Monday, November 21, 2016

Neo-Liberalism & Post-Truth

It is now getting a bit confusion over the proper meaning of liberalism. In ordinary English, liberalism simply means being easy and without any hang-ups and that you allow others to do what they wish, while you carry on happily along with your own insignificant little life. Liberalism means absolute tolerance of yourself and of others, the fundamental tenet being probably that life is too short for each of us to hamper each other.

Now, if you were to mix the notion of liberalism with that amorphous idea of democracy, you would probably get the idea that you could do whatever you like to disrupt the current system of things because you feel that there is an injustice and a wrong somewhere and that you are the person to contribute to that correction, simply because you have the liberty and the instrument to do it.

So the liberal democrats in their yellow T-shirts congregated in the city centre to demonstrate their disgust with the current regime because the current regime has done something that is wrong morally and they wish the government of the day will simply just step down. The pro-regime red T-shirts exercising what they saw to be their equally justifiable right to counter-demonstrate in support of the government of the day.

We have also elsewhere losers in a presidential election stepping up into the streets and the limelight to shout into the faces of the winners that they did not agree with their values and what they had said during the very hot campaign and what the winners to step down so that the losers can take over because of their more liberal stance, all in the name of democracy.

What puzzles me is that what is the point of having a debate if we are all supposed to subscribe to the same views in the first place. I thought the diversity of ideas as a result of the challenging of the norm and the opportunity to speak the seemingly ridiculous has been the way forward of our current civilisation, a process which has carried us out of the dark ages and into the light of logic, deduction, experiments and all that comes under the term of creativity and innovation. Of course, we also learn from history that some of the greatest disruptors of obsolete conventions had to die for their realisations. So, the truth can be ugly and at times bloody.

However, maybe it is precisely because of the shortness of our time in this life and our ignorance of reality that we guard so vehemently our own little world with our own little truths or falsehoods whichever that give us our mental and material comfort that we are so ready to kill those who dare to destroy our sense of being.

In trying to protect our own vulnerable sense of our own little truths, we are therefore inclined to be swayed and we also work so hard to try to sway those of like-minds with emotive words that touch our hearts but which contain no substantive truth that emotional rant seems to be the instrument of the present and the future to create a world that only we and our like-minds are happy to inhabit. We are now in the world of post-truth, the new word in the Oxford Dictionary for now.

It is no more sufficient for anyone of us to speak our truth softly and gently. We are now required to shout and be heard above the crowds, the lonely crowds who live their atomic lives through the electronic handphones while ignoring those standing next to them. Post-Reality?

3 comments:

walla said...

http://tinyurl.com/hhwh38t

etheorist said...

walla. welcome back. I have been streaken by an emotional malaise.

walla said...

Sorry to hear that. Me too, if of any consolation.

As mortals we are consigned to pay for everything synchronized to some cycle in (and across)life.

If you know of any job opening for someone like me with a 'special set of skills' that will not displace opportunities for anyone else especially the young, hope you can relay the info. My funds end in five years.

There was a second comment of about fifty links. It vanished the moment it was posted.

I'll continue to write if you continue to blog.