To understand the world I chose to read the monthlies like Monde Diplomatique rather than the dailies, and before that, to watch the features rather than the news shows at 8pm. I felt it was necessary to take some distance from the immediate news which did not take the time to verify their sources or analyze the source of evil. I rejected the immediate in favor of History, thinking thus to avoid storytelling whose powers nourish us, power of those who rule us with information as help on the ground. My naiveté was swept away by reading Twilight of History by Shlomo Sand. Since the beginning information has always been in the hands of the powerful and we learned at school only the history of the rulers, not that of the people, of which we knew absolutely nothing. The reality was invented by the priests, by those who could read and write, and we knew from out past only the royal family trees, the battle sites or what they wanted us to know. The manipulation of opinion has been a national sport since the dawn of time, since in every country it follows the interests of the nation, that is, of those who are in charge. All you need do is look at how someone like Napoleon is presented, depending on whether one is French, English or German. To understand the world I had no other choice that to listen to the national novel of each. The Syrian question, for example, can be understood only listening to the French news which are all in the hands of the bankers and arms merchants, but also RT, Al Jazeera, Iranian IRIB or Fox New, which are merely the equivalents of what we are fed at the 8pm Mass. News has become a religion in which we must believe without question. To suggest the least doubt turns you into a conspiracy monger, a new form of heresy. So many examples make up History, to begin with religious dogmas. A virgin gave birth to a child, etc.
To understand the world, the more sources, the more one has a chance to form one’s own opinion. Or to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff a certain culture is needed. This is learned, or rather, can be learned. Historical materialism is one interesting method of analysis. Other will prefer “who profits from the crime.” Today, the government want to weigh in on fake new of which it is the principal authority. The launchers of alert are in the control room. There is no more fake news on social networks than in the large controlled organs of information. When one is properly connected to the Web, choosing one’s own sources, and expanding them, one learns often what’s happening at the end of the world or at home before the professionals fill you in. Before the recuperation is worked, we take it quickly. Referring to what I said above, this speed is relative, but it permits at least some exchange before the state filters imposed by those who profit from the system. They do not miss exploiting in turn what we emit, but the profusion fortunately prevents them from being really effective. So a paradox ensues, for in uniting us together that we can overturn this iniquitous and cynical world that I still don’t understand.
Text published in La Revue du Cube #14, June 2018
Translation by Jonathan Buchsbaum
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