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Wednesday, 26 June 2019

The truth is a human perspective (2)

Recently, AOC (D) and Mitch McConnell (R) both made an extreme comparison. AOC compared U.S. immigrant detention centers to WW2 concentration camps. The Republican compared various Democratic initiatives to "full-bore socialism on the march in the House". Both politicians are stretching their truths to an uncomfortable level.

Perhaps worse is that both politicians seem to have no idea to what exactly they are comparing. They both seem to have their own flawed notion about concentration camps (eg, WE) and socialism (eg, NY). Apparently, all is fair in love and (political) war (classroomWiki).

An expat friend once called the Netherlands a socialist country. From his Indian perspective, he may indeed be right. From a Dutch perspective, I fully disagreed. Once you know about (European) socialism, you know better.

The American examples made me wonder: how far can you stretch your truth before it becomes a lie? Presumably, both comparisons were not intentional falsehoods but emotional reflections of their beliefs and their truth. If there would be false intentions behind these extreme comparisons, both statements would qualify as deliberate falsehoods - or lies.

In part one of this blog, I concluded that lying is falsifying any truth. Following this part 2, that phrase should have been: lying is the intentional falsification of any truth. Without intentions, it becomes something like (extreme) exaggeration, including boasting.

Certain people like to throw names at others, like fascist or Nazi. I still have a hard time explaining why a labour party like the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NDSAP) ended up becoming the (abbreviated) Nazi party. Even my retired German neighbour was unable to explain this anomaly. However, in 2016, we witnessed that one person can change an entire party.

Trump is not a fascist or Nazi, if only because he lacks a mission and/or vision. If anything, he's a demagogue. His political agenda is limited to destroying his predecessors' legacies. His personal agenda is just more money and more power - for himself and his family. His Chinese, Russian and Turkish frenemies do have a mission beyond their personal wealth: restoring their former empires and not getting on the wrong side of history.

In April 2019, the Washington Post reported that "President Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims" (eg, Guardian). That report was mainly interesting to comedians (videos). Nobody else seems to care any longer. Again, the truth is a human perspective.

It feels, however, that the 45th U.S. President gives new meaning to a Mahatma Gandhi quote:
“Truth never damages a cause that is just.” 

Demagogue (2016) by Franz Ferdinand


Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless stated otherwise

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