Truth, Democracy, and the Difficulties Involved

Glen Greenwald Interview following resignation

This is a dangerous undertaking, perhaps, because of the real possibility that the message of both this writer and that of the person featured in the video attached. But it is the stuff of an important concern that needs to be taken up because it has much to do with the possibility of a viable democratic discourse and, thus, the possibility of a viable democratic society, that is, a society in which citizens participate in civic discussion with a level of understanding of issues at hand that is high enough that the talk is about truth, the best approximations based in the honest attempt by all involved to understand what is real and the meaning of that reality for decisions that must be made for the good of the whole.
What Glen Greenwald is talking about in this interview is the difficulty of having such discussion in the context of our current political and societal realities, the level of polarization such that partisanship cancels out honesty, honest attempts to describe reality and its meanings rejected out of hand despite their potential for producing honest description of what actually is and what it means.
He is a reporter and commentator. The perspective that colors his reporting and commentary he does not hide. He is of the left and, it is the left that he criticizes here because he HONESTLY believes that both left and right, and center too, rarely care to engage in honest fact-based discourse or care to acknowledge viable evidence that may be harmful to the partisan cause.
He received considerable criticism from rightly anti-Trump people who wanted to suppress the real information contained in the Wiki Leak materials that showed foulness in and foul play by the democratic party, for example. Few disputed the truth of what was contained in those documents but many wanted him to shut up about them because they would be hurtful to the democratic candidate running against Donald Trump.
The good people, center and left of center who supported the anti-Trump candidate, for good reason did not want to hear harmful truths regarding their candidate.
The flap discussed in the video is related to Greenwald quitting the publication he founded because, he claims, against the agreement he had with those managing the Intercept, a piece he had written containing material perceived by management as potentially harmful to Joe Biden, was met with refusal to print unless that material were cut from the article.
Greenwald’s battle is over suppression of uncomfortable truths or potentially true information by partisans, here, directly, partisans of the anti-right, anti-Trump supporters of the alternative, here, this time around, that person being Joe Biden.

There is a lot to say about what Greenwald says here, about the Intercept resignation and the criticism that is following it. There is a lot to say about what Greenwald is saying about the American media and his appearances on Fox News with, of all people, the terrible Tucker Carlson. And much, too, to say about why this reporter/commentator, still very much left leaning, is not invited as he once was, with open arms, to appear on MSNBC.

Do think about this if you read this far and watch the video. There are many who do not like the truth. There are many who know that their causes can be hurt by the truth and their causes, good as they may be, in suppressing truth or attempting to do so, ultimately hurt their causes by doing so. Think of the Boy Scouts or the Catholic Church. And the Democratic Party?

Democracy Dangerous

America’s mishandling of democracy is undermining the potential of democracy as a force for good in the world. That mishandling has much to do with an overwhelming force existing in this society that intentionally makes democracy stupid. It is called capitalism and it is an economic system for the few predicated on the stupidity of the many. That few are able to insure stupidity by dominating most all elements of education–the schools, the media–stupidity essential to making sales. Religion is a companion force, a tool. Whereas in a democracy of merit, the democratic process controls the economic system, in the American system, the economic system is in control of all aspects of the decision making process and it is not at all democratic.

Greenwald Quits Intercept

Emails With Intercept Editors Showing Censorship of My Joe Biden Article

This is an important article in which Glenn Greenwald, the founder of The Intercept presents a series of interactions he had with the organization’s editors before he decided to resign.

We do have a freedom of speech problem in this country and it is not solely a right-wing problem. There are far too many on the left and in-between who want to find reasons to prevent those with whom they disagree–often for very good reason–speak claiming that such speech is dangerous.

What is dangerous about dangerous speech is the intelligence/thinking ability of those who hear it and believe it and act upon it. To stop anyone from speaking is to censor and when censorship comes into play, is allowed, to prevent speech of any kind, there is a profound danger that its use will be allowed to widen, censors of some kind making decisions as to what will be heard and what will not be.

