philosopher, Karl Jaspers. She wrote  The Origins of Totalitarianism in 1951, The Human Condition in 1958, as well as Eichmann in Jerusalem and On Revolution in 1963. One of her many legacies was to argue that totalitarianism can flourish where people systematically refuse to engage with reality, and are ready to replace reason with ideology and outright fiction.

I was remembering Arendt when reading about Judge Amy Coney Barret’s questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee  in America. Over the three days of hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, Barrett refused to answer a total of ninety-five questions posed to her by members of the committee. Here’s some of the questions she couldn’t/wouldn’t answer:

Was Roe v. Wade wrongly decided?
Can a sitting president delay an election?
Does the Constitution give LGBTQ individuals the right to marry?
Will you overturn the Affordable Care Act?
Do American citizens have the right to vote?
Is contraception a constitutional right?
Is separating children from their parents wrong?
Is climate change real?

Asked by Senator John Kennedy if she had “opinions” on climate change, Barrett hesitated.

“I’m certainly not a scientist,” she said. “I’ve read things about climate change. I would not say that I have firm opinions on it.”

Sen. Kamala Harris later pushed Barrett further on the issue of climate change.

“Do you believe that climate change is happening and it’s threatening the air we breathe and the water we drink?” asked Harris.

“I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is controversial,” Barrett said.

Harris thanked Barrett, saying the nominee had made her position quite clear. The problem is not just that the appointment of Coney Barrett is a gross distortion of democracy, putting into place an un-elected ideological player that will distort social policy for years to come. The problem is not only the panoply of basic human rights she seems to be ignorant of. The problem is that the Supreme Court will be pivotal if Trump refuses to leave office.

Coney Barrett’s views are fractal. You can see them fanning out across America. But she is not stupid. She is studiously ignorant for ideological reasons. This is very different.

Climate change isn’t controversial. A refusal to state simple facts is. In fact, it’s deeply political.

This measured, clever ignorance can be seen closer to home. Here’s Alex Massie writing in the Spectator about the climate change and the 10:10 project which produced the climate film The Age of Stupid:

“Long-time and recent readers alike will have noticed that I almost never write about climate-change or global warming or whatever you want to call it. That’s because I think it an unusually tedious subject about which I lack both the ability and the interest to either care or make an informed judgement. Like many people, then, I take the view that it may well be a biggish problem but, as that wise man Mr Micawber nearly said, something may turn up to help us out of the jam. It is the Iran-Iraq War of policy debates in which one wishes that the most passionate advocates on either side could, well, just shut up.

Nevertheless, Nevertheless, it’s good to discover that Richard Curtis, long-time purveyor of smug, self-satisfied tripe, has produced this ad for something called the 10:10 campaign. Watch it and see if you don’t feel like starting your own oil company or burning anything you can just because you can…”

Not having “opinions” about climate change – whether you’re a prospective Supreme Court Judge, or a Spectator columnist isn’t an option anymore. In the midst of omnicide you can’t hide.

There’s a trajectory and a continuum from Sean Spicer and Coney Barrett – from “climate-change or global warming or whatever you want to call it” – to Pizzagate and “Truthers” (be they of the 9/11, 5G or chemtrails variety).

QAnon in Scotland

Last week a group of a few hundred people gathered outside Holyrood to ‘protest the virus’. It looked like a convergence of the dispossessed: libertarians, the far-fringes of the alt-nats, wild conspiracy theorists. An American kilted representative of the ‘Dundee Resistance’ quoted Wallace, (or Mel Gibson) and assured us that “they” would never take our freedom.

Placards with slogans of “The Media is the Virus” jostled with “the Flu World Order” and talk of “mask tyranny” and QAnon signs. One woman speaker said “The Corona Virus Act 2020 is akin to Germany’s Enabling Act 1933 and we all know how that ended!” to wild cheers.

It’s easy and tempting to mock, and it’s perhaps wrong to pathologise people’s politics. Some of the people who are drawn to these circles are doubtless suffering mental illness, but many are not. Many are suffering from years of political failure, decades of hyper-individualism, and the recent popularisation of right-wing libertarianism. Late capitalism, hyper-normalisation and covid has left many of us utterly dazed and confused. They’re not alone and they’re not to blame.

Exhausted, stressed and facing a torrent of information no generation has ever faced it’s easy to get confused. The world isn’t binary, deference doesn’t exist, the media isn’t your friend and politicians lie. Betrayal and kleptocracy is endemic. Political failure is routine. Faith in people’s conduct in public office has collapsed, and with good reason. In a world where you believe in nothing it’s easy to believe in anything.

