AMERICA: TO BE, OR NOT TO BE…
What is it that makes us unique individuals, in experiences and thoughts? How does memory relate to everything we observe around us, the “Reality”, how we interpret our world and other humans? How do our past’s memories shape us in our comprehension of what we see and believe as Real?
Research reveals humans are products of accumulated experiences and memories. We are uninformed without them. Societies and Nation States are also defined by their pasts; recorded memories we call History. If history is a chronological record, preserving the “memories” of our civilizations, societies and nations, what happens to our perceptions of the present, when that past is rewritten, or erased, to fulfill an new narrative of country? Does it change the perceptions of our reality?
In Orwell’s work, 1984, he creates a society where every thought, every action, is anticipated, monitored and controlled: from Big Brother’s admonitions on “the Tube”, to the delivered “electronic” reality of each moment, that imagined society saw only what those in Power wished them to believe. Many Americans, this author included, believe we have approached, and passed, a similar Rubicon, where most of the information Americans see is a carefully controlled stream of words and visuals, crafted to shape a reality that we think we know, into the visions they wish to prevail as facts.
How does a country maintain its core beliefs and values through successive generations if its monuments, histories, heroes and civil “memories” are slandered or eradicated? Is this what “Fundamental Change” means, to lose the memory of who we are? What happens when a nation tries to erase its identity? If we lose our core Identity, do we cease TO BE America?
Societal “re-programming” does not happen in a vacuum. It takes humans willing to believe what they are told without questions. It takes total faith in the agents of information and a subconscious fear of governments disdain. It takes belief that all you see and hear from authority and the media is Always accurate and true, fair and balanced.
The last decades have shown us that finding unbiased, accurate facts takes real work. Many Americans believe some networks report news with detectable biases and slant, delivered with increasingly smaller doses of actual events. Journalism is historically about providing accurate descriptions of real events. Now it creates commentaries and imagery meant to evoke specific narratives of opinions. That “restructured” reality is then delivered to a constantly connected audience, hungrily devouring words and images as facts.
It can be a very dangerous game when fake news is revealed as opinionated bias or deliberate misrepresentations. Many large networks have lost significant market shares because of perceived bias. In response, Americans have begun to look elsewhere for independent news sources as growing numbers of determined citizen journalists begin digging for and revealing authentic facts over a variety of mediums. How is a person, or a nation, to recognize truth from the clever spins designed for a specific narrative with a completely controlled and biased source? How can a nation of intelligent people know when they are being misled by opinions instead of educated by the facts, if the source of that information is manipulated?
The information age has strengthened media and Government’s ability to instantly create their “narratives”, delivered ahead of actual facts, seizing the “high ground” as “first heard”. The Internet and AI tools have made it harder to discern real people and facts or hear all opinions. AI algorithms sort, ignore or actively hide information, banning opposing datum and opinions.
Strong cases in point are the events of January 6th, 2021 and the crises of corruption in the White House and Congress. The steadily repeated “facts” and the administration’s talking heads are exploding as actual videos, emails, documents and testimonies have begun to penetrate the media’s bias, exposing years of intense propaganda, machinations and fictions. Books of Victim’s testimonies are suddenly gaining credence as the facts are being exposed for America.
Where in this “engineered reality” are we to discern Facts from Fictional creations of bias? How do we successfully discern Reality from carefully crafted fictions? I’ve heard it’s best to get your information “directly from the horse’s mouth”. While horses can’t talk, the simile stands: to get to the truth of a matter, go to the initial or authoritative sources for your “reality”; the participants. There are plentiful sources of unbiased information but one must be diligent in seeking and vetting before accepting first seen datum as factual. It’s always advisable to compare many sources, to get a gestalt of what rings true and separate what is biased fiction.
Many groups today find themselves the targets of these fallacies, media misrepresentations and political accusations. Because of their beliefs and alliances, Americans are being labeled as Racists, Domestic Terrorists or Threats to Democracy, whatever that means in a Constitutional Republic! Media misrepresentations have dramatic and violent effects on our divided society, witness from the LA riots to the recent Summer of Love. What will the Summer of 2024 bring our divided and often misinformed nation?
Finding your true reality lies in energetically searching for facts and a discerning skepticism on accepting first datum’s as absolute Truth. If we wish our perceived realities to match actual circumstances of events and facts, we must cease to lazily accept what we are told from single sources as absolutes. We must be diligent, look harder, ask hard questions and demand cogent answers. Ultimately, we must hold media and Governments accountable when they lie and cheat to impose THEIR manufactured reality over OUR actual ones.
If AMERICA is TO BE what is was created for, we must not erase, abandon or misrepresent the facts of our history and pasts or fear visible symbols of our mistakes. These things guide and educate us as a nation, so we do Not repeat the errors of our past.
If we erase these hard won lessons out of Fear,
we will repeat them out of Ignorance.