What is the True Mind and Spirit of our Times revealing to us?

Today the Truth has become malleable within our public discourse. The Media News outlets are no longer defenders and purveyors of Truth.  Instead these institutions are focused on influencing public opinions and furthering Corporate agendas. Politicians and leaders now confuse the public with disinformation or “alternate facts”.

The Media has become a source of disinformation

The Truth is no longer absolute, or regarded in sanctity. It has become burdensome, inexpedient and irrelevant. If the truth does not support a given political party’s agenda,  its adherents simply dismiss or discredit the veracity of established facts. We live in a time of rampant disinformation and biased rhetoric, which is given credence over actual facts. These are but a few examples of the innumerable deceptions being purveyed by corporate media, as it has devolved into partisan entertainment.

The Truth has become so polarized and subjective today, that it’s helpful to remind ourselves of its definition. The term Truth;  Noun; the quality or state of being true, a true state of matter, conformity of fact or reality. A verified indisputable fact, proposition, principle.

What does the True Mind and Spirit of our Times say about our leaders?

Irony?- A surreal photo of Donald Trump with Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) in Wall Street 2

Zeitgeist, a German word which loosely translates as the general beliefs, ideas, and spirit of a given time and place. It’s the general morals, intellectual, and cultural climate of a specific era. Zeitgeist  is the True Mind or Time Spirit of a people.

For example, 1980s America is often characterized as having been an era of greed and excess. The 1980s was a record-setting era that produced more jobs and more economic expansion than any other time in U.S. history. While this fact is often touted as the Reagan Boom, it is also disparaged as a policy of Trickle-down Economics.  The power of money was celebrated, greed glorified, and mindless consumerism was reaching its pinnacle.

The purpose for introducing the subject of Truth and Zeitgeist together in this article is to encourage all to pause and reflect. What can we observe about our era and time that we are now living in? Can we identify the general attitudes and spirit of our society in this present moment? How is the current political climate reflecting the mindset and sentiment of the people?

There are two contrasting theories which explain how leaders rise within a society.

The “Great Man theory” was popularized by Thomas Carlyle, a Scottish philosopher, satirical writer, historian and teacher during the Victorian era. He is considered one of the most important social commentators of his time. Carlyle furthered the theory, that great Men define their Time,  thereby writing world history through their own attributes and abilities. He theorized that a Great leader or hero, owes his success to their own charisma, intelligence, wisdom, and political skills.

The “Zeitgeist Theory” is often contrasted with the Great Man Theory.  Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy disagreed with Carlyle’s perspective. Leo Tolstoy is renowned for his epic novel “War and Peace”.  Tolstoy believed that leadership is a result of “zeitgeist” the true mind or spirit of the time. That leaders were a result or product of the societal factors of their time which are out of the individuals’ control. Zeitgeist theory suggests that the era determines the leaders we choose, as they represent the spirit of their time.  

Given these two contrasting views on how we select our leaders, which best explains the results of our recent presidential election? Has a great leader come to hold the highest office in the land based on their intelligence, charisma, wisdom and political skills? Or has societal factors, the conditions and feelings of our population, given rise to a leader that embodies the spirit of this present time?

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth-persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” JFK

JFK on the Enemy of Truth

“The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie- deliberate, contrived and dishonest- but the myth- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forbears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought” ~ John F. Kennedy

In the absence of discernible truth, opinion rules our public discourse. A misinformed society can be manipulated to enable the unscrupulous to manifest their darkest desires. We must be wary of the mega corporations which own all of our major media news outlets. These institutions have their own agendas driven by their multifaceted business interests. 

The biases and interests of these major business are played out for us in the form of entertainment news, coupled with pseudo punditry. Since the advent of the 24 hr. new cycle, programmers have sought to increase their viewership. It is abundantly clear that in order to hold an audience’s attention, the program must have entertainment qualities.

There are the more subversive elements within these productions which rely heavily on sexuality and seduction.

These productions rely heavily on sexuality and seduction

Therefore programmers employ ticker tapes that runs on the lower portion of the screen. They incorporate use of high- definition bright lights and patriotic bold colors. The news sets are flashy, striking and worthy of wonder as intended to capture our attention. However, the formula is far more complex when further examined. The commentators, the news anchors each develop their own personas, and mimic the craft used by actors.

There are the more subversive elements within these productions which rely heavily on sexuality and seduction. One of the major networks has mastered this tactic, through deployment of beautiful and curvaceous women as their spokesperson line up. Each woman is provocatively dressed, wearing a short form-fitting skirt, her legs precariously crossed in full view of the camera. The male cast members are also well-groomed, fit and keenly focused on their appearance. Every aspect of the entertainment news plays into our societal vanities, and unrealistic definitions of beauty.

It is in the state of sexual provocation that an audience becomes more impressionable and receptive to the views being expressed. The overt nature of this form of manipulation is disturbing. The power of seduction is timeless and perhaps the most nefarious tool that can be deployed on their viewing audience.  

History has demonstrated the dangers to a society when it blindly accepts establishment provided propaganda.

Large segments of our society believe that the Truth belongs to their ideological label or party affiliation. Convinced that their Leaders are righteous, and have all our collective highest good at heart. Some may feel that governance is on par with sports, so there must be winners and losers. That ultimately the enemy, or the marginalized cannot possibly possess nor speak the truth. History validates this perception since it’s seldom objective, and most often written by the victorious and powerful.

This picture of a lone German who refused to salute Hitler during a rally.

This is the narrative that belongs to compliant society which does not remain vigilante. History has demonstrated the dangers to a society when it blindly accepts establishment provided propaganda. The same characteristics can be attributed to the faithful followers who willfully accept religious dogma, content to be subservient to an ambitious  Shepherd. In either scenario a society can be subverted, in fanning the flames of bigotry and hatred.

Many within our society are afraid to question or deviate from talking points and their partisan beliefs. The corporate media skillfully prepare narratives for us, thus eliminating the burden of critical thinking. There is real fear of being ostracized or alienated if we stray from strict allegiance to a party or label. It takes courage to stand for one’s principles, and perhaps even brass balls. Take for example, This picture of a lone German who refused to salute Hitler during a rally.

Disinformation is corrosive to our democracy and we the People, must guard against it.

The sanctity of Truth cannot be entrusted to the pundits, commentators and talking heads of corporate media. We cannot take for granted the honesty of our leaders and government. Only a well-informed constituency can hold their leaders and fellow citizens accountable for their actions. Our government must not rule with impunity or in absence of vigorous honest debate. Disinformation is corrosive to our democracy and we, as citizens must guard against it.

The premise of a free and independent press was established by the First Amendment. The Founding Fathers  granted the free press this absolute protection, so that it may fulfill its essential role and duty within our democracy. The First Amendment’s intention was to ensure that a free press would only serve the governed, and not the governors.

Given the unprecedented influence corporations now exert over our democracy, haven’t they become the governors? What form of independent press still remains within our society that is truly free from partisan influence?  The days of ethical journalism is over, and now relegated to the annals of our Great Nation. As history has demonstrated, the dangers of unbridled propaganda, and misinformation on a society can destroy it from within. We the People, must stand united in guarding against it. We must remain vigilante in demanding absolute Truth from an independent press, leaders and ourselves.

Pundits have ruined Journalism