4 years ago1,000+ Views
Making ominous prophecies in 1992, was hardly the bon ton. The world was still celebrating the end of the cold war, and everyone was sure that humanity is stepping into a better area. But the hands of the Doomsday Clock that were moved in 1991 to 23:43, are now back at 23:57 and the prediction of that Sun Microsystems sales strategist turned out to be pretty right. Why? what went wrong? Well it might be that this is one of the cases in history where the blame can be put on a certain person at a certain time. In this case the person is president William Jefferson Clinton, and the time was when he looked straight into the camera and denied his affair with Monica Lewinsky. It was not the first, nor the last time, a leader lied to his people. But still it was different because it was the first time, the impact was so large. When Monica Lewinsky became "Patient 0 of Internet defamation", as she puts it, the entire Western civilization lost something crucially important - we lost our story. As rational people, we do not expect our leaders to be perfect. Winston Churchill suffered from clinical depression and had a drinking problem. JFK was even less sexually prudence than Bill Clinton. But there are certain circumstances in which we open our minds and hearts, to accept what leaders tell us as the truth. When the president of the United States looked straight into the camera and told us that it is OK to defame a young woman and destroy her life, and that instead of taking responsibility and at least apologize, he is going to resort to legal means, it left everyone utterly confused because it shredded to pieces the story that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves that as western people we believe in reason, truthfulness and respect to others. We tell ourselves that unlike other, barbaric cultures, we can act in compassion and inhibit our brutal instincts. We tell ourselves that our democratic system enables us to choose worthy leaders. But since that day when President Clinton lied to us, on camera and in such a blunt way, we can't be sure of our story anymore. And so we leave the stage open for other narratives, much less plausible and much more harmful than our own, but that people who tell them to themselves, can still believe in, with all their hearts. Its World War IV, and to win the war, we must first win back our story.
How long will it take for people to truly be ready to claim their own stories back? To claim the truth back? How can they discern the truth? And how can we make truth the standard, not the hope? I'm not sure.
You are making a very important point @goyo, have you noticed how everybody became agnostic all of the sudden?
@orenshani7 I do not think that history is shaped not by the actions of one person, rather by the actions of many who follow that person. I think that Clinton's fall from grace is a clear sign that we refused to follow him. There are many things that he did well, but what do people remember about him? I do not beleive that we followed blindly. in fact, I think that it was just one of the first few examples of how we refused to believe what we were told. And that, for better or worse, was the beginning of the true dissemination of knowledge.