We don't need no stinkin' facts
In the United States, facts, an important element of truth, are not important. They are not important in the media, politics, universities, historical explanations, or the courtroom. Non-factual explanations of the collapse of three World Trade Center buildings are served up as the official explanation. Facts have been politicized, emotionalized, weaponized and simply ignored. As David Irving has shown, Anglo-American histories of World War 2 are, for the most part, feel-good histories, as are "civil war" histories as Thomas DiLorenzo and others have demonstrated. Of course, they are feel good only for the victors. Their emotional purpose means that inconvenient facts are unpalatable and ignored.
Writing the truth is no way to succeed as an author. Only a small percentage of readers are interested in the truth. Most want their biases or brainwashing vindicated. They want to read what they already believe. It is comforting, reassuring. When their ignorance is confronted, they become angry. The way to be successful as a writer is to pick a group and give them what they want. There is always a market for romance novels and for histories that uphold a country's myths. On the Internet successful sites are those that play to one ideology or another, to one emotion or the other, or to one interest group or another. The single rule for success is to confine truth to what the readership group you serve believes.
Karl Marx said that there were only class truths. Today we have a large variety of truths: truths for feminists, truths for blacks, Muslims, Hispanics, homosexuals, transgendered, truths for the foreign policy community that serves the military/security complex, truths for the neocons, truths for the One Percent that control the economy and the economists who serve them, truths for "white supremacists," itself a truth term for their opponents. You can add to the list. The "truth" in these "truths" is that they are self-serving of the group that expresses them. Their actual relation to truth is of no consequence to those espousing the "truths."
Woe to you if you don't go along with someone's or some group's truth. Not even famous film-maker Oliver Stone is immune. Recently, Stone expressed his frustration with the "False Flag War Against Russia." Little doubt that Stone is frustrated with taunts and accusations from completely ignorant media talking heads in response to his documentary, Putin, based on many hours of interviews over two years. Stone came under fire, because instead of demonizing Putin and Russia, thus confirming the official story, he showed us glimpses of the truth.
The organization, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, published a report that completely destroyed the false accusations about Trump/Russian hacking of the US presidential election. The Nation published an objective article about the report and was assaulted by writers, contributors, and readers for publishing information that weakens the case, which the liberal/progressive/left in conjunction with the military/security complex, is orchestrating against Trump. The magazine's audience felt that the magazine had an obligation not to truth but to getting Trump out of office. Reportedly, the editor is considering whether to recall the article.
So here we have left-leaning Oliver Stone and left-wing magazine, The Nation, under fire for making information available that is out of step with the self-serving "truth" to which the liberal/progressive/left and their ally, the military/security complex, are committed.
When a country has a population among whom there are no truths except group-specific truths, the country is so divided as to be over and done with. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." The white liberal/progressive/left leaders of divisive Identity Politics have little, if any, comprehension of where the movement they think they lead is headed. At the moment the hate is focused on the "alt-right," which has become "white nationalists," which has become "white supremacists." These "white supremacists" have become epitomized by statues of Confederate soldiers and generals. All over the South, if local governments are not removing the statues, violent crazed thugs consumed by hate attempt to destroy them. In New Orleans someone with money bused in thugs from outside flying banners that apparently are derived from a communist flag to confront locals protesting the departure of their history down the Orwellian Memory Hole.
What happens when all the monuments are gone? Where does the hate turn next? Once non-whites are taught to hate whites, not even self-hating whites are safe. How do those taught hate tell a good white from a bad white? They can't and they won't. By definition by Identity Politics, whites, for now white heterosexual males, are the victimizers and everyone else is their victim. The absurdity of this concept is apparent, yet the concept is unshaken by its absurdity. White heterosexual males are the only ones without the privilege of quotas. They and only they can be put at the back of the bus for university admissions, employment, promotion, and only their speech is regulated. They, and only they, can be fired for using "gender specific terms," for using race specific terms, for unknowingly offending some preferred group member by using a word that is no longer permissible. They can be called every name in the book, beginning with racist, misogynist, and escalating, and no one is punished for the offense.
Recently, a professor in the business school of a major university told me that he used the word, girls, in a marketing discussion. A young womyn was offended. The result was he received a dressing-down from the dean. Another professor told me that at his university there was a growing list of blacklisted words. It wasn't clear whether the list was official or unofficial, simply professors trying to stay up with Identity Politics and avoid words that could lead to their dismissal. Power, they tell me, is elsewhere than in the white male, the true victimized class.
For years commentators have recognized the shrinking arena of free speech in the United States. Any speech that offends anyone but a white male can be curtailed by punishment. Recently, John Whitehead, constitutional attorney who heads the Rutherford Institute, wrote that it is now dangerous just to defend free speech. Reference to the First Amendment suffices to bring denunciation and threats of violence. Ron Unz notes that any website that can be demonized as "controversial" can find itself disappeared by Internet companies and PayPal. They simply terminate free speech by cutting off service.
It must be difficult to teach some subjects, such as the "civil war" for example. How would it be possible to describe the actual facts? For example, for decades prior to the Union's invasion of the Confederacy, North/South political conflict was over tariffs, not over slavery.
The fight over which new states created from former "Indian" territories would be "slave" and which "free" was a fight over keeping the protectionist (North) vs. free trade (South) balance in Congress equal so that the budding industrial north could not impose a tariff regime. Two days before Lincoln's inaugural address, a stiff tariff was signed into law. That same day in an effort to have the South accept the tariff and remain in or return to the Union -- some southern states had seceded, some had not -- Congress passed the Corwin amendment that provided constitutional protection to slavery. The amendment prohibited the federal government from abolishing slavery.
Two days later in his inaugural address, which seems to be aimed at the South, Lincoln said: "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so."