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The truth no longer matters

Posted by Philip Smith on 4 September 2021
The truth no longer matters

I first posted this on 1 Dec 2016 - consider where we are today when you read this.

Are we brave enough to make a difference?

For years I have been silent on some of the issues I am about to raise, so forgive this bit of a rant but it is time for all of us to overcome our fear of retaliation and speak out. The underlying problem is the same whether it is in politics or in business.

We would be in denial if we assume, the matters I am addressing here, do not or will not impact our business futures. For example our government elects to participate in illegal military operations in foreign countries and it will be delusional to believe that we, the citizens, will not end up paying a price.

Today I read an article ( link supplied below ) and felt that the least I can do is to play it forward. I believe  we should all do whatever we can to stimulate thinking and debate. In fact it was this article that finally persuaded me to draft this blog.

Some years ago I was investigating an IT project resulting in massive waste, "perpetrated" by our local council. During my research three issues stood out.

1. Those who spoke to me, in confidence, were all in fear of having their names connected in any way to my investigation.
2. Several people warned me that I am exposing myself to danger by conducting this investigation.
3. Whatever mechanisms are supposed to be in place for addressing waste, incompetence and more, are not designed to produce any results. There is zero chance of demanding any form of accountability. We are not important and those in power simply could not care less about the issues that might concern us.

Fear was the prevailing condition as in, "if I speak out I might no longer be able to conduct business with the council, as they do not take kindly to anybody exposing the truth or I can lose my job".  

Should the legacy to our children and grandchildren be that of silence and fear ?

On Monday night I listened to the news on TV and they reported on several Middle Eastern issues. Every "fact' they stated was wrong, not just a little off, but completely wrong.  How is this possible, by accident, general ignorance, drinking their own bathwater, by laziness or by simply acting as an echo chamber for messages supplied by " you fill in the blanks " .  

I immediately emailed the TV station and asked them how they can broadcast lies as truth and received an automatic response. No doubt during the next few weeks I will receive a response claiming that on balance based on yadayadayada all is just fine. ( Update - I received this response on Thursday  - "Our reporting on the civil war in Syria is properly sourced and correctly attributed" - enough said ).

I previously mentioned the fear of consequences that is very real and once we add in the media's lack of courage, we are on a slippery slope that looks like this.

One minute ago I listened to a report about the Australian airforce participating in an "accidental" air strike on a Syrian military base. However, they reported, the strike conformed to all the rules of engagement yadayada.  No more information is provided as to what the "rules of engagement" are. The more important question is what the Australian air force  is doing dropping bombs on a sovereign country, that did not invite us to be there, and who presents no threat to Australia.  By any international legal precept, UN Charter and any number of other agreements our presence in Syria is illegal and an act of war.  Yet all our politicians are silent on this very basic "Truth".

If you think I am wrong please let me know how this illegal action can be accepted without comment.

It appears we have reached a point in our "civilization" where the truth has become an ever flexible or redundant commodity.

We have reached the pinnacle of evolutions where "talking heads" deliver information in the form of news that is often either uneducated, ignorant opinion or pure propaganda.

It is assumed that we are all too ignorant to notice this and the assumption is often correct, considering most people believe the news presented to us.

Mr. Goebbels stated "A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth" and that is as valid a statement today as it was in 1940.

Let me pose a simple question. For several years now we have been inundated with messages and news showing Mr. Putin and Russia to be the most evil entities on the planet. All these claims are made without ever supplying even one shred of proof, relating to their alleged misdeeds, repeated constantly and accepted as the holy grail. 

My question is - have you ever seen Mr. Putin interviewed on your local TV station?  Bet you the answer is no. The news we receive is almost always one sided and I have simply selected Mr Putin as a very obvious example but there are many such examples. 

All you have to do to check the veracity of what I am saying is go to the Internet and type in "Putin Interviews".

  • I just did this via  Google and it came back with 596,000 hits.
  • To double check I went to You Tube and it came back with 571,000 hits.

Clearly Mr. Putin gives the odd interview, yet the vast majority of perceptions on Mr. Putin and Russia are shaped by the mainstream media messages with absolutely no reference to the truth, by any measure. In this process they totally ignore all the messages Mr. Putin has tried to send to  the world via the many interviews he has given.  For those who might be interested in watching one such media interview - Click Here

Using this one example will probably ring all manner of security bells and I might end up on a watch list somewhere. Anybody who might dare to say anything positive about Mr. Putin ( or other Government declared unspeakable subjects ) can expect to receive a host of negative feedback and we should wonder what this says about us and the future.

This is a big subject and I am no international expert, so I will call on the skills of somebody who is an expert, to examine the dangers of us not paying attention, considering that our futures might well depend on us starting to pay attention.

A frequently quoted story will set the scene for the bigger picture.

Pastor Niemöller tells a story set during WW2 and I will only quote the abbreviated version

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

For the full story& history Click Here 

The expert article I promised is from an American perspective and I do not agree with all the positions the author takes, but it is worth reading and I must warn that it might force you to consider some uncomfortable ideas.  Click here

We must always bear in mind that we are conducting our businesses in an environment that is not fully under our control, but subject to, licenses, fees, permits, approvals, permissions, taxes, rules, regulations and more. Those in power have the capacity and arrogance to destroy any part of the economy with total disregard as to consequences.

Should you doubt this, I would suggest you research the impact of the first Gulf War on the airline industry. It is far enough in the past to provide a clear picture of the actions and consequences on one specific industry.

The impost of cost based on Government rules are mostly invisible, we have no way to find out, but to provide some context from the USA  - James Gattuso and Diane Katz reported that just the 229 major regulations issued since 2009 added over $100 billion in annual costs (according to the regulatory agencies), $22 billion coming in 2015.

Our current world is driven by rules and regulations, wars and agreements, entirely removed from view to the ordinary voter and many businesses operate in much the same way. 

Where are our leaders, truth tellers, the media and others in positions of power, why are they silent?

Unless we demand accountability and truth from our politicians, business leaders and media, we will have to accept whatever crumbs they hand out, after they have confiscated our loaves.

End of rant >


Philip SmithAuthor:Philip Smith
About: Philip specialises in getting projects and businesses that are not performing as well as expected, back on track.
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