norman dodd

STATES OF EMERGENCY

black swan

The phenomenology of crisis in America

Monday, 6 April 2020

We are at war. There is an enemy, soldiers, heroes, and victims. And because we are at war, we will be subject to an unceasing propaganda effort to shape our thinking about what is happening, or should happen, and what we can do about it. During times of war and catastrophe, we must as the story goes, sacrifice some liberty for security. Power coalesces in the face of catastrophe, where large scale coordination is required to address unforeseen events, and we are told that this was an unforeseen event. This is part of what it means to live in a representative democracy, where the rule of law prevails above all else. The rule of law in America is a self-licking ice cream. Whenever new laws brought about by states of emergency are enacted, a “new normal” begins to congeal in the minds of Americans, and these new laws become part of the landscape of American life, part of a rules-based society – the rule of law ultimately prevails, regardless of the scope of its power. This means that in America, provided we are able to maintain the appearance of legitimacy in our plebiscites, the outcome of voting has the imprimatur of the people and the patina of political authority. We all have a role to play in this “live exercise”.

The most significant changes in society happen in short convulsions, where a dangerous enemy is clearly defined. This fact was well understood long ago, and was articulated with great clarity in the minutes of the Carnegie Foundation’s first meetings in the early 1900s, which were uncovered by the United States House Select Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations and Comparable Organizations (aka, the Reece Committee), when they were engaged in a grand effort to shape the future of America. Norman Dodd, the head researcher of the Reece Committee recalls: (more…)

SINS OF OMISSION

 

sins-of-omission

Conspiracy theories, covert operations, and the Deep State

Friday, 7 October 2016

Henry G. Frankfurt remarked in his book, “On Bullshit,” that: “Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.” It should also be said that the most ubiquitous enemies of truth – and most insidious lies – are sins of omission, which are far more corrosive to the pursuit of truth in that they are an attempt to create the impression that something never happened or simply does not exist.

The information revolution ushered in by the internet has created both opportunities and threats, as well revealed the strengths and weaknesses possessed by students and teachers in terms of their understanding of the world and the choices that flow from that understanding. Access to large amounts of information has required a greater degree of critical thinking and discernment across all of the academic disciplines. Consequently, both students and teachers are deeply vulnerable to institutional propaganda and the use of what Reinhold Niebuhr referred to as “emotionally potent oversimplifications.”

Like the elusive sighting of a baby seagull, the teaching and learning of history possess a glaring intellectual blind-spot in the minds of both students and teachers. The “who, what, why, and how” of history are fundamental questions whose orthodox answers are misleading at best, and at worst, wrong. This assertion suggests that there is a great deal of historical revisionism taking place, which should be properly understood in this context as an interpretation of history whose purpose is to obfuscate and mislead.

The orthodox writers of history are, by ignorance or by design, engaged in something far more corrupting than that, because historical revisionism implies (more…)