Policy of Truth

You had something to hide
Should have hidden it, shouldn’t you?
Now you’re not satisfied
With what you’re being put through

It’s just time to pay the price
For not listening to advice
And deciding in your youth
On the policy of truth

Things could be so different now
It used to be so civilized
You will always wonder how
It could have been if you’d only lied

It’s too late to change events
It’s time to face the consequence
For delivering the proof
In the policy of truth

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Now you’re standing there tongue tied
You better learn your lesson well
Hide what you have to hide
And tell what you have to tell

You’ll see your problems multiplied
If you continually decide
To faithfully pursue
The policy of truth

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

Never again
Is what you swore
The time before

When Black people were slaves, white people were free. When Black people were free, white people were slaves. Slavery wasn’t just the basis of the plantation economy. It was the basis of democracy for the well-mannered overlords of elite southern society. For them, without slavery – without suffering – civilization would collapse.

Among the many obvious problems with this way of thinking is something less obvious. If you believe that what’s bad for Black people is good for white people, what do you have when they, through means internal and external, achieve their freedom?

The answer is nothing.

There’s no there there. There’s no moral constitution that can go on in the absence of a social and political order built on Black bodies. Yes, not just slavery. Black bodies stacked up over centuries – were the foundation. Take them away? Civilization really does collapse.

Now apply this binary mode of thinking to a subject much in vogue these days thanks to redhat propagandists like Tucker Carlson. Of course, the subject I’m talking about is “The End of Men” or, as David Brooks put it more mildly, the “Crisis of Men and Boys.”

At the root of this subject is an assumption that, if given a hard look, would be seen as gonzo nuts. Anyone with eyes that can see – or senses that can sense – can discern that men, especially white men, are doing fine. To be sure, problems remain, societally and individually. But relative to others, white men are still on top.

Here’s an example: I’m 48, white, tall, bald. (Not bad looking.) When I go to pick up my daughter from school, where she’s in the racial minority, nonwhite parents, especially mothers, see me coming and hustle themselves and their kids out of the way, even apologizing as if they’ve done something wrong by standing still in public. This … just happens. It’s not natural, though. It’s a culture white men created.

That culture is complicated, but I think it boils down to this: white men deserve whatever they desire – money, sex, power, whatever.

This is somewhat scandalous to talk about openly, so we invented all sorts of ways of pretending that white men work as hard as other people do; that we aren’t the center of a political culture built for us centuries ago; and that we don’t accept at birth a rich inheritance.

Of course, we do.

The question is whether we want to know that we do.

Because if white men don’t know, what happens when they don’t get their heart’s desire? Some men turn inward to religion. Some to politics. But others don’t have what it takes to reconcile themselves to the consequences of democratic politics. So they reach for a gun.

Still, others discover ways to profit from telling these white men that democratic politics has cheated them of their birthright – that when women gain a fraction of an inch of political power, it’s castration; that when Black people succeed, in business or sports or politics, that’s a sign of societal disease and rot. It wasn’t this way back in the day. Something’s gone terribly wrong. We gotta do something.

To be sure, propagandists like Carlson influence these men in various and sundry ways, but propaganda doesn’t work unless there’s already a kernel of truth to build on. In this case, there are two kernels.

One, as I said, is a political culture telling white men that they deserve everything. But the other is perhaps more important: an understanding, though likely unconscious, that if white men do not dominate – that if women and nonwhite people have equal political power as a consequence of democratic politics – what do they have?


They don’t have moral cores that exist independently of the lives and fortunes of their supposed inferiors, because the political culture permits them to grow up without bothering to develop moral cores. What do they have when women are strong and independent?

Due to either-or thinking, nothing.

Worse, they are nothing. Zeroes, ciphers, blanks.

That’s so terrifying, you’ll believe anything.

The reaction among Democrats and liberals, to things like the funny recommendation for men to beam red light onto their genitals, is by now conventional. We say that this wouldn’t happen if these men weren’t so sexist, so racist, so something-ist. If they only sought to be as “enlightened” as we are, this farce would be self-evident.

What some Democrats and liberals – especially Twitter hard*sses – don’t account for is that this reaction feeds into the either-or thinking that seeded a political culture at the root of the problem.

We keep telling them to not be something. But not being something terrifies them. The more we say don’t be X, the more they double down on being X. We see the former as the solution. They see the former as the problem. Either-or thinking becomes a vicious cycle.

Instead of telling them not to be something, we should tell them to be something. In other words, we should admonish them to develop a moral core – a rich inner life – that can exist independently without being conditioned on democratic politics. Instead of sharing power being seen as losing power, it would simply be seen as sharing it.

Developing such a thing is a heavy lift, though.

Living in your inheritance takes less effort.

Over the past several decades comic books have gradually evolved from a niche hobby into the most valuable intellectual property in Hollywood. One person who has been around the industry during every step of that evolution is Alan Moore, who wrote landmark comics like “Watchmen,” “V for Vendetta,” and “Batman: The Killing Joke.”

While Moore was an essential figure in the artistic legitimization of comic books, that doesn’t mean he’s thrilled to see what the industry has turned into. In a new interview with The Guardian, Moore expressed his concerns about our culture’s newfound obsession with superheroes.

“I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see ‘Batman’ movies,” Moore said. “Because that kind of infantilization – that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities – that can very often be a precursor to fascism.”

He continued: “Hundreds of thousands of adults lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys—and it was always boys—of 50 years ago. I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare. I think that this was a misunderstanding born of what happened in the 1980s—to which I must put my hand up to a considerable share of the blame, though it was not intentional—when things like ‘Watchmen’ were first appearing. There were an awful lot of headlines saying ‘Comics Have Grown Up’.”

Moore gets plenty of credit for turning comic books into an art form adults, but he’s not sure that’s what they actually are.

“I tend to think that, no, comics hadn’t grown up,” he said. “There were a few titles that were more adult than people were used to. But the majority of comics titles were pretty much the same as they’d ever been. It wasn’t comics growing up. I think it was more comics meeting the emotional age of the audience coming the other way.”

While Moore is proud of the work that he’s done in comic books, his distaste for everything that surrounds them prompted him to move on to other kinds of writing.

“I will always love and adore the comics medium but the comics industry and all of the stuff attached to it just became unbearable.”

Published by billgamesh

Revivable Cryopreservation Advocate

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