On the 18th of March 2011, I wrote an essay titled the efficacy of falsehoods, wherein I explored the impacts of the lies told by governments, corporations, the ideologies and movements that proclaim pending revolutions as well as the agents that purport to lead those social transformations.
Like many of my essays, it did not claim to be an exhaustive blueprint for truth-telling or a complete analysis of the subjects, raised, but I did offer some thoughts worth pondering. I also offered some views regarding the type or character of people that I thought are needed in this world to ensure that revolutions do not backfire and end up serving the ends of the regimes/systems they aim to topple. We shall return to this essay shortly. For now, I am offering one of the quotations I used in this essay. It is a poignant
rebuke or a refutation of the notion of nationalism, written by famous Chilean novelist and activist Mario Vargas Llosa. It goes: “Nationalism is the culture of the uncultured, the religion of the demagogue, and a smokescreen behind which prejudice, violence and often racism can be found lurking. Because at the root of nationalism is the conviction that being part of a specific nation is an attribute, something distinctive, an essence shared by similarly privileged people, a condition that inevitably establishes a difference – a hierarchy – with respect to other people. It is the easiest thing in the world to play the nationalist card to whip up the crowd, especially if that crowd is made up of poor and ignorant people who are looking to vent their bitterness and frustration on something or someone.”
The fact that Vargas Llosa wrote this words as far back as 1992 is remarkably prescient. But then again this nationalist trick has been used to fool many people since time immemorial. It is just that humanity seems to learn nothing from the resulting chaos and wars that result from the fullest conclusion of these political gimmicks. For various reasons, people seem into fall irrational behaviour which one would thing we should have learned not to repeat.
In another section of my journals, I quote from Leibniz’s Philosophical writings as translated by Mary Morris; to tease out the reasons which human beings appear to repeat disastrous mistakes and costly mistakes:
“The human race, considered in relation to the sciences which minister to our happiness, appears to me like a disorderly rabble marching in the darkness, having neither leader nor order without password or other signals to regulate their march, or by which to know themselves. Instead of holding one another by the hand so as to guide one another and make sure of our way, we run about at random and to and fro, and even hurl ourselves one against another, far from helping and supporting each other. This means that we advance but little, or else that we know not where we are.” (p. 237, Miscellaneous Extracts from Leibniz …)