… on the other: The Real Lessons Of 1984 Have Nothing To Do With Donald Trump. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)
The Trump White House's ridiculous attempt to speak of 'alternative facts' wasn't a sign that the Trump White House wishes to close down free thought in America. Why should it want to? Free thought in the USA, as elsewhere in the Western world, isn't threatened. That's because hardly anybody does it and those who do think freely have very little access to mass platforms. On those mass platforms, where news has often become self-affirming storytelling, people are told what they want to believe by their chosen organ of information, and they duly believe it. They want to believe it because they don't want their contentment interrupted by awkward information which might impose obligations on them to think or act. They are cheerfully passive. They have chosen their own passivity, in which they can enjoy the personal autonomy which is now the universal goal.It is, however, nice to learn that the new President will defer to his Secretary of Defense on the matter of torture. The former is of the opinion that torture can have some utility, the latter apparently thinks not. Actually, I am sure that torture does work at times, but just as the best argument against capital punishment is that it is wrong to kill people, so the best argument against torture is that it is wrong to torture people.