New book out: Destruction of Meaning by Simon Hardy
Nothing really makes sense any more.
Politics is full of Orwellian contradictions and doublethink. We have a Communist Party of China ruling over one of the most dynamic capitalist economies in human history. We have a free-market liberal US President who is regularly denounced as a “socialist” in his own country, and was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize whilst he was ordering drone-strikes in civilian areas in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
We have a media which both exalts the personality of the politicians whilst exposing their sheer lack of depth. We have debates between mainstream parties that get more intense and heated when they have fewer differences. We have a political-media machine at the heart of western politics which willfully conflates and distorts political issues to the extent where most US citizens think Saddam Hussein attacked the World Trade Centre (he didn’t) and most British people dramatically overestimate the number of Asylum Seekers and immigrants in their country, leading to a vicious cycle of voting for anti-immigration politicians who stoke up further racist hatred. So misinformed were people that The Independent published the findings of the report under the headline “British public wrong about nearly everything, survey shows“. Today most people support indefinite restrictions on their democratic rights in order to defend their democratic rights.
In a world where actual ideological differences count for very little, and the media spin machine drives the political machine like a tail wagging a dog, the meaning of things is not only lost, it is systematically obscured. In a society of unequal power relations where an elite rules over the majority, and where consistent and clear opposition to their rule is itself scattered and confused, the tendency towards distortion of truth accelerates.
Destruction of Meaning, written by ACI supporter Simon Hardy, outlines how the move to the right in politics internationally and the New Right’s effort to create the “new individual” – an atomised and socially neglected consumer has left us on an increasingly barren terrain of political debate.
We have to fight back to reclaim meaning and truth in our lives, to resist the poverty of imagination that haunts our culture and to resist the efforts of those in power to confuse and demoralise us with their triumphalist lies.