17160 Stephen Kalyta: We the Informed

“Perhaps then and only then do we become champions of the disenfranchised.”

Article by 17160 Stephen Kalyta

The infamous and depraved Nazi Goebbels was once quoted as saying, “Repeat a lie enough times, it becomes the truth.” Was Napoleon either a cynic or realist when he said, “History is a set of lies agreed upon.” It is easy to separate ourselves from the mind of despots and killers and argue a civil society is both transparent and informed, where individual rights are protected and the truth upheld by the rule of law created by democratic societies. But if truth was, in fact, absolute, why is there a cacophony of deafening wails from the underserved, the abused or disenchanted now filling every news sound byte on the planet? There is certainly no shortage of bad news but is it accurate and inclusive?

At last count, there are more than 200 nations globally that are free democratic societies. You would think a free society would be akin to a peaceful society where law enforcement would exist only to keep the domestic peace and the military in place in the event a less progressive nation suddenly falls in love with our winters and suddenly invades. Unfortunately, history tells us that global democracy is certainly not an immunization against domestic strife nor global war between nations.
If we accept as truth that society is neither delusional nor as gullible as Goebbels and Napolean would have us believe, how do we reconcile the clear divisions in society that promote discord and war? Are we in fact propagators of a lie that beguiles us to repeat unwittingly like some peculiar verbal virus?
If our brain can process 400 billion bits of information a second but only about 2000 bits of info are stored, there is a lot of pertinent info that gets lost. If we the informed, free and sovereign citizens of any of the 200 plus democratic societies are incapable of discerning all the facts from fiction, then we must consider the possibility that the flaw is not just ours alone but may include the source. To remain informed requires a reliable source and ability to grab the most salient information. Scrutinizing the data, validating the source and relating your interpretation with skilled peers can help build cumulative wisdom pinned to truths rather than propaganda. Perhaps then and only then do we become champions of the disenfranchised to whom our ears are well tuned and for whom we serve.