Summary: Make 2017 a big year in American history, the year its engines of reform roared into action. Here are some suggestions about ways you can help.
“Nietzsche said the newspaper had replaced the prayer in the life of the modern bourgeois, meaning that the busy, the cheap, the ephemeral, had usurped all that remained of the eternal in his daily life.”
— Allan Bloom in Closing of the American Mind (1988).
During the past decade I’ve written over 300 articles describing the tide of propaganda rising over America, now called “fake news” (links to some of the best appear at the end of the post). But the attention to the issue is misdirection in both senses.
Whining about our elites’ lies misrepresents the guilty parties. We consume information as entertainment (watching rather than acting), and have become gullible (more interested in entertaining stories that flatter our beliefs than their accuracy). The combination makes us weak. Of course our elites exploit this. It’s the Great Circle of Life at work. We will be prey so long as we are weak. Our leaders treat us like dogs because we are like dogs. We are the weak link in America.
When we again become skeptical of what we’re told, when again we organize, when we again become strong — then our leaders again will respect us. Here are some easy first steps you can do in 2017.
(1) Spend less time acquiring information about politics and more time applying it. Life is short, and the sea of information is limitless. Be purposeful in what you read. Sharpening your axe is useless unless you use it. For details see Becoming better informed won’t help. Here’s a small easy step towards political change.
(2) Change your values. Instead of judging information by how well it supports’ your political tribe’s beliefs, evaluate it primarily by its accuracy. Join the reality-based community. For details see Swear allegiance to the truth as a step to reforming America.
(3) Don’t just react, remember. Both sides want to believe that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia. The Right says that billionaires can’t be corrupt, despite history (one of countless examples of their amnesia). The Left says that the election was illegitimate and we shouldn’t accept Trump as “our president” (exactly what they predicted Trump would do, and condemned him for). History is our anchor to reality, our first defense against propaganda. For details see Remembering is the first step to learning. Living in the now is ignorance.
(4) Choose some ways you can help start the reform of America. It is a project to which each of us can contribute. For ideas see this list of posts: Reforming America: Steps to a New Politics.
Let’s make 2017 a big year in American history. The clock is running. Time is no longer our friend.
For More Information
Other ways to make 2017 count: This New Year, let’s resolve to face the future with care, not fear. A New Year’s resolution for America.
- Important: Politics in modern America: A users’ guide for journalists and reformers.
- We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today.
- Finding insights in the seas of information & misinformation.
- Ways to deal with those guilty of causing the fake news epidemic.
- The secret source of fake news. Its discovery will change America.
- A new year’s gift: two tools to help discover truth in the news.