Abandoning Reason?

In 2004 journalist Ron Suskind quoted an aide to George Bush as saying that guys like him were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

This perhaps explains why the foreign policy positions and actions of the political and media elites in the west make no sense. They, their decisions and their rationales no longer conform to that framework of premises and rational processes that make civilised discussion possible.

The elites have substituted authority and force for reason … So they can condemn Putin for sending humanitarian aid to Donbass and give Netanyahu a free pass on genocide in Gaza, so they can claim to be helping the Syrian people while sponsoring a largely foreign opposition to the government the majority of Syrians support, so they can invade and bomb Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, in each case creating more chaotic and dangerous situations and yet claim to be liberating the people of those countries, so they can ignore the unmonitored nuclear arsenal in Israel and impose sanction on Iran for a supposed programme to develop nuclear weapons on the basis of zero evidence. Of course the list does not end there. But anyone who is not burying his/her head in the sand can see this. Today we talk about young Muslims being brainwashed and rejecting British and European values. Actually what they are rejecting are values that have already been discarded by the elites, values of reason, of tolerance, of liberty, equality and fraternity. In a society where the dominant narrative is unreasonable and impervious to reason, to analysis, is it any wonder that some resort to ideologies that are equally unreasonable, intolerant and impervious to analysis, in order to challenge that narrative.