In Brief: The New Age of Uniformity
Don’t fall for the lies of the postmodern Left, which claims a monopoly on truth.
Humanity has had a problem with the truth since Genesis 3, though our publication’s motto is Latin for “the truth will set you free.” Daniel Mahoney of the Claremont Institute delves into the Left’s particularly problematic relationship with the truth.
We live in a new age of enforced uniformity, prosecuted in the name of preserving “our democracy” and keeping “disinformation” and “far right lies” at bay. The Harvard intellectual historian James Hankins has aptly spoken of an “information oligarchy” that is committed to maintaining and enforcing its monopoly on the truth. In this surreal world of “democratic” uniformity, certain “truths” are beyond challenge or question. To challenge them with evidence, logic, and a more faithful regard for the truth is to risk being dismissed as an extremist or conspiracy theorist. The independent-minded, those who refuse to bow before what George Orwell so memorably called “smelly little orthodoxies,” are candidates to be cancelled and confined to the category of those beyond the pale. The Left has a preferred name for this: those who resist the pressure of intellectual conformity, of stifling political correctness, are “enemies of democracy.”
But the “democracy forever” narrative pushed and enforced by the information oligarchy is built on a foundation of lies.
Mahoney points to the “mendacious Russia hoax” regarding Donald Trump and the 2016 election. He recounts the coronavirus pandemic, too — especially it’s origins and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts. He remembers the story of Hunter Biden’s laptop revelations, which were suppressed to help Joe Biden win in 2020. And he addresses the January 6 riot. Then he gets to the hypocrisy:
The seasoned journalist Lance Morrow, an old-fashioned liberal and an admirable defender of civic good sense, noted in the last year of the Trump presidency that while Trump habitually boasted and exaggerated in the most obvious of ways, his cultured despisers adopted massive ontological lies with impunity.
Those lies include denial of biological reality, America’s true history of dealing with racial issues, and whether a baby in utero is a baby. Mahoney concludes:
The ideological Left’s claim to a monopoly on truth is thus impossible to countenance. It is also a significant departure from earlier leftism that was all about jettisoning the very idea of truth. Just a few years ago, former President Barack Obama, a moderate leftist, told us that democracy is incompatible with any affirmation of “absolute truth.” The pragmatist Richard Rorty insisted that everything was “contingent” all the way down—there is in the end no truth and no knowable or ascertainable structure of reality. Indeed, he once expressed incredulity in the pages of The New Republic that the late Václav Havel could sincerely advocate “living in truth,” because there is no such thing as normatively binding truth. The postmodern Left, once (and in most cases still) relativistic all the way down and disdainful of a normative human nature and a binding moral law, now claim to speak the Truth and nothing but the truth on all political matters. Should we be credulous enough to fall for this self-evident lie? I hardly think so.
- Daniel Mahoney
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