Originally posted at Monty Pelerin's World blog,
The world no longer makes sense to most people over forty years of age. Much of what we thought was true is now denied. What to us is obviously false (or at least always was) is now accepted as being true. Here are examples from Frick at Bias Breakdown that show obvious contradictions between popular belief and what we hold as reality:
If every Arab in the Middle East laid down his weapon, there would be peace in the Middle East. If every Israeli laid down his (or her) weapon, Israel would be annihilated.
Likewise, if government stopped all spending, the deficit problem would be solved. If government confiscated the gross annual income of every individual in the country making over $66,193, the deficit would destroy our country.
In a sane world, politicians would cut every last dollar of government spending they could in order to bring financial order back to an entitlement-happy society. After government’s debilitating spending habits were slashed or restructured, only then would the conversation shift to taxes and revenue to make up the gap.
Of course, this isn’t a sane world. It’s the world in which it’s Israel’s fault for every ill in Palestine and Republicans are evil and stupid for wanting to cut spending.
Fantasies like these might are satisfying to many, but they are ultimately destructive. Truth cannot be changed by repeating falsehoods. Nor can it be altered by more people believing untruths. But, when these fantasizers overwhelm society with their false beliefs, society will no longer function. Society cannot invent its own truth based on convenience, prejudice or popularity. Truth, not manufactured myth, is key to survival. Societies which deviate from it, don’t survive.
As Ayn Rand stated:
You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.
The avoidance of reality has overtaken our society. The consequences of doing so have been building for decades and will soon overwhelm us. On our current path, much of what we knew and cared about will be destroyed.