Age of sincerity

Resultado de imagem para Former British prime minister Tony Blair in 2017. Photo by Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/GettyImage edited by Web Investigator. Former British prime minister Tony Blair in 2017. Photo by Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg/Getty

In politics, as in militant religion, the performance of sincerity is everything, no matter whether right or wrong

Faisal Devji is a university reader in modern south Asian history at St Antony’s College at the University of Oxford, where he is also the director of the Asian Studies Centre. His latest book is Muslim Zion: Pakistan as a Political Idea (2013).

A generation ago, the philosopher Judith Shklar at Harvard argued that hypocrisy is one of the ordinary vices. By mimicking virtue, Shklar pointed out, the hypocrite tacitly acknowledges and helps to maintain the moral order in public, even as he betrays it privately. Indeed, the hypocrite can even be congratulated for refusing to tolerate any outright infractions of this order. Precisely because it is so commonplace, hypocrisy rarely assumes any real political importance.

On occasion, however, the problem of hypocrisy takes on a spectacular role in politics. Now is such a time; hypocrisy is making a lot of people very angry. Today, in the United States and in western Europe, anger over hypocrisy, especially that of liberals, is driving politics. Both the Left and Right in the US and Europe mobilise support by calling attention to liberal hypocrisy. Liberals, both Left and Right allege, have ignored the economic or cultural consequences of immigration and globalisation for working-class people. To anyone who raises questions about globalisation or immigration, liberals shout accusations of bigotry and ignorance.

Critics of liberalism claim to counter its signature hypocrisy with their sincerity. If hypocrisy is bad, even fatally bad, sincerity is good. Sincerity, in this formulation, is tantamount to free and honest speech. It is possible to be sincere only when one is joyfully liberated from liberals’ supposedly stifling ‘political correctness’, a synonym for hypocrisy dredged up from what Americans call the ‘culture wars’ of the 1980s.

The reappearance of ‘political correctness’ (a strangely dated reference) as the enemy of sincerity is telling. Both terms seem a bit old-fashioned. After all, in contemporary usage, the most familiar appearance of sincerity is the formulaic ‘sincerely yours’ in correspondence. There, ‘sincerity’ implies nothing more than cool politeness and is not taken as being hypocritical.

However old-fashioned the conception of sincerity, it is crucial to today’s politics. But sincerity, importantly, is not concerned with the agreement between word and deed, or theory and practice, which determines hypocrisy. Sincerity rather depends on the relationship, the harmony between word and belief. Far more important than what one says, in other words, is whether one believes it. The former British prime minister Tony Blair has provided perhaps the first contemporary example in the West of the return of sincerity to politics. In a rambling press conference in July 2016, he defended his key role in the invasion of Iraq. As a defence, Blair invoked the genuineness of his belief, on the eve of the Iraq War, in the imminent threat he thought Saddam Hussein’s regime posed to the West. He did not rest his case on the rightness or wrongness of his views, nor on his consequent actions.

It is facile to see Blair’s emphasis on the state of his own beliefs, his quasi-religious faith, merely as a self-serving evasion.

Blair’s statement is representative of our age. Not only does it concern the historic Iraq War, it presumes throughout that when ‘facts’ are either unavailable or doubtful, sincerity reigns. Sincerity becomes more important than one’s position, more important than whether one is promoting or repudiating facts. Of course, our media-saturated, or ‘mediated’, age has not brought clarity of facts, but something closer to the opposite. All facts can now be questioned, precisely because outside such media they seem to possess no verifiable existence. Truth is therefore made in decision as a kind of wager, rather than discovered by knowledge in the form of certitude…



The 25 Rules of Disinformation

by Isaac Davis, Staff Writer Waking Times 

We are in the post-constitutional era in the United States, a time when the government does whatever it wants to whomever it wants, and there is not a thing anyone can do about it.

How it is possible that the president can bomb a foreign country or threaten a full-scale international war without so much as even mentioning the need for Congress to chime in, let alone actually vote on a declaration of war?

The short answer is, disinformation and propaganda, which is the domain of mainstream media. When people are confused, when truth is hidden, when agendas are presented as life or death options, and when the public has no clue about which laws government is bound to, then anything goes.

Regarding disinformation, the following list of 25 rules of disinformation is from Twenty-Five Ways To Suppress Truth: The Rules of Disinformation (Includes The 8 Traits of A Disinformationalist) by H. Michael Sweeney, and offers a comprehensive way of processing information in a time of universal deceit.

READ: 11 Tactics Used by the Mainstream Media to Manufacture Consent for the Oligarchy

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.

3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.

4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.

5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.

6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.

7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.

8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.

9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.

10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source…


About the Author
Isaac Davis is a staff writer for and Survival Tips blog. He is an outspoken advocate of liberty and of a voluntary society. He is an avid reader of history and passionate about becoming self-sufficient to break free of the control matrix. Follow him on Facebook, here.
This article (The 25 Rules of Disinformation) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Isaac Davis and It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.


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