Free speech is free only when there are no censors. Allowing censors of any kind make “fair” censors of all kinds.

Free speech is a dangerous proposition and it is, perhaps, the proposition most essential to free society and meaningful democracy. As the Declaration discusses, “a decent respect to the opinions of mankind” so necessary a feature of a humane society that the King’s unwillingness to demonstrate such respect is reason enough to declare independence.

I hate much speech that I hear because it is hateful speech. I detest lies and too much of the speech I hear is from liars lying to do harm to others in order to get what they want for themselves. I would like for them to shut up but I cannot support anyone who would try to shut them up. The onus is on he or she who hears to decide how to take and act upon what is said by any other in a free society.

I sometimes wish Glenn would not say what he does. I wish this because what he says sometimes do damage to causes I support. He does this, way too often, by telling the truth, truth that I would like to not be true but which is. I also know of lies that I make true because they serve my causes.

It hurts to be honest and it often hurts to listen to what is being said. I cannot see how there can be freedom without tolerating the pain caused because freedom, in good part, places the responsibility for sorting out what is good and true from what is bad and untrue. THAT IS WHAT SCHOOLS IN A PROPER DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY SERVE TO HELP CITIZENS LEARN HOW TO DO.

Thank you Glenn for saying what needs to be said. I greatly appreciate your being such an effective pain in the ass.

Oh well

Oh well, democrats will say. What else could have been done? That should be taken as a joke but it will not be. Two bogus appointments and there will be but a wimpier and call for mutual respect. If I could reach across that isle I might just do my throttling on both sides of it.

Fight

Why do I understand “fight” to mean something so much different than these people? Fight to me means doing something as radical as is necessary and possible within the laws (if the laws are just and fair) in regard to the seriousness of the consequences of losing. The democrats do not fight. They whine and and are sorry and hurt and upset, feel mistreated, maybe even cheated upon. And then. instead of a properly angry response worthy of those most harmed, they wait until the next election and then, when in power, waits until it is time to get slapped around again, sometimes that time is while in office.

Remedy

 do not like this remedy. I do not like the idea of changing rules to better suit one’s own desires. But “fair” is no longer the rule and just is no longer the process by which laws are made and adjudicated. Too, there are times when the consequences for real people’s lives are so dire that rules have to be suspended until the what is dangerous to them is eradicated. We are at that point now, have been for a long time and a hyper sense of fairness, something I have long supported, has proven to be harmful to the good, to the welfare of real human beings, the end of their suffering of first consideration, this a first step in reshaping the rules so they support what is decent and humane.  

Rashida Tlaib
@RashidaTlaib
·
1h

US House candidate, MI-13
We are going to take back the White House & Senate next week with a resounding mandate from the people to fight back against Trump’s illegitimately stacked judiciary. We must expand the Court if we’re serious about the transformational change the people are crying out for.

Stupid

I have been a miserable person for this lifetime because I could never turn it off. I continued to see same wrongs being done to people as when I was in Delano or on the streets of Los Angeles or sitting on train tracks to stop bombs from rolling through Davis. None of those actions helped to change things so much as to prevent the same kinds of crimes from being committed over and over again ever year under every kind of administration and congress. Too stupid to give up maybe.

could not have done more

Response to suggestion that democrats could have done nothing to stop three Trump appointments to the court, this while fuming at the suggestion that impotence on the part of the only “other” party is somehow acceptable, the consequences to be considered inevitable. Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless, hopeless…

If y’all would have begun a long while back to build a party that focused first on the good of the whole rather on preserving a system that best serves the interests of those of wealth and purchased political power, y’all would have a counterforce to the forces that have been fucking up people around the world for a very long time. Powerless is a wonderful excuse for the only entity, the Democratic Party, that stands between conservative tyranny and a society safe for sensible and humane people. It, the democratic party, IS a CAUSE of the misery because it will not act as a deterrent to tyranny, this because the tyranny is better for the party’s owners than a society in which predatory capitalism is properly and humanely strangled.Edit

Immoral

Most know that the system was compromised a long time ago. Too many believe that playing within the system can lead to changes in the system. We have been slogging along on this absurd path for a long time and while getting nowhere, those who manage the system “for us” have gotten so far ahead that it is quite possible that they will do even more in the future to control our lives for their purposes even more so than they do now. What evidence? We are so deeply immersed in it that is a reality we can no longer see anything else as a possible and better reality.

