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It Gets Worse, Truth is Scarce

The problems with semantics and the limitations of language are bad enough because they limit our abilities. But the fact that demagogues willfully exploit the problem makes it many times worse.

One of my favorite experiences with contradictions of ideas came from a preacher friend of mine. He was leading a prayer at my union hall and decided to thank a beneficent Lord for recent rainfall. “We thank thee Lord for the abundant rain,” he said, but hastily added, “Of course it was a shame about those people who drowned!” Some beneficence!

Advertisers, employers, and preachers, usually in collusion with one another, exploit the limitations of language and understanding all the time. Almost all advertisements seem to be true, even though we know that they can’t all be true because they contradict each other. “Our product is the best one,” crashes immediately and directly into, “Our product is the best one” from a competing product. They can’t both be true, but each sounds as if it is.

Consider the Source

Can we believe anything we see or hear? Probably not, if we consider the source. Virtually all information we receive originated directly from our bosses or was pre-approved by them. In 2015, five corporations control more than half of all “news” in America. The “news” that corporations want us to hear isn’t necessarily the news we want or need, but that’s where it comes from. By the way, corporations also control our books, including textbooks; our movies, our radio stations, our TV stations, and virtually everything we see and hear. They are busily taking over the internet, too, in 2015.

That’s why they find it relatively easy to convince young people to voluntarily enlist themselves into murder squads to go into foreign countries and take their natural resources, even though those same young people are risking and often losing their own limbs and lives. They didn’t hear the other side of the story. We were inundated with the corporations’ side. All of us are.

I loved being at the University. I did a lot of independent study there, far beyond what I was supposed to do for my classes. I also learned that the University is just as much a product and a tool of Corporate America as TV news, maybe even more so, as its constituency consists of young people already proven, through years of competitive education, to be docile and willing to submit to direction.

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