We live in interesting times.
When writing about current events, politics, culture, etc., one common trope/rhetorical device is to opine about what “future historians” will say. This, of course, assumes that there will be a future and that there will be historians in it.
I majored in history. My love of history was based upon the assumption that there is such a thing as reality in which empirical facts are permanent and unchanging. Facts are what they are, and they don’t care what you think of them. As the saying goes, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but nobody is entitled to their own facts.”
Sadly, we have entered a new era in which facts are indistinguishable from opinion. Believe it, and it will be so. Facts are now malleable. If facts get in your way, change them. And one can even create new facts out of thin air.
According to George Orwell, doublethink is:
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself—that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word—doublethink—involved the use of doublethink.
The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies—all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.
Our nation was founded by Enlightenment thinkers who believed in empiricism. One of the greatest political philosophers in history was the guy who wrote our Declaration of Independence. Tommy Jefferson’s empiricism is self-evident in the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”
But that was long ago in a galaxy far, far away. When a large human being with a penis, testicles, and prostate can say, “I identify as a woman” and others nod in agreement, you ain’t living in an Age of Reason. You’re living in the Age of Wokeness.
In an Age of Reason, the current kerfluffle involving Ukraine would have been resolved with the release of the transcript of the call between President Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine.
Any talk of impeachment would be centered on Joe Biden and the controversy would be whether to impeach Biden now or wait until we see if he wins (because if he loses it would be moot.)
In the Age of Wokeness, the only thing that is self-evident is that Donald Trump is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors. It does not matter what the facts show (or don’t show) because we know he is guilty. J’accuse.
Back in the Age of Reason, a person who was accused of a crime was entitled to a presumption of innocence and due process of law. In the Age of Wokeness, concepts like fairness and due process still exist, but they do not apply to everyone equally. Some people are entitled to more fairness, others less. This also applies to other things, like assessing the credibility of witnesses.
How much fairness and due process a person is entitled to is determined by their Oppression Quotient (OQ). The more oppressed you are, the higher your OQ. The higher your OQ, the more fairness and due process you get.
The the Age of Reason, facts are stubborn things. In the Age of Wokeness, facts are determined by their relationship to the desired outcomes. Anything that does not support the desired outcome is not a fact. Anything that supports the desired outcomes is an incontestable fact.
For nearly three years the single most desired outcome on the entire planet is the impeachment and removal from office of President Donald J. Trump. The following allegations against President Donald J. Trump support that outcome:
Obstruction of justice
Violations of campaign financing laws relating to hush money paid to Stormy Daniels
Firing incompetent/corrupt administration officials
Foreigners staying in Trump hotels
Calling Nazis good people
Pressuring Ukraine and China to manufacture dirt on Joe Biden
These allegations are therefore incontestable facts.
COMING NEXT WEEK:
Financial planning for Democratic Socialists – How to get woke and get rich as a public servant