If we can get our heads out of the muck for a minute to see those other possibilities, perhaps then we will realize how vicious and inhumane the current system is, so corrupt that it is beyond immoral.

When the law should be made illegal

A horrible situation for all who wish to operate under rule of law, being forced into a situation in which accepting much of what is lawful is harmful to the well being of human beings. I remember how twisted I felt the world had become when the law wanted to force me to go far away to fight in a war the purpose of which, at first I could not, because no one could our would help me to, understand what it was about and that, once I did understand what it was about, knew I would be killing others for purposes that were themselves wrong, patently and atrociously inhumane. The fucking law made it wrong for me to refuse to murder other human beings because those who were making law in this country wanted something they had no right to have.

I have been law abiding. I have done what I have been legally bound to do and I have watched many around me succeed by not abiding even by laws that gravely and unfairly favored them over others just as deserving, often greatly better (not better off) fellow human beings.
I protested, within the laws and watched as the privileged members of the society protested against my protesting, sometimes by passing laws to keep me from disturbing the order that disturbed me.
I knew that unfairness was written into the law early on in life and decided to abide even with what caused me harm believing that when the law was remade to reflect principles of fairness, equity, and justice, it would be important to be able to say I have always been a law abiding citizen. Abiding by the laws makes living decently in a democratic society possible.
The laws, thought, their affect, has often been hard to tolerate morally, the inequities, the kinds of penalties in life people endure for at least as often for doing right as doing wrong. Think of how Trump’s evil predatory business practices were treated under the law and by the law. How it is legal for private companies to profit from imprisoning other’s, from taking away others livelihoods, throwing them out of their homes, poisoning the air and water and destroying much of what is good and natural in the world, owning some of its most beautiful places and abusing those who have most right to those places and their rights.

IT HAS GONE WAY TOO FAR and nothing is changing. The better laws, the just, equitable, fair laws were but a dream, a fantasy, those who benefit from injustice, inequity, and unfairness have used and abused the law to make themselves so powerful as to be the law and to have rights to use it to insure that the injustices, the inequities, and the unfairness continue to benefit them, these people with no concern for the suffering of others, who value THEIRS so much more than others that all but theirs are expendable. THIS SHOULD BE OBVIOUS FROM HOW COVID HAS BEEN HANDLED.
It should have been obvious when the sons and daughters of the rich and powerful have not been forced to fight the wars their rich and powerful parents passed laws to force other peoples’ children to fight or when they did so much to defund public education and make it right for their public schools to be better public schools than those other peoples’ children could have.

When those weren’t good enough for theirs, they worked to change the laws to make it easier for them to send theirs to private schools.
Either this is the law at its worst because there will be a horrendous effort–inside the law but maybe in violation of those laws that were put their to prevent righteousness and fairness across the board–to make the law properly humane, make it work for the good of the whole, the common good OR, just as likely, it is time just admit that such are the way things are and that we have to live within the limits of what is possible.
THAT POSSIBLE WAS CREATED. IT WAS FABRICATED BY SOME HUMAN BEINGS AND OTHERS WERE CONVINCED TO BELIEVE IN ITS INEVITABILITY.

To believe that this is how it has to be is surrender to the inevitability of inhumanity. I want to think that Paulo Freire was right in thinking that HUMANIZATION IS THE TRUE VOCATION OF HUMAN KIND. Go with Paulo and there is hope and even likelihood that the better will come. But not without one hell of a fight.