In almost every (if not in every) authoritarian regime, there are people whose job it is to tell you what the “truth looks like.” As well, they’re generally tasked with convincing you how you ought to feel about what they pronounce.
If you look back at Nazi Germany, at the former U. S. S. R., looking at China today, and even here in the United States at the present moment, this same way of doing business is becoming prevalent.
In this country, it’s being more covertly directed and mostly being “run by” willing accomplices, the mainstream (and other) media, and on platforms termed parts of “social media.”
For the record, believing such entities, and giving them carte blanche, pretty much never works out well for those who do so.
The reality of life is, you can almost invariably count on the supposed purveyors of truth, to become intoxicated with the power such a position offers them.
To make things worse, some are sufficiently weak of mind, that they’ll find ways to “get paid for” espousing a given party line. These are—funnily—the less dangerous individuals.
The more dangerous, are those who either wish to manipulate the narrative to the advantage of themselves or others “because they can,” and the folks who are “true believers” in what they’re putting out there for public consumption.
In my way of thinking though, the most dangerous of all, is those who swallow talking points, without taking the time to at least try to verify what they’ve heard.
I get that it can be hard to do—to ensure the veracity of what supposed “authorities” are putting in front of you.
I also understand the perspective (though I consider it both wrong, and dangerous) that says, “When I come home from a hard day at work—in the steel mill, or scrubbing toilets, or frankly whatever—I don’t want to have to think. I want others to tell me what I need to know, and I want to trust them when they do so.”
I’m well aware of the difficulty of both.
In the long run though, you may think what you want, but if you let others push stories at you, without working to truly understand what’s being said, the potential harm to you can be all but irreparable—not to mention the collective potential effect(s) on society.
What makes this worse, is the number of folks who seem intent on not just believing what’s put out there, but not allowing a “cooling off period,” in which they watch to see how things unfold.
There are certainly times in life when you must “strike while the iron is hot” (I wonder how many don’t realize that’s a reference to the work of the humble smithy, who could only work the metal when it was nigh to molten?).
As I’ve gained years though, I have come to understand something many younger people (myself as a child, teen and twenty-to-thirty-something, being among them), do not seem to get.
About what am I speaking? That old adage, “Patience is a virtue.” is more than just a trite phrase.
The sad thing about the tale Mr Shakespeare told about “Romeo and Juliet,” is that the lives of the young folks ensconced therein, were lived very largely in “passion.”
Put simply, had the one realized the other was not dead, that one would not have sought to take his or her own life, in response to something that wasn’t really true.
Instead—as the story goes—this is more or less precisely what occurred.
I get the desire to deal with things as they happen.
That being true, I very well understand that trying to deal with things that have passed without a solid understanding of what actually transpired, is not just a bad thing, but it can make one believe something that isn’t really the case, actually came to pass (or didn’t, as the case may be).
I’ve elaborated somewhat on this, in videos and articles I’ve written in past.
Examples can be found in looking at police actions against people supposedly based solely on “race”—a word I don’t quite despise when it’s applied to humanity (we’re not even all one race, we’re literally one species).
There’s a tendency to assume all facts are known long before they’re actually truly available.
In fact, this is a thing on which certain individuals are counting.
It’s also the case in political narratives. People will say things they know will stoke the coals of passion, knowing fully what they’re putting forth is not accurate.
This is particularly easy, when you have a large swath of the populace at large, who consume only the most convenient of sources for news and other such information—and the ones that stroke their collective ego, or advance viewpoints with which they agree.
This brings me to another group of malefactors (I would say as a whole). That would be supposed “fact checkers.”
In almost every case these evil people are seeking to forward an agenda.
Are vaccines for a given malady efficacious? Ask the “fact checkers” for a supposedly definitive answer!
If you’re paying attention to someone like me (not that I’m perfect where this is concerned), you’ll hear something like, “I don’t think so.”
But I won’t stop there, I’ll make it clear you shouldn’t assume my word is some sort of law—that I’m some paragon of wisdom—to whom you should bow.
I’m not saying nothing I discuss is based on “fact,” but let’s face it, even facts change.
More importantly, I may have part of the story, but lack some significant detail (or even more than one), that would change my outlook.
I told a fellow just yesterday, “This is what I believe on this particular thing.” but had to follow that up with, “But you should always come to conclusions based on a broader perspective than mine alone.”
In short, when somebody presents him or her self—fact checker or not—as some sort of oracle, you should politely decline to accept him or her in such a role.
Yes, that does include me.
Fail to do so at your own peril.
I can think of just one exception. If there’s a Deity (and I believe the God of the Bible is such), you can “take that one at his or her word.”
For men? I don’t ever suggest doing so. If you’ve the time to verify what they have to say, you should.
You will make your own choice where this idea is concerned. I pray it’s a good one.