“Enemy of the people” is, of course, a phrase historically associated with Stalin and other tyrants. This is no accident. Mr. Trump isn’t a dictator — not yet, anyway — but he clearly has totalitarian instincts.

And much, perhaps most, of his party is happy to go along, accepting even the most bizarre conspiracy theories. For example, a huge majority of Republicans believe Mr. Trump’s basically insane charges about being wiretapped by President Obama.

So don’t make the mistake of dismissing the assault on the Congressional Budget Office as some kind of technical dispute. It’s part of a much bigger struggle, in which what’s really at stake is whether ignorance is strength, whether the man in the White House is the sole arbiter of truth.

Continue reading:  Facts Are Enemies of the People


2 thoughts on “Facts Are Enemies of the People (by Paul Krugman)

    • Trump didn’t start it, but he has taken it to a new level in the realm of politics. Human beings have always had trouble with objectivity, and this problem seems to be getting worse in recent decades. Whether triggered by fear, hubris, narcissism, rebelliousness, or some other mental condition, people instinctively fall into subjectivity particularly when experiencing stress. Obviously, it is emotionally reassuring for people to self-validate their own thoughts and beliefs by rejecting any objective frames of reference which might prove contradictory.

      From Wikipedia:

      The term is most commonly used as an explanation for that which influences, informs, and biases people’s judgments about truth or reality; it is the collection of the perceptions, experiences, expectations, personal or cultural understanding, and beliefs specific to a person. It is often used in contrast to the term objectivity,[1] which is described as a view of truth or reality which is free of any individual’s influence.

      Philosophical concept

      The rise of the notion of subjectivity has its philosophical roots in the thinking of Descartes and Kant, and its articulation throughout the modern era has depended on the understanding of what constitutes an individual. There have been various interpretations of such concepts as the self and the soul, and the identity or self-consciousness which lies at the root of the notion of subjectivity.[2]

      Nihilism is a philosophical expression of subjectivity where objective frames of reference are discarded in favor of personal perception: everything is meaningless outside the individual. Religious dogma expresses subjectivity with a convenient spin: everything is meaningless outside of God. Megalomaniacs, like Trump, spin subjectivity even further: everything is meaningless outside of what I say is meaningful.

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