Confession

Dear reader, I have a Confession. I am a conspiracy buff. Ok, more a geek than a buff. I know more about the grassy knoll, Badge Man, the Three Tramps and the sixth-floor of Dealey Plaza than is perhaps healthy. I used to write for an read conspiracy journals. So what makes my conspiracy valid and yours stupid? Has the secret state not existed for a long time? Has the state (all states) not covered things up and tried to spread lies and propaganda? They certainly have.

Have the stories of Colin Wallace or of Hilda Murrell, or of British secret state operations over a very long time not given enough ammunition for people to be very wary and very suspicious? They certainly have.

But what seems to have twisted and morphed from the 1970s to today is that ‘conspiracy theory’ has shifted from being a way of uncovering the powerful, of understanding the clandestine by research to a general state of alarm in which everything is a False Flag, no-one is acting in good faith and facts and basic rational thinking has just been dispensed with. In a post-ideological world – where no-one really believes anything any more – acute paranoia has become a badge of radicalism. Conspiracy theory used to punch-up and challenge the powerful, now it gets handed out by the President’s social media channel.

Rabid anti-vaxxers’s like Charisse Burchett celebrate the establishment in Berlin last weekend of the ‘World Doctors Alliance’ an organisation of COVID-sceptic doctors (and headed by – among others – Dr Dolores Cahill, chairperson of the anti-EU Irish Freedom Party). The convergence of the far-right with Conspiracy World is not a coincidence.  What once was a phenomena that wanted to through light on the world and expose elite rule has become a disempowering movement and toxic brand of collective ignorance.

This is a milieu in which the distinction between left and right collapses (but always benefits the far right). This is a phenomenon in which the spectre of anti-semitism hovers in the background like a meta-theory hanging-it-all-together in the shadows. The world of Piers Corbyn and David Icke are inhabited by people for whom “the distinction between fact and fiction […] and the distinction between true and false […] no longer exists”.

You do not need to be a scientist to have a view on climate change. Facts exist. Reality exists. Climate change isn’t controversial.

 

 

Image credit: JPI Media/Lisa Ferguson

 

Comments (23)

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  1. Peter Hurrell says:

    There has always been nutters peddling fake news. The only difference now is they have a louder megaphone.
    The real problem is with supposedly informed and independent agencies like the BBC. Once the blatant propaganda of the BBC and others is exposed it becomes a free for all. Anyone and everyone can join in spouting rubbish.

  2. Jacob Bonnari says:

    Good piece. You’re right in connecting our present situation to hypernormalization (as exposed by Adam Curtis). For me an earlier awakening of how people could be manipulated away from their common interests was a wet Saturday afternoon 30y ago watching Hell in the Pacific.

    A lesson we all need to be re-taught is the ability to differentiate a fact from an opinion. A fact is verifiable independent of the person telling you it. An opinion is subject to uncertainty, because if it was certain it would be a fact. The more facts or expertise someone has in the subject on which they are opining the more likely that that person’s opinion can be relied upon. A final point is that it’s important that it is understood that anything in the future (which hasn’t happened yet) is an opinion (or prediction or a forecast) not a fact.

    When you start to listen to politicians and journalists reporting on them too many of them cannot differentiate between a fact and and opinion. This then leads to the public being confused about what is objectively true.

    An example: That CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere due to the actions of humans is a fact. That this results in man-made climate change is also a fact. What the final effects of man-made climate change are from where we are now are a series of opinions and predictions.

    1. Tom Ultuous says:

      I can second your vote for hypernormalization (available here https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p04b183c/adam-curtis-hypernormalisation). In fact I recommend anything by Adam Curtis. He’s the BBC Pilger. In one of his videos (can’t remember if it was the aforementioned or Bitter Lake) he highlighted a Muslim cleric who had left Al-Qaeda because he disagreed with attacking the US directly as in 9/11. He argued the way forward was sporadic terror attacks on the west arguing the populations would eventually turn on each other. Nowhere has it worked better than in Britain and the US.

    2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      “A fact is verifiable independent of the person telling you it.”

      Well, no.

      A fact is simply ‘that which is the case’. As such, a fact is neither true nor false but just ‘is’.

      A statement of fact is a claim about what is the case. Unlike facts themselves, statements of fact can be true or false.

      Determining the truth or falsity of any statement, including statements of fact, is problematic. This problematic is the subject-matter of the philosophical discipline of epistemology.

      According to science, because of the problems associated with verifying them, statements of fact can only ever be provisionally true; to put this another way, they’re ‘true’ only insofar as they haven’t yet been falsified by observation or experiment. Statements that have so far survived rigorous and ongoing testing are deemed less untrustworthy than those which are either as yet untested or untestable in principle, but even the fittest statements can’t be said to be absolutely true, only that they haven’t yet been falsified. Science is organised and systematic scepticism.

