.. things one really knows ...
.. things one thinks one knows ...
.. things one can simply *never* know
Preamble: There are two opposing philosophical outlooks of interest here, a) the (eternal?) optimist: "We never had it so good!" - vs. b) the (pragmatic?) pessimist: "*Must* do better... " Given the current 'state of play,' I choose pessimism. We will start with a few of the things going wrong:
1. Run-away pollution. Any sort of pollution is always bad news, since it has the potential to poison or otherwise negatively affect our once jewel-like planet's life-supporting ecosphere. Excess-CO2 may be the worst pollutant, in that it could - if not sufficiently reversed most likely will - induce a climate-change catastrophe.
Q: Are any effective steps being taken? A: No; since the result could be terminal for most life as we know (& like) it; possibly the greatest leadership failure.
2. Excess population growth. «The Limits to Growth is a 1972 book modeling the consequences of a rapidly growing world population and finite resource supplies, commissioned by the Club of Rome.» From 4bio in 1974, we are about to cross the 7bio line, with 9.2bio as estimated peak. Already, some resource limits may have been exceeded.
Q: Were effective steps taken? A: If any then not sufficient (too little, too late), some even to the contrary; another leadership failure.
3. Systemic economic failure. As one of the 1st, Thatcher cried "TINA!" and began neoliberalising. Add Reagan, Hawke/Keating, Clinton, Howard/Costello, Blair et al.. (Note bipartisan; why that?) As a result, in combination with globalisation policies, economies across the planet are failing, most people getting less well off etc. These policies were deliberate, continue to be implemented and even extended to affect more victims.
Q: Any effective steps being taken? A: No; *deliberate* leadership failure.
4. More war, rather than less. The UN was *supposed* to eliminate war; fell pretty well at the 1st hurdle (UNGA181). The UN 'good intentions' have been crippled, mainly by the US, mainly in the service of Israel and/or US' empire/hegemony.
Q: Any effective steps being taken? A: No; *more, worse & ghastly* deliberate leadership failures.
From the above (incomplete) list, we can see that things are *not* getting better, the obvious, biggest question Q: Why not? Why such grievous *leadership* failures?
Thesis: The world is imperilled by these and other *leadership* failures, so-termed since we the sheople have *NO* effective control over our so-called 'leadership.' They do = fail, we suffer.
Sub-thesis: Our so-called 'democracies' mostly do not work = sham.
1) Things one *really* knows ... in comparison (1:7bio), not much. An old saw: "Trust half of what one sees, far less of what one hears." Already we hit a, if not *the* problem; Q: Why trust half/less, why not trust *all*? Simple (but not simplistic) A: Lies.
Q: Who wants to be deceived? A: Not me. Worse, IF voters are deceived THEN democracy is destroyed, since deceived voters cannot possibly deliver informed votes.
Q: Are we the sheople being lied to? A: Yes, ergo democracy *impossible* - the 1st of three blows, *all* fatal.
Proof: "All politicians lie!" - Thanks, but "No, thanks!" to Howard.
Corollary: Lying so-called 'leaders' have a looong history, see Plato's 'noble lie.'
Debunk: My main thesis; our so-called leaders' lies are now so 'advanced' that they may well be killing the planet's ecosphere & therefore killing us, we the sheople off, as 'collaterals.' The wiki even says as much: "whereas noble lies ... would ... cause discord if uncovered." - Gotta be stopped! And not so BTW, so-called 'élites' are totally mis-named; there's nothing élite about crime - seemingly their forte (will be elaborated, even if not already apparent).
Summary: IF 'things one really knows' are only derived from personal experience (necessarily limited) OR untrustworthy sources, THEN we're condemned in large part to (relative) ignorance. See next.
2) Things one *thinks* one knows: Say the things that we read, hear &/or see via the (corrupt & venal) MSM. A personal anecdote:
Many years ago, I had a 'debate' with a friend over Israel vs. Palestine. I argued pro-IL, she pro-Palestine. It turns out that she had it mostly correct, and me almost everything totally wrong. The point of this story: I had accumulated almost all of my current-affairs 'knowledge' from the local publicly-financed broadcaster, then & still known as the AusBC. In a nutshell, I had trusted the AusBC - but they had lied (not just 'little whites' - Oh no!) Here is a *grave* problem. The AusBC was then, as it remains, a taxpayer-financed agency of the government, indirectly but literally 'our' AusBC. That they *dare* lie to us means that they are 'permitted' by the government to so lie, confirming that neither the government nor the AusBC are our 'friends.' Thus (via GWBush), IF they are not our friends THEN both the government and the AusBC are our enemies. All this before we get to the 'for profit' MSM, i.e. on the one hand Murdoch's News Ltd./theAus group, on the other 'extremist' talk-back radio. No need to say much, if anything, more.
A BTW re the AusBC: Allegations of 'left bias' are risible; one only needs to read/listen/watch for a while to see huge pro-US, pro-IL, pro-war, pro-religion, not to mention pro-Liberal bias. Any alleging 'left bias' is either an outright idiot/liar, a trouble-maker, or both & more.
The point: As with the politicians, the 'news-gateways' relay & often actively augment lies, again making proper democracy impossible.
