Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Quote of the Day ... Hannah Arendt

"Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself. ... The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda--before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone's disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world--lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world."

Sounds like Fox News, don't it?


  1. The Left always gets fixated on the lying aspect of this. What the Left doesn't realize is that the Right has a totally different view of what "truth" is. They don't see themselves as lying. It's why they are so good at it.

    The truth is that which is spoken by a truth speaker. A lie is that which is spoken by a liar. There is no objective truth. There is only power to assert truth. It becomes true when it is spoken by a truth speaker. A liar speaks lies. Even if it sounds true, it is a lie, because liars lie. It's what they do.

    It is odd how much more socially deterministic the Right is than the Left. They think of themselves as objective and yet they determine reality in an almost wholly social manner. They hear "Obama is a Muslim" repeated (or implied) ad nauseum. When no one contradicts it (no one "reliable", at least) it becomes reality to them. And it is just a label devoid of meaning anyway. They can't put it into any context. They just repeat it and look around... Is anyone grimacing? Is there any disapproval? No? Then it is "true". And really, this behavior is not limited to the Right. We all determine truth to an extent by the nods and smirks of those around us. It's just that the Right has waged war on objectivity, science, and reason for so long that their shock troops (the Tea Party) are unable to make objective assessments of anything. It's all birdsong to them. And they live in a world where words have no meaning.

    This, coupled with the fact that admitting you are wrong is taken as a confession of weakness in the Right Wing world creates the ever-deepening echo chamber of something like FOX. And they are drunk on their power. They are giddy like overgrown children at the fact that their shock troops will show up at rallies toting machine guns and posters of the President in the crosshairs of a sniper scope. They are sociopaths at FOX, and they think it is all a joke. Unfortunately, sociopaths are willing to push a joke to the point of getting other people killed.

  2. Sociopaths beget more sociopaths, and hence why we'll have the displeasure of watching some wacko burn a gazillion Qur'ans Saturday. Again, another birthday weekend ruined. Can we say an eye for an eye?? Shameful.

  3. I'm reading Chalmers Johnson's latest book. He is always quoting or referring to Hanna Arendt. I tried, I can't read her.