      All statements of fact are thus opinions; they’re judgements we make about something, which are based and therefore dependent on/not independent of the prior beliefs and/or observations of the person who makes the judgement.

      The upshot is that nothing’s certain in science, everything’s opinion, and the problem is that certainty’s what the unenlightened public craves.

      This craving for certainty is at least part of the pathology behind the attraction of conspiracy theories, and the more unfalsifiable the conspiracy theory is the better.

  3. John O'Dowd says:

    Excellent article.

    Like you, Mike, I have been reading about Deep State activities for many years and have been increasingly concerned by cooption of the term by the Far Right.

    Prof Peter Dale Scott provides this definition:

    “The deep state refers to a parallel secret government, organized by the intelligence and security apparatus, financed by drugs, and engaging in illicit violence, to protect the status and interests of the military against threats from intellectuals, religious groups, and occasionally the constitutional government.”

    The term originated in Turkey in 1996, to refer to U.S.-backed elements, primarily in the intelligence services and military, who had repeatedly used violence to interfere with and realign Turkey’s democratic political process. Sometimes the definition is restricted to elements within the government (or “a state-within-the state”), but more often in Turkey the term is expanded, for historical reasons, to include “members of the Turkish underworld”.

    It was evident in anni di piumbi in Italy with false flag assassinations and bombings (notably of Bologna station) by state agents and implicating the CIA and Mafia elements.

    Those familiar with reputable works on the Kennedy and King assassinations (e.g. James W Douglass’s magisterial JFK and and the Unspeakable) will be well aware of the use by the secret state of the criminal underworld, both as operative agents and patsies.

    And Professor Alfred McCoy has written extensively on the Politics of Heroin and the secret state’s historic and ongoing complicity in that – from the British Empire’s opium wars, through Vietnam, Iran Contra and the continuing tragedy of Afghanistan.

    Tom Hayden, calls the deep state a “state within the state,” and suggest it may have been responsible for the failure of the Obama administration to follow the policy guidelines of the president’s speeches:

    “We have seen evidence of a “state within the state” before, going back as far as the CIA’s operations against Cuba. In Obama’s time, the president correctly named the 2009 coup in Honduras a “coup”, and then seemed powerless to prevent it.”

    The Deep State rhetoric was then taken up by Trump (more likely Bannon and the Alt Right) to cast themselves as ‘outsiders’ at war with ‘the swamp’ – when of course they are just another faction at the Deep State nexus.

    Naturally, Wall Street is deeply implicated (for example, much of banking liquidity is maintained by cash purchases of Herion and the laundering of its profits into the ‘legitimate’ financial sector) – all are crooks of course.

    And now we see – for it’s own obfuscatory purposes – the Right taking up the term. Here is Republican analyst Mike Lofgren:

    “There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power”.

    Lofgren suggests an ambiguous symbiosis between two aspects of the American deep state:

    1) the Beltway agencies of the shadow government, like the CIA and NSA, which have been instituted by the public state and now overshadow it, and

    2) the much older power of Wall Street, referring to the powerful banks and law firms located there.

    In their words,

    “It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice – certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee.”

    None of this is new. Franklin Roosevelt’s observation in 1933 to his friend Col. E.M. House that “The real truth … is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson”.

    What is new – and what your article admirably brings out – is cooption of the concept by the Right – which then goes further and lumps it in with the nuttier extremes of climate change deniers and ant-vaxxers.

    This is NOT accidental. The term conspiracy theory is used in a derogatory way to suggest a crack-pot detachment from reality. But some conspiracies are not theories, but discernible fact – accompanied by state and corporate propaganda to hide that fact.

    But what is neoliberalism if it is not a conspiracy by and between the ultra-rich, banking, giant corporations, right-wing politicians and bogus neo-classical economics, court historians and other elements of academia designed to undermine democracy and defraud the citizenry?

    How better to hide conspiracy fact, than to lump its students with the nuttery of QAnon, Climate Change Deniers and the Alt-Right?

    Pure genius.

    Pure Evil Genius.

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      I don’t have a problem with conspiracy theories as hypotheses, providing they can be tested.

      The problem with a lot of conspiracy theories is that they can’t be tested; their proponents safeguard them against criticism by claiming that the evidence by which they could be tested is ‘hidden’. The clandestine nature of this evidence is precisely what makes those theories ‘conspiracy’ theories.

      It’s for this reason that such conspiracy theories can immediately be discounted as genuine hypotheses; they are instead what Karl Popper called ‘pseudoscience’ or ‘fake knowledge’.

