“It already feels as though we are living in an alternative science-fiction universe where no one agrees on what is true. Just think how much worse it will be when fake news becomes fake video. Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality. We’re about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds.”
Henry J. Farrell and Rick Perstein, “Out Hackable Political Future,” The New York Times, February 5, 2018
A Post-truth Corridor to the Classroom
“Post-truth” registers fear in the Heartland, a kind of devolution into a place where “no one agrees on what is true.” It is also a term unconnected with our Western culture paradigm movement from classic realist, Enlightenment modernity, 20th century modernism and postmodernity.
Any variation the word “postmodern” launched attacks from both portside and starboard side thinkers, representing to the former a deconstructing of a rod of critical reason needed to slay the Capitalist monster. For the latter, it represented a deconstructing of absolute and universal foundations of Truth and Reality.
There was, however, no popular and everyday level of representation of the postmodern. Not so with “post-truth” which has a large press online and offline mostly related to the awareness that we can no longer convince each other as to what is really going on, what is really true and what is patently false.
Extending that to the awareness that perhaps we all do not share the same reality does indeed make us think we are in “an alternative science-fiction universe.”
We now have a street level awareness that there doesn’t seem to be any external points of adjudicating reference that are acceptable to those who disagree with you or those disagreeing in Congress or with the President.
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