Regular readers will be aware that I try to keep off politics and British readers will know why. There is one little matter that I thought ought to extract some comment, however, and that is the issue of how our politicians tell such blatant lies without embarrassment and with no fear of challenge, contradiction or consequence.
We all know that they are doing it, too, and we seem to have entered into an agreement where we accept their lies, suspend disbelief, and approve of policies and courses of action based on outright fiction. Incidentally, in France this seems to be tolerated less than in the Anglo-Saxon world at present. Anyway, I digress.
Some words my mother would use come to mind. She used to talk of people as being strangers to the truth. I think she meant that some folk so believe their own propaganda and so trust their own thoughts that they are no longer capable of distinguishing whether they are presenting facts based on concrete evidence, capable of being demonstrated or challenged, or whether they are just saying whatever is in their head at the time. In fact, to them there is no difference.
I think that's why I'm starting to consider that the category of "lies" is no longer of much use in trying to cope with current political life. We're not dealing with science or history, where evidence can be marshalled, queried and exposed. We're dealing with a kind of art-form where reality is what I want it to be, what I believe it to be, and if you don't agree with me, so what? What is that to me? Why should I change what I say?
I think it's postmodernism, the implicit rejection of objective truth, the absence of meta-narrative, all that stuff. It begets an extreme pragmatism that rejects foresight and hindsight and lives for the immediate expedient.