      1. Michael says:

        This is of course also the power of crimes of conspiracy and why it is so important to maintain an open environment of discussion to be able to theorize about and maintain vigilance to protect against them.

        1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

          Yes, a conspiracy is a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful; secrecy is, therefore, essential to the conspiratorial nature of that plan.

          The salient point, however, is that claims that a conspiracy exists (‘conspiracy theories’) need to be falsifiable to be genuine (truth-functional) theories; furthermore, like all genuine theories, they can remain at best only potentially true for as long as they have not been falsified.

          The thing is that many conspiracy theories are framed in such ways that they aren’t falsifiable even in principle, which means they can be immediately discounted as bogus theories.

          I’m very keen that, as part of their elementary education, children should begin to acquire the critical thinking skills that will enable them to, among other things, identify bogus theories that make claims on their belief. These life-skills will make them less susceptible to stupidity in the ‘Age of Stupid’.

          1. Michael says:

            I’m not versed enough in philosophical theory to know for sure, but I suspect that you are off on a red herring with this, as falsifiability only seems to be relevant in areas that can be categorized within the material domain.

            For the sake of clarity, are you saying that theories such as: human activity is causing catastrophic climate change”, or: “Osama bin Laden planned and executed the crashing of planes into the Pentagon and WTC buildings on 11/9/2001”, are not falsifiable?

          2. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            I don’t know. Falsifiability is the capacity for a hypothesis to be contradicted by evidence. Is this possible in the case of either of those two hypotheses?

            I suppose the latter might possibly be falsified by confirmed evidence that someone other than bin Laden planned the crimes of which he was accused, or that he had an alibi, and the former by confirmed evidence that catastrophic climate change is not in fact taking place.

            With regard to the anthropogenic theory of climate change, however, falsifying the claim that human activity is the cause of such change is more problematic since counterfactual evidence would be required to do this and counterfactual evidence isn’t truth-functional (i.e. it can’t be true or false), as I pointed out on another Comment’s thread.

            So, I’d be at least tempted to say that, while the theory that bin Laden conspired to commit mass murder is falsifiable, the theory that human activity is causing catastrophic climate change isn’t – at least, not immediately so. Whether it is or it isn’t falsifiable depends on the quality of a helluva lot of antecedent theorising, all of which can be questioned, rather than simple and straightforward observation.

            I’d only add that the theory that, falsifiable or not, human activity is causing catastrophic climate change isn’t a conspiracy theory.

          3. Michael says:

            Isn’t it interesting that in the article above Mike implies that anyone who questions the evidence-free, “conspiracy theory” that: it’s Bin Landen what done it! (a conspiracy theory that has been used to justify the destruction and reshaping of the oil rich Middle East, billions in corporate contracts and restructuring of the west) is equivalent to a Flat Earthier and is either mentally ill or just plain stupid?

            There are people, other than the security services connected Bin Laden, who had the means and motivation to carry out the 9/11 attacks, and evidence that points to others. Shouldn’t such a paradigm shifting crime be investigated as such? Interestingly, the chairman, Governor Thomas Kean, and other members, of the only official investigation (not a criminal investigation!) into the crime, The 9/11 Commission, have said that the commission was “set up to fail”. It is remarkable that the 9/11 Commission and its final report are still held up as the final word on the events of September 11, 2001, when a majority of its own Commissioners admit that the commission was a cover-up and did not get to the bottom of the story! Perhaps the most cryptic of all the dissenting commissioners was Bob Kerrey who, in 2009, remarked that 9/11 was a “30-year old conspiracy,” but no mainstream reporter has ever followed up with him to clarify this statement!: (5.55mins in) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtJWBcWAeAw

            This is all to say that the terms “conspiracy theory” and “conspiracy theorist” are meaningless other than as labels to discredit and shut down discussion.

          4. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            I don’t think Mike’s implying any such thing. He appears to be implying that President Trump’s nominee for the vacancy on the US Supreme Court is a Trump puppet who lacks principle.

          5. Michael says:

            Okay. Not sure why he introduced 911 then. But obviously my misunderstanding!

          6. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            No idea. From the context, he seems to have been alluding to the widespread employment in contemporary political debate of the ‘reverse scientific method’, whereby researchers disregard the data that doesn’t fit their conclusion and then hail their research as leading to that conclusion as the only possible one. This method (what we in the trade call a ‘fallacy of incomplete evidence’) has been attributed to, among others, the 9/11 Truth movement in the construction of its various ‘inside-job’ narratives. This fallacy is a major problem in public debate. We live in an Age of Stupidity indeed.