3) Things one can simply *never* know: How may one list 'known unknowns?' (Thanks, but "No, thanks!" to Rumsfeld) Physicists (Heisenberg, say) tell us that there are things, mostly in the quantum frame, that we may never know, i.e. "that certain pairs of physical properties, such as position and momentum, cannot be simultaneously known." Note that there is an 'or' in there; we may determine one but not the other, we have an 'or' choice, and it is *not* as if we may know *nothing*. But there is *one* important one, in no *physical* frame at all, namely the (non!)existence of some g*d (or other/s). We do know, also from science, that our universe is 'closed' via the conservation laws. No message = information (mass or light, nothing) may either 'leave to' or 'arrive from' 'outside' our universe - for *two* very good reasons; (1) any such 'transmission' would violate the conservation laws and (2, much worse); Q: How can one define 'outside?' A: Impossible. But again, that's the whole point of religion & the 'g*d-delusion,' the impossible is claimed possible - via 'faith.' Their 'next trick' is to claim that yes, their g*d is in fact *supernatural*, again on faith alone (aka lacking any evidence; circular). This gives rise to 'belief is what some do in the absence of evidence.' All I can say in this 'here&now' is "Suit yourself!"
There is a point to my anti-religious diatribe, namely this(these):
1. By 'promising' life (and/or justice) after death, religion reduces the need and opportunity to properly enjoy life in the 'here&now' *and* reduces the need and opportunity to properly pursue criminals. A *very* convenient, ultra-cynical swindle.
2. Again worse; by 'hoaxing' people into believing an impossibility, they propagate what may be the biggest lie of all. After *that* particular 'extreme-of-extremes' lie, propagating all other lies must be a doddle.
Not such a BTW re g*d/religion: There is an 'Age of Reason' before which children are vulnerably gullible (it's in their survival-interests to place 100% trust in their primary-carers). Beginning the above referred to hoaxing *before* the child's 'Age of Reason,' especially by presenting the 'believe in g*d and get eternal life - or else' swindle, (usually?) allied with scaring the child with the fear of death, is about the worst child-abuse possibly imaginable. Minds (indeed, whole lives) handicapped, basically before they even start.
Facit: Lies are the 'gateway' to crime. ('Basic' crimes = lies, cheating, theft & murder.) Lies are deployed to deceive, and deceivers are out to rip you off, if not kill you. See 62+ bloody years of land-theft from Palestine by murdering Zionists (Zs = the worst liars on the planet), the (mainly) US theft of (the returns from) resources (via resource-rent, say), the (mainly) US lust for oil leading the US to wide-scale aggression, one result the current side-effect revolutions among the repressed & ripped-off Arab/Muslim citizenry. There's lots more, like the US rape of South America (death-squads, support for tyrants). Then, see . Q: Why '(mainly) US?' A: With appr. 5% of the world's population, the US consumes appr. 25% of the world's resources; that didn't happen by chance. The US 'defense' (actually attack) budget rivals the entire rest of the world's arms-spend, and it's mainly the US a) attacking resource-owners and/or ripping them off & b) pushing neoliberal 'voodoo' economics. [This section slightly revised on 7Mar'11.]
Since lies are the 'gateway' to crime, stopping lies is the first step to stopping the crimes - before the crimes (cheating = banks etc., other rip-offs = thefts, by war = (mass)murders, worst: *lack* of leadership climate-change catastrophe) - before the (mainly) US(Z) crimes stop us all - dead.
Plato is sooo yesterday; we *demand* proper democracy!
(Read  yet?)
PS The 'noble lie' swindle *exactly* explains the unreasoned and unreasonable US rage at Wikileaks; the leaked = exposed US lies turn out to be anything *but* noble. Time to boot the lying, perfidious ruling-class right *out*?
 lie2 -n. 1 intentionally false statement (tell a lie). 2 something that deceives. -v. (lies, lied, lying) 1 tell a lie or lies. 2 (of a thing) be deceptive. give the lie to: show the falsity of (a supposition etc.). [Old English] [POD]
 The other two blows: 2) False = no effective choice, reduced choice (i.e. no matter who 'wins' we still cooperate in US aggressive wars); worse, when Lib=Lab=bipartisan, which allows the voter no real choice at all, and 3) representatives who after election a) do what *they* want to do (as opposed to doing the will of the majority, whilst protecting any minorities) and b) who generally favour the sheoples' *enemies* = vested interests = the 'big end of town' - by privatising the sheople's utilities, say. Such representatives are literally both worse than nothing and worth less than nothing. [This section slightly revised on 7Mar'11.]
 «In politics a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony. The noble lie is a concept originated by Plato as described in The Republic. A noble lie, although it may benefit all parties, is different from a white lie since a white lie does not cause discord if uncovered whereas noble lies are usually of a nature such that they would do so.»
 promise -n. 1 assurance that one will or will not undertake a certain action etc. [POD]
Note that the 'g*d promise' is both unverifiable & unpunishable; the dead *never* come back. Oh! Except, for believers, that single, very special once. Just how desperate, how gullible, how *pitiful* is that?
 «If Rumsfeld thinks that the main dangers in the confrontation with Iraq were the "unknown unknowns," that is, the threats from Saddam whose nature we cannot even suspect, then the Abu Ghraib scandal shows that the main dangers lie in the "unknown knowns" - the disavowed beliefs, suppositions and obscene practices we pretend not to know about, even though they form the background of our public values.»
Although Rumsfeld&Co told vicious lies and Žižek's formulation is not perfect, one point is *supremely* important; it is in fact the point of this essay, namely the "disavowed [facts, crimes] we pretend not to know about." We are subjected to a barrage of lies, submerged into what I call the pushed-propaganda paradigm. Things happening, things reported even half-honestly by the MSM, are somehow (PR-tricks; not for nothing did Bernays re-brand propaganda as PR) - minimised into unimportance - when in fact we should be screaming for relief = stop the killing, restore justice. US/Z wars and depredations are effectively 'should not occur' travesties = murder + theft injustices - yet the world just rolls on, apparently oblivious. Q: Why? A: Lies. Remedy: Stop *all* lies, restore justice (to the hapless Palestinians & similar victims) - and reinstate 'The Enlightenment' (via proper democracy) as our *honourable* target.
[Back to «Facit»]
the TINA lie,
& other such leadership failures
.. things one really knows ...