We live in a post-truth world where knowledge based on evidence and facts have become obsolete. A person can choose to believe in whatever that is appealing to their emotions.
At the dawn of Fascism it was hard for any dictator to spread lies and manufacture propaganda machinery. For the modern day dictators in a post-truth world, it has become a menial job. Under their command, the spin doctors of the authoritarian regimes create stories against liberal democracy, minorities, transgenders and everything they feel abhorrent about.
As these blind followers grow in leaps and bounds, they galvanize the society to make it more tolerant toward non-sense and stupidity and less-tolerant toward logic and liberalism.
Rapists of a minority woman received a martyr’s welcome after their release from prison. This is India and how its society is becoming insensitive to cold-blooded crimes is beyond fathomable. When questioned about the government’s inaction to stop the crimes committed by violent protestors against minority women in the Indian state of Manipur, the government’s response is doing whataboutery questioning the status of women in other states ruled by the opposition.
They claim evil cancels evil and every evil based on their alternative facts is a virtue, in the post-truth world.
In her book, How to lose a country: The 7-steps from Democracy to Dictatorship, Ece Temelkuran elucidates how the world is perceiving war broadcasts (of Iraqi invasion) on TV with normalcy whereas one photo from Vietnam war in 1972 created a furor and led to widespread anti-war protests in the US.
In the present day US, vaccines cause autism, climate change is a hoax, white supremacy doesn’t exist, and Donal Trump is still the legitimate President of the United States.
All those lies crowdsourced by the followers of a cult hero, the dictator, are not termed as lies but as alternate facts.
Back at the time of Hitler, “Jews were monsters” was a lie. Nazis needed a scapegoat to blame for the economic hardships faced by the country. The long history of Anti-Semitism and Psychological manipulation assisted in machinating a propaganda against Jews.
In the post-truth world there are no lies. A lie is an alternative fact. Everyone can preach what they believe with no regards to fact and scientific evidence.
In the US, Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting killed 20 children and 6 adults. But to a few conspiracy theorists, the shooting was a hoax staged by actors. Because that narrative fits their pro-gun ideology.
QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory group in the US believes in a lie (read alternative fact) that a group of satan-worshiping, global child traffickers are trying to control the US government and its politics, and Donald Trump is fighting against them. It fits their narrative that Trump is godsent.
There are many such alternative facts peddled by dictators and their followers in the modern day Fascist world: Europe will become a Muslim majority continent, the West wants to destroy Islam from Turkey and the world, while Muslims are rabid killers and want to destroy the culture in India.
When these far-right populist governments, (let’s call it Fascist?)Okay, Fascist governments fail to do their work or face criticism for not meeting the basic etiquettes of governance, they let the whole nation pay the price by unleashing their army of ill-informed followers who recite the narratives brain fed to them by their dictator’s propaganda machinery.
And this is a huge challenge the democracies across the world are facing. The ill-informed are coming for the rational ones. The bastion of logic and intelligence should hold fort against the raw power of emotions.
To be continued..