          7. Michael says:

            It is ironic that the official story about 911 is a fallacy of incomplete evidence 🙂

          8. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

            I haven’t read the 9/11 Commission Report, so I can’t comment on the validity of its arguments. I have heard criticism, however, that, to protect the culpable within its apparatus, the US government established the Commission in a way that ensured it would fail. This claim was based on the later testimony of the two co-chairs of the Commission, in their book, ‘Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission’. It was, by several accounts, a whitewash.

  4. Daniel Raphael says:

    Michael, I think you want to edit your lead-in quotation. Here’s the accurate version:

    “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.” ― Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      It’s a pity that this cherry is the one that’s most commonly picked; so much so that it’s become a bit of a cliche when it comes to catastrophising the current state of our political culture.

      Arendt went on to argue that the strongest defence against totalitarianism is the rejuvenation of local governance. Since all democratic governance is susceptible to totalitarian as well as tyrannical impulses of ‘majorities’, the great danger in democracy is a unified sovereignty.

      Here’s my favourite Arendt quote:

      “The great and, in the long run, perhaps the greatest American innovation in politics as such was the consistent abolition of sovereignty within the body politics of the republic, the insight that in the realm of human affairs sovereignty and tyranny are the same.”

      This is why Arendt regrets the failure of a proposal Jefferson had put forth for breaking counties into wards and having each ward act as a miniature self-government. On the model of town council government, the wards would offer a space for all Americans to engage in the act of free self-government.

      Only local, contradictory, and pluralistic power centres offer both practice in self-government and a protection against tyranny and totalitarian government.

  5. William Ross says:

    Mike Small is trying to be a scientist again. Mike: I do not know of anyone who does not believe that the climate changes and has always changed. In the Middle Ages, the Vikings ploughed the fertile fields of Greenland. In the 17th century, there were ice fairs in the Thames. Amy Barnett was absolutely right to answer on climate change as she did. Her job is to apply the law and interpret the constitution, a job for which she is admirably qualified.

    William Nordhaus is a recent Nobel Prize winner in climate science. He believes in “climate change” and even believes that manmade activity is a significant contributor to climate. But he doesn’t see the world ending in 12 years. Perhaps you would place him with David Ickes? But then again you are the man who devoutly believes that Brexit was about re-constituting the British empire ( even though I never met anyone who ever argued that) and that the state policy of Minnesota is to kill blacks.

    You are into the realms of fantasy.

    William

  6. florian albert says:

    It is surprising that, in an article about conspiracy theories, there is no mention of the one which has acquired the greatest traction in Scotland in the last year; the belief that a group at the top of the SNP government and civil service made a determined effort to destroy the political career of the most important Scottish politician of the 21st century so far.

    Mike Small criticizes Amy Coney Barrett as an ‘unelected ideological player.’ It was nine such unelected ideological players who began the dismantling of segregation in the US in 1954, with the landmark ‘Brown v Board of Education’ judgement.

  7. Michael says:

    Mike, the amazing intellectual gymnastics, contortions, conflations, re-framing and out right claims of authority over rationality, facts ect in this article are as awesome as they are terrifying. I am minded though that people’s judgments usually highlight more about themselves than the issue at hand.

    The only things that are fundamentally different about the wold today, compared to the past, are 1) the integration of technology into every aspect of life and, 2) that most people in the west have been though a conditioning process within the institutional schooling system. Technology is facilitating much more subtle ways of conspiring to commit crimes and shape the world in favour of the powerful. And it is also allowing the average person to inquire much more readily into what is going on in the world and how the world works. For example, the naked conspiracy and brutality of, say, The English East India Company, just could not happen in the way that it did in today’s information environment. But the impulses that motivated that activity still exist and are finding new ways of being expressed.

    Unfortunately, people like you, who have studiously invested in learning the skills or language and who were conditioned in school to conflate intelligence with learning skills and jumping through institutional hoops, who have then gone on to become psychologically invested in being “influencers” and gatekeepers of acceptable thought (because you are, of course, so rational and clear sighted – saving the stupid and mentally ill from themselves) are experiencing this new found democracy in inquiry and thought as an existential threat.

    “the age of stupid” is just another meaningless label, like “conspiracy theory”, used to shut down intellectual exploration, by those that have invested their identities in an unquestioning believe in rationality – and therefore, somehow, their world view is always rational. It is a pathological self deception. But all too common.

    1. Anndrais mac Chaluim says:

      That’s the post-truth thing in a nutshell: all is judgement; and a body’s judgements reveal how that body is ‘minded’, or predisposed to act, rather than any so-called ‘truths’ about the world.

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