Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Untruth in the Form of Fiat Reality

By Michael S. Rozeff

he tragic downing of MH17 brought forth instantaneous judgments, insinuations and accusations on the part of the highest of U.S. officials. This kind of careless and reckless shooting from the hip, based on little or no solid information, has been a characteristic of American leaders at least since George Bush’s propaganda campaign that launched the Iraq War. Whatever happened to careful measured assessments of situations? Whatever happened to maturity? Whatever happened to patience? Whatever happened to withholding judgment until facts could be ascertained? And, within government, whatever happened to the capacity of executive officials to listen to intelligence reports and interpret them with intelligence, as opposed to spinning stories without basis in fact?

These all have fallen. Truth has fallen. Objective truth has fallen. What has risen in its place? The creation of false realities by the U.S. officials. They have discovered that they can produce fiat reality by their own words.

A Bush, a Cheney, a Clinton, a Kerry and an Obama, among others, are people who each have an agenda and who are anxious to push their agendas. They will use any event that occurs to further their ends. They control major communications channels and they know from past experience that initial statements and views that they express have a broad impact. They know that they won’t be questioned deeply if they later “clarify” their accusations or even withdraw them. They know that, to a significant degree, they can get away with creating their own version of reality, their fiat reality, without much harm to their careers or well-being. They can elude accountability — for a time and maybe a substantial time — before their fiat reality bubble bursts and their credibility takes a dive.

Truth telling demands responsible behavior, maturity, ascertaining facts and measured judgments divorced from emotionality. When officials discovered the power of mass communications to an unquestioning media, and especially through television, and lately videos and twitter comments, they found themselves able to dispense with truth and replace it by fiat realities. Consequently, their emotionality, immaturity, prejudices, and their wildly ignorant and distorted world views have become the bases of the false realities they create. Fiat realities to a surprising degree replace or displace the actual realities with fiat realities. The actual realities need only be shrouded in questions and official versions for the fiat realities to survive and prevail over the resulting confusions and indifference. Untruth in the form of fiat reality is, however, a fundamentally more dangerous condition than truth.

The above originally appeared at

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