Truth, modern wealth, and power in our world
By Bruce Walker
The greatest danger to our wealth, our liberties, our values, and our safety today come from the deconstruction of truth. We live in a world driven by information. Almost all real wealth today is based upon information and knowledge. Almost all real power today is based upon mass communication, education, and entertainment. Even military power relies upon data and intelligence, not brute force.
This drift of modern life away toward an information-driven society is morally neutral. Our capacity to control nature, to order our lives, and to know much more than we ever have before allows us to do much more good than we ever have before. Knowledge allows us to cure disease, reduce poverty, expand our horizons of thought, and spend much more time in recreation.
But this power also allows us to do much more evil than men in the past. Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, and Maoist China could not have survived without the tools of technology and information. Orwell understood this well in 1984. Every slave in Oceania was subject to constant surveillance. Perpetual and meaningless global war consciously consumed all surplus wealth. Science was used to insure poverty, misery, and desperate loneliness: only the Inner Party and Big Brother were allowed to have any meaning in life. History changed every day. Government statistics were altered without any connection to reality. Information in such a Hellish realm, meant only the momentary position of the Party, which changed constantly.
Churchill also grasped the magnification of evil which greater information allowed which he spoke of "the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science" which would follow Nazi victory in Europe. Any thought that technology alone is good should ponder how nearly jet engines, nerve gas, smart ordnance, and long range missile came to fulfilling the odious dream of a Thousand Year Reich.
Our modern economies, also, are driven almost entirely by information. Government labor statistics, national debt figures, corporate profit margins, financial interest rates – these and many other numbers largely determine the direction of our economy. Government programs are largely machines into which statistics are tossed and actions taken. We live in this world so fully that it is almost inconceivable that life could be otherwise. Both, of course, that is our myopia.
The Constitution and the early republic had only a few numbers of significance: persons within a state were counted once a decade; monies were appropriated for certain narrow purposes (always backed by slender federal tax revenues); certain vital statistics were collected and published (a review of the Statistical Abstract, however, shows just how few numbers were considered worth collecting.)
Liberty, a principal purpose of the establishment of our nation, was not quantifiable: indeed, personal liberty, almost by definition defies calibration. Peace was not a number but a fact. Even in the area of monetary value, the federal government did almost nothing. It insured the constancy and accuracy of weights and measurements, but even the term "dollar" referred for a long time simply as a defined measurement of gold, and dollar bills were issued by any number of institutions.
What made the dollar useful was that it was backed up by truth, by honor, and by integrity. When the federal government issued a dollar bill or a bank in Ohio issued a dollar bill, this was simply a promise to pay a defined weight of dollar to the bearer. The crises of a bankrupt California government, of uncontrolled federal spending, and politically manufactured economic statistics is the absence, or at least irrelevance, of truth.
What is the heart of the ugly "Man-made, Man-made Global Warming"? It acolytes lie. Numbers, data, and other elements of knowledge are simply raw materials to construct a system of extracting power, money, prestige and other goodies from a befuddled population. Truth is either an a priori given, not connected to scientific research, or an elastic concept which must fit the dictates of partisan whims.
Indeed, one of the most unsavory aspects of the modern power-mongers and their strategies from stealing power is that the holy mantle of "science" is almost always wrapped around the false priesthood, casting the doubters into the outer darkness of unscientific thinking. So the Nazis approached their variation of demonic madness entirely dedicated to "science" as their guiding principles. The intoxication of the radical left with "scientific" Marxism is simply astounding: no wild theory has been more disproven by grim experiment than scientific socialism, but no matter, its truth defies consistent laboratory failures.
Bruce Walker is the author of two books: Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie and The Swastika against the Cross: The Nazi War on Christianity.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!