When it comes to absolutes, truth would seem to enjoy a copyright. After all, the word itself needs no explanation. Or does it? Well, Shakespeare’s admonition “This above all; to thine own self be true” is simple and straightforward. And likewise Ralph Waldo Emerson’s guidance that “Truth is the property of no individual but is the treasure of all...” also seems quite evident. Nor, in the strictest sense, can the truth actually be so, just because one says it is so.
Truth itself is not created, it just is, singular and exact. Truth is not subject to shades, although shaded it becomes, and all too frequently. It is impartial, yet others will cite it partially. Truth is eternal, yet depending on the circumstances it is quickly reduced to a finite being, and then changing upon the winds of accountability. What was once asserted as a certainty may, and often does, become a rationalization, but which nevertheless can only be viewed as a substitute, a diversion from the facts, a side step around reality. When the indictment comes down for instance, the indictee is astounded that sincerity and innocence were so badly misinterpreted by the victim, asserting that the truth will out at the trial. As is so often observed however, although only temporarily, the truth was also a victim.
There are those today who would set up government as the ultimate arbiter of what is real and factual, with the aim of now establishing certain additional truths, when in reality established truths have already been brokered and have had, and again if one is to be fully truthful, some diversions of their own. As all men are created equal for instance, women and some other men were not so equal at all times. Government itself can and does shade the truths declared to be inviolate Under God. And it is because of this certain truth, one needs be vigilant and attentive to any ideation or proposal seeking to institute an institute, to control what can be uttered, with the ultimate purpose of course of mandating what can be thought. Think present day Communist China or history’s Stalinist Russia, for example.
One need not roam so far however in order to probe the ways of those intent on creating a totalitarianist society or to examine the role of truth and how it can be manipulated by these purveyors of autocracy and one party rule. At present there is a move afoot in the Halls of Congress on this very subject. Recently Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), tagged by journalists with the more convenient AOC, which itself is a subtitle for American Progressive Politics of the present day, has stated, “We’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so you can’t spew disinformation and misinformation” which of course is coded language to those receptive to this type of speech, but dangerous to all; that is to say she would rein in the media not in conformity with her brand. Surely she is not suggesting that all speech be curtailed, but only those chatterings coming from those who would be in conflict with her own agenda. And here it is. “I think that there’s a lot of people more concerned about being precisely, factually and semantically correct than about being morally right.” Aside from what she is actually trying to say, that arbiters must silence those who would speak in precise and factually correct terms, a position that is unbelievable in and of itself, such a practice would only permit language which is “morally right”. This type of thinking proposes the establishment of a system of government where the government itself declares what is moral, and what is not. Surely the rule of law must rule the day, but so long as the rights of others are respected and peace abided, who is to say one morality should fit all; a creed only depotism would preach.
Also recently the Grey Lady published a piece advising that the Biden Administration think about the creation of the office of a “reality czar”, based upon the paper’s research into disinformation, domestic terrorism, and recommendations from “experts” it contacted. It can be honestly noted that The New York Times is among a number of publications, both left leaning and right sided, no pun intended, that act as curators of those nagging half truths, shaded truths and in some cases outright mistruths, that tarnish the absolute, absolutely. To suggest that government should establish adjudicators of truth, while themselves actively engaging in the dissemination of exaggeration, bias and so-called fake news, belies the true intent, which is to create an environment where such reporting can not only continue but thrive.
“Truth is incontrovertible, ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.” Winston Churchill. Nor would a Ministry of Truth or Czar of Reality change that simple fact. Truly.