Compiled by Hanna Hündorf from „Trump and a Post-Truth World: An Evolutionary Self-Correction“ by Ken Wilber – Part 1
The promoters of Brexit openly admitted that they had pushed ideas that they fully knew were not “true” — but they did so “because there really are no facts,” and what really counts is “that we truly believe this” (as one of them tellingly noted, “I’ve read my Lacan — it’s whoever controls the narrative that counts”—Lacan being a leading postmodernist). In other words, narcissism is the deciding factor:
what I want to be true is true in a post-truth culture.
Trump doesn’t even try to hide this; he factually lies with gleeful abandon.
While Trump was campaigning, there were newspapers that actually kept count of the number of factual lies he had spoken day by day. “Yesterday, it was 17 lies. Today, it was 15 lies.” And yet polls consistently showed that people felt Trump was “more truthful” than Hillary Clinton (who, no matter how much of an atmosphere of “corruption” followed her, as many believed, she never set out explicitly and blatantly to lie, or certainly nowhere nearly as much as Trump). But people had already made the transition from “factual truth” to “what I say is truth,” and Trump said his “truth” with much more conviction and passion than Hillary could muster — and thus in a no-truth culture, Trump is the “more truthful.” In a culture of nihilism,
in an atmosphere of aperspectival madness, where there is no real truth, truth becomes whatever I most fervently desire.
Narcissism is the key determinant in a sea of nihilism.
Among many other items, we would see the emergence of the “selfie culture,” which notoriously and easily altered, even photoshopped, individual truth, and whose social media began promoting “pleasing lies” and “reassuring falsehoods.” Meanwhile, the leading-edge green cultural elites — upper-level liberal government, virtually all university teachers (in the humanities), technology innovators, human services professions, most media, entertainment, and most highly liberal thought leaders — had continued to push into green pluralism/relativism.
“What’s true for you is true for you, and what’s true for me is true for me” — all largely with intentions of pure gold, but shot through with an inherently self-contradictory stance with its profound limitations.
If all truth is just truth for me and truth for you, then there is no “truth for us”,
or collective, universal, cohering truths, and hence, in this atmosphere of aperspectival madness, the stage was set for massively fragmented culture, which the siloed boxes and echo chambers of social media were beginning to almost exclusively promote and enhance.
And thus the postmodern-created social media online began regressing into decidedly ethnocentric-leaning groups.
The original intent of the Internet was for a global, free, unified humanity, unleashed from oppression, information ownership, power structures, and isolating trends in general.
The Net was proclaimed a single grand “global brain,” open to and actively embracing all. The problem is, if the brain was global (or a single infrastructure network), the minds using it were not. As Douglas Rushkoff has pointed out, the very nature of the digital environment itself tends toward either/or types of decisions (either 1 or 0, click here or click there, choose this or choose that). And the anonymity and personality-hiding nature of online exchange allowed regressive tendencies of aggression, narcissism, hatred, and innumerable passionate ethnocentric beliefs (sexist, racist, xenophobic, religious zealots, political bigots) and with no “truth” available to challenge any such moves, they exploded.
The entire online experience collapsed from one of unity, open-natured expanse, and worldwide integration, into one of siloed, boxed, separatist, mean-spirited ethnocentric drives. And these poured out of our smartphones 24/7 and into the culture at large.
To be continued soon with Part 2.