Falsehoods and conspiracies will lead to a day of reckoning

I have been pondering why there are so many visibly angry persons within Canada and elsewhere worldwide?

Most people occasionally get upset; it is the nature of the human creature, but not to the extent that we are witnessing during these turbulent times. The fears harboured by many are being displayed via a multitude of sources and within disturbing demonstrations.

One only has to view cable news, go online, or wander onto a multitude of other “supposedly-truthful” news sources, and immediately come upon something being opined. It then becomes our prerogative to decide to believe what they state, or not.

For example, President Biden won the 2020 presidential election in the USA. Millions of people vehemently believe Biden did not win; they are convinced that the presidency was stolen from Trump. Who is being truthful?

Everyone sometimes lies, for a multitude of reasons, some speak falsehoods of varying significance more than others. Regardless of the topics, the onus is on us to decide what the accurate facts are. In these times of fake news, conspiracy theories, political misinformation, cyberspace untruths or commercial goals, we need to question almost all that we are being presented. The harsh reality is that false narratives are intended to stir our quicker-to-react emotions rather than our lower-to-engage intellects.

The minister of propaganda for the Nazi German government of the Third Reich, Joseph Goebbels, knew the consequences of repeating falsehoods. Goebbels believed “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Propaganda machines are notorious for presenting misinformation to gullible recipients for the advancement of a cause and/or retention of power.

When we fast-forward pass the horrific events of 1930’s and 40’s to our present, we can cite common practices of the lie-philosophies too frequently appearing within areas such as political organizations, corporate activities, race-related topics, diversity concerns, and religious beliefs.

As we move further into the 21st century I believe that more people will have increased financial and psychological worries, hence the levels of anger will swell. People are being left behind economically and subjected to inequalities which are fueling expanded resentments. When segments of our society are being mistreated or perceived as being dangerous, the consequences of such ill regard for others becomes a definite formula for fear, anger and societal upheavals.

People need – and expect to have – safe communities, nutritious food, suitable essential services, sufficient health care, appropriate educational opportunities, and adequate incomes, along with efficient infrastructure sectors such as sewers, water, highways and community developments. Those expectations, when lumped together, appear unsurmountable but when taken in manageable portions and worked upon by their shareholders, coupled with necessary and agreed-upon compromises, all being enhanced by transparent, constructive and truthful discussions, I firmly believe that the levels of anger will dissipate.

The qualities of our governments are also causing resentments. People expect those that citizens have elected and employ to give us the care and protection that we have been led to assume will be available and for which we have contributed tax dollars to sustain. I am not naive to believe that all governments are perfect, quite the contrary, I have seen too many poor governments but as Sir Winston Churchill is reported to have stated: “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”

The one certainty that I have come to believe is that when something or someone is being demonized or promoted as the greatest ever, then that subject should be challenged for its level of honesty. What we emphatically must guard against are the deceits, the lies that are so prevalent via our vastly expanded communication opportunities.

The dark underworld of falsehoods and conspiracies is too common to be taken as the gospel truth; it needs to be challenged with reasoned arguments. If we accept all the information that we are being fed as being factual and cease to examine its source or intent, I fear that our mutual day of reckoning looms large with consequences unimaginable.

Ray Bates