The Consolations of Philosophy

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Peace Activists on the Flotilla

Never mind what the press or the diplomats say happened, the above is what happened.  The Times Online reports that “Security Council members, who had broken off from their spring holiday to hold an emergency session prepared a draft document calling on Israel to lift its blockade and immediately release the ships and hundreds of international activists arrested on board them. ” That some of the “peace activists” were members of the Islan Haklary Ve Hurriyetleri Vakfi, itself an organization of ill-repute, is irrelevant. Nothing must get in the way of the narrative, the facts least of all. But the reason anyone should care about the gap between reality and conventional wisdom has nothing to do with what one may think of Israel. The main reason to worry is that it illustrates the Western addiction to fiction,  an addiction which sooner or later will have practical consequences. That addiction was also being pandered to on the other side of the world.


Another truth that no one wishes to admit is that North Korea sank the South Korean warship Cheonan, an act which the Security Council will no account denounce with the same vehemence as the interception of the “peace activists.”  Notwithstanding the physical evidence nor the recovery of the North Korean torpedo which sank the ship, since China doesn’t admit to North Korea’s culpability what is factually true can never become officially true. It’s the narrative and the narrative and the narrative. The Christian Science Monitor reports that Seoul is already adjusting itself to the emerging line.

One day after China refused to take a stand against North Korea over the March 26 sinking of South Korea’s Cheonan naval ship, South Korea appears to be moderating its rhetoric against the North over the Cheonan sinking. …

First, South Korea’s defense ministry said it was putting off a propaganda campaign of balloon drops and mega-loudspeaker broadcasts into North Korea that the North had said it would answer by firing into the speakers. Then South Korea’s unification ministry indicated the government was carefully modulating its responses to the Cheonan sinking in order to test the North Korean response.

“We should decide policy considering various considerations,” was the highly ambivalent reply of the vice unification minister, Um Jong-sik, when asked why the government had decided to delay a propaganda blitz that was certain to invite outrage from the North.


Both cases demonstrate that nothing is more paramount either to the establishment nor to the politically correct sections of the media than the maintenance of a lie. For the lie is in the service of the greater good. High reasons of policy will be invoked to explain why the truth should not be so. But the extreme reliance on fantasy by parts of the Western establishment goes well beyond surrounding a kernel of the truth with a “bodyguard of lies.” Instead it is the lie itself which is guarded by even more falsehoods.  Gradually and inexorably, an entire political class has staked its existence on continuation of falsehood. The greater good is the fiction. Deception has become a necessity in itself.

As a result, any moderately well informed individual knows that there is no Islamic extremism, nor even terrorism. There are only man made disasters. Everybody knows that we can borrow our way out of debt, that the welfare state is the sustainable wave of the future; that Egypt has no border with Gaza through which it can provide supplies if it wanted; that the UN has kept Hezbollah from importing hundreds of missiles into Lebanon; that the thought of a handful of Jews has kept hundreds of millions of oil-rich Muslims from attaining prosperity; and that Global Warming is the main danger facing the planet Earth. That these assertions are untrue hardly matters; that they are indisputable is what seems to count. For who shall dispute them?


Reality might. And therein lies the problem.

Here’s what is going to happen with one hundred percent certainty. All of these lies will explode with considerable force in the faces of political establishment. Nothing can prevent it. Just as reality eventually exposed the hollowness of the financial bubble and showed that nothing was “too big to fail,” eventually it will demonstrate to our extreme cost, that no lie can be maintained forever. That is the real reason anyone should really care about what happened on the “peace flotilla.” We are as corrupt as a preacher in a whorehouse. It ain’t what we don’t know that will hurt us, it’s what we know that ain’t so that will drive the dagger into our hearts.

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