A recent Gallup survey reports that confidence in institutions has fallen to an all time low among Americans. The only institutions trusted by a majority of people are small business, the military and the police. The last two are dropping quickly, which makes sense given the behavior of these institutions. A military full of drag queens and a police force siding with barbarians does not inspire confidence. Faith in small business simply reflects the fact that people continue to trust good people.
The normal reaction from the usual suspects is to blame their favorite bogeymen for the collapse in social trust. They will not use the term “social trust” as that risks entering a forbidden zone, but that is the topic. Trust in institutions is a proxy for social trust, how much people trust the people they do not know in their community. A big driver of the collapse in social trust is a generation of open borders. When your neighborhood is full of strange aliens, it is hard to trust anything or anyone.
As is often the case, the flood of aliens into your neighborhood is a symptom of a much bigger problem that lies at the heart of it. The people in charge simply cannot stop lying, which reflects on the institutions they control. The obvious example is the news media, which is approaching single digits in the Gallup poll. The fact that anyone trusts the media is an argument against universal suffrage. Many people, at least ten percent based on the survey, are too stupid to vote.
Putting that aside, the media has become a torrent of lies. Since the very beginning, the media has been partisan. In colonial times, newspapers were known to be advocates for one faction or another. This is what you should get in a society with a free press, free speech and a culture of debate. The partisans in the media make their case for their cause, often cherry picking the facts that work best for them. This is no different from what happens in a courtroom or a business meeting.
That is a vastly different thing than what we see today. Only a complete idiot trusts anything he reads or hears in the media. The starting assumption is not only that the facts are wrong, but the people behind them know they are wrong. It is not partisan zeal or human error, but a deliberate effort to deceive. The people endlessly going on about disinformation are the primary source of disinformation. They either promote the lies of government or they create their own lies.
This story about the war in the New York Times is a good example. Some version of this story has been floating around since the start of the war. It was cooked up by the usual suspects who have been championing war with Russia. The central claim is they have inside access to Putin’s inner circle is obviously false. His one source is not an independent Russian analysist, but a paid anti-Russian activist. The source makes this clear in his own bio.
The author of the New York Times piece is a notorious liar who runs interference for the neocon cult. Despite being a proven liar, he maintains a spot at the main news site in the empire. Certainly, his bosses know he is an activist and a liar. They keep him on because he tells the lies they like to promote. The point is, they know they are lying, they know we know they are lying, we know they know we know they are lying, but they are still lying. No wonder trust has dropped to zero.
The media is an easy example. They are simply mockingbirds mimicking the sounds from the institutions they allegedly cover. Notice trust in medicine has dropped over the last year, which should surprise no one. They willingly went along with the Covid farce and the vaccine mandates. When people raised reasonable questions about the side effects of the vaccine, Big Medicine was right there to tell the media that those doubters were hooligans and troublemakers.
The fact that those concerns were legitimate and proven correct is a big reason people are now more skeptical of medicine. More important, telling the truth would have served the interest of medicine. Medicine is nothing but trade-offs between the risk of disease and the risks that come with the cure. Chemotherapy is terrible, but it is better than dying from cancer. Instead of being honest about this, they chose to lie which suggests these are people who simply enjoy lying.
No one expects the institutions to be honest all the time. Men are not angels and as long as the institutions are controlled by men, they will have all of the vices that are part of the human condition. What is new in this age is the culture of lying that has taken hold of the managerial class. They seem to take pleasure in lying to the general public, as if it is a status marker. If you cook up some outlandish whopper you get points in the social credit system of the ruling class.
In this regard, it makes sense why they selected Biden for president. In addition to his stupidity, Biden is a notorious liar. A big part of his affable simpleton routine while in the senate was his penchant for telling outlandish whoppers. Of course, he was always the hero of his tall tales. He is a man who has done nothing useful so he made up for it with glorious tales about himself. In a system increasing defined by a culture of deceit, it makes sense to have a notorious liar as the figurehead.
There is a cost to lying. The drop in trust is one consequence. The main cost is that a society low in social trust is harder to maintain than one with high trust. The cost of keeping America together is reaching a tipping point. Then there is the transaction cost of everyday life. In a world where no one trusts anyone, the cost of doing even simple things goes up. A big part of the drop in the standard of living is due to the collapse in social trust due to the constant lying.
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