The Crowd Is Untruth
We hear a lot about truth these days. We hear a lot about science. We hear a lot about the Constitution, and democracy. But the question is who’s truth? Who’s science? Who’s Constitution? Who’s democracy?
One person’s peaceful protest is another person’s riot. One person’s free and fair election is another person’s assault on democracy. Some people look at China’s and see unfair trade practices, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, while others see an ally.
Some people look at the Constitution and read, Congress shall make no law restricting a woman’s right to an abortion, while others can’t find the word abortion in the Constitution at all. Some read that Congress can only impeach a sitting President while others read, they can impeach private citizens.
One doctor looks at the science and says, we should not wear masks, while another doctor says, we should all wear a mask, and still another doctor says, we should wear two masks. Oh, I’m sorry that was all the same doctor, Dr. Fauci. When one doctor can look at the science and come to three separate conclusions with the same level of conviction, it’s hard to “believe the science”.
There has been a total abandonment of an honest pursuit of objective truth, and a dangerous rigid sanctification of our subjective points of view, and many times, science is being used as a disguise for these subjective opinions. This is all blindly destructive of everything we claim to hold dear. The human brain will always be plagued and compromised by its own subjectivity.
Kierkegaard once said, “Most people are subjective toward themselves, and objective toward all others—frightfully objective sometimes—but the task is to be precisely objective toward oneself, and subjective toward all others.” This is true more now than ever.
Jesus put is this way, “Why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?”
Socrates once said, “The only thing I know is that I know nothing, and I am not quite sure that I know that.” It was that perspective that made him one of the smartest people to live.
Yet, there is talk about the Biden administration creating a Reality Czar to ferret out what is true and what is not. If great thinkers such as, Socrates and Kierkegaard, struggled with discovering truth, do we think it would be wise to make some government bureaucrat the purveyor of truth for the rest of us?
The level of arrogance needed to create a “Reality Czar” is equal only to the lack of self-awareness required to think of such a thing. Self-awareness is a necessary condition for finding objective truths. Self-aware people understand their intellectual limitations and limited perspective, and view the world and themselves through that humble lens while self-unaware people believe they are capable of seeing and knowing all of life’s truths, and imposing it on the rest of us.
“Be careful of hubris for the gods have been known to strike mortals down for lesser offenses!” Socrates once warned. Human beings have only scratched the surface of all the knowledge there is. Truth is very elusive and constantly shifting. As Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
What people claim as “the truth” usually is their opinion or a collective narrative they subscribe to. Kierkegaard referred to this type of group think when he said, “The crowd is untruth”. Mark Twain put it this way, “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.”
No one has cornered the market on the truth. No one. In reality, the “Reality Czar” would be a Censorship Czar. The call for censorship is the protest of the weak-minded, the wail of the anti-intellectual. Censorship, and the belief that the “science is settled” only makes it that much harder to discover knowledge, to learn the things we don’t know, and to believe what is the official position on all things scientific. “Shut up and comply” is not a persuasive argument.
The objective demonstrable truths are rarely the issues up for debate. The root necessity for unabridged freedom of speech is for the debatable issues. Because truth is so hard to find and actualize intellectually, the more voices, the more points of view, the more perspectives the better. We need more speech, not less speech. The ability to look at an issue not simply from both sides, but from all sides, all angles only helps us see the issue the clearest with the greatest depth, and brings us closer to that ever-elusive truth. Being forced to look at an issue from only one point of view, limits our mind, constricts our perspective.
The purveyors of lies are usually the ones who want to censor and cancel people who express thoughts that differ from their own. If there were a group of people claiming that 2 + 2 = 5, they’d would be dismissed as ignorant, and ignored. But if the powerful wanted to force everyone to believe that 2 + 2 was indeed 5, then they would seek out and destroy anyone who claimed 2 + 2 was in fact 4. That’s the way it works. The ones being censored are the ones who are usually right. Copernicus and Galileo were deemed heretics not because they were wrong, but because they threatened the source of the powerfuls’ power.
The only way to weed through all the information surging at us is through a free marketplace of ideas, where all ideas are tested like every other product to determine their worth, their value, their efficacy. You have to be strong enough in your soul and confident enough in your beliefs to listen to differing opinions, or at least support the right of different points of view being expressed.
Are we not thinking beings? Are we not capable of taking in all the information or even disinformation, listening to all opinions and deciding for ourselves what we believe? What we think is best? Is this not our lives? Don’t we have personal sovereignty? Don’t we have dominion over our souls? Or are we simply sheep being led to the slaughter? But even the sheep are allowed to bleat when they sense their impending doom.
When we are on our death beds contemplating our lives, will the state dictators be at our sides filled with regret over mistakes we made or opportunities missed or a life unfulfilled? Will those telling us what to do and how to think now, be with us then, at our life’s reckoning? No, we will be alone with ourselves, our conscience, and our loved ones. The state will have abandoned us by then because the state ultimately does not care about us. The state’s role is to perpetuate the state, and when you no longer serve that purpose, you become expendable. That is why individual sovereignty is the ultimate good for humanity.
As Euripides said, “I would rather die on my feet, than live on my knees.” Patrick Henry proclaimed, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Frederick Douglass said, “It's better to die free, than live as a slave.” We all know this. These are not new thoughts. They are deep in the hearts of all humankind.
The powers to be want to scare you into submission. They want you on your knees, living as their slave. The greatest threat to their power is a people thinking for themselves, deciding for themselves what is best for their own lives. Because those free thinkers will expose the fraudulent root of their power.
Totalitarians always claim they are oppressing you for your own good when in reality, they are crushing your spirit, eviscerating your will, stealing your humanity, stripping away everything that makes you human until all that’s left are sad empty shells of people who can no longer recognize themselves.
Have we become so weak, so easily afraid that we trade our sovereignty for the promise of security? Is that the life we want to live, afraid? Afraid to think for ourselves? Afraid to live? Afraid to be human? And in the end, if we fail to stand against this creeping tyranny, when we are on our death beds, the greatest pain will be the realization that we lived as cowards.
Judd Garrett is a former NFL player, coach, and executive. He is a frequent contributor to the website Real Clear Politics. He has recently published his first novel, No Wind.