Via Chris Snowdon:
Health advice too often follows the principle of the noble lie. Rather than being told the plain truth, we are told what the authorities believe will lead us to behave properly, when “properly” means not just in the way that is most prudent for ourselves, but what is seen to be morally appropriate. This means that whatever the truth about healthy drinking or drug-taking is, we can’t trust government health advice to provide it. When the best current scientific evidence meets moralising paternalism, it is truth that starts to bend.
The trouble with noble lies is that, in the end, they are just exactly that: lies. And once people realise they are being lied to, they cease to trust whoever it is who’s lying to them.
And once this rot has set in, the end result can only be distrust of all authorities. So if you don’t trust Tobacco Control, you’ll pretty soon distrust Public Health, and the World Health Organisation, and the medical profession, and the mainstream media, and political parties (all of them, without exception), and the entire political class.
It’s perhaps the central characteristic of our time: a loss of faith in institutions of every kind.
Brexit was the consequence of a British loss of faith in the largest institution in Europe: the EU. The election of Donald Trump was a consequence of a loss of faith by Americans in both the Democrat and Republican political class: they elected a non-politician. The rise of UKIP in the UK was a consequence of a loss of faith by Britons in the established British mainstream political parties. And the same loss of faith is increasingly evident throughout the whole of Europe, with the rise of anti-politicians of various different shades and flavours, all of whom set themselves apart from the mainstream political parties of their various countries.
I don’t watch TV or read newspapers: that’s loss of faith in the mainstream media. I don’t believe in climate change/global warming: that’s loss of faith in science. I don’t care what either the Pope or the Archbishop of Canterbury say: that’s loss of faith in the churches. I don’t have a doctor: that’s loss of faith in the medical profession.
It seems that when this sort of loss of faith sets in, people turn away from institutions and organisations, and towards individuals. When institutions decompose, they decompose into their atomic individual components. And so Donald Trump is a highly individualistic individual. And so is Nigel Farage. And so is Beppe Grillo. And Marine Le Pen.
It’s also why strange people suddenly rise to prominence: for example, Jordan Peterson (who also happens to be highly individualistic) or Alex Jones or Rush Limbaugh.
Last night I watched an interview of William Binney. Binney worked for the NSA for 32 years, until he became thoroughly disillusioned. As is appropriate to this era of disillusionment, Binney wasn’t being interviewed by the BBC or CNN or MSNBC: he was being interviewed by a complete outsider armed with a computer and a couple of webcams. And for good measure, and extra added authenticity, he was interviewed in what seemed to be a noisy cafeteria.
And here’s another multiplying loss of faith, this time in intelligence agencies like the FBI and CIA and NSA. They’re all seen as liars, even if they’ve been telling noble lies. And it’s why people like ex-CIA director John Brennan and ex-FBI director James Comey are now appearing on TV and writing books: they’re trying to stem the rising tide of distrust in them and people like them. And it’s probably a lost cause, because neither Brennan nor Comey are authentic individuals: they’re both colourless empty suits.
What’s touted as a new American ‘civil war’ is perhaps simply the conflict between the dwindling numbers of true believers in mainstream media/science/politics and the multiplying numbers of newly disillusioned disbelievers. It’s not a reversible process. It’s not possible to regain faith once it has been lost. Once you’ve stopped believing Tobacco Control or Public Health or the BBC or the WHO, you can never regain your faith in them again. You can only gain faith in something new, something different. Hence Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Alex Jones, Michael Savage, Jordan Peterson. If so, then the growing disillusionment that we’re seeing will only deepen.
It seems I can no longer publicise WordPress posts on my Facebook page. Not sure what to do about that.