In relation to my need to survive in life as a free person, the Powers-that-be are equivalent to a person who always lies. I and the individual worker bees of any society always speak the truth to ourselves — even when living a lie — so we are equivalent to a person who always tells the truth. This is getting somewhere and needs to be developed as an alternative to truth. The reasonable inference from the analogy I am using and reasoning is that when acting upon words that are the truth as told to me by the Powers, I should try do the opposite of what that truth implies doing. When acting upon the words of truth I am telling myself, I should try to act as action is implied by the truth I am telling myself. Will this work? There are a couple of problems.
In doing the opposite of the truth told to me, I seem to be ignoring or acting against truth which in turn seems to go against my simple goal of living in reality instead of living in ignorance of reality. Further, in acting in accordance with truth that is really a lie I am telling myself, it seems I am acting on a lie. However, these impressions are incorrect. The words “truth” or “falsehood” do not really add anything to reality other than normative implications. Saying “it is true the car is green” adds no reality to the statement “the car is green”. Saying “it is false the car is green” adds no reality to the statement “the car is not green”. The facts are the same in either case with or without the words “true” and “false”. In the case of the Powers, they are only using these words “true” and “false” to get and maintain power, they could not care less about the facts or of reality, they only care about what reality ought to be in order for them to maintain or raise their power not what it is. So, by trying to go against the truth of their statements, I am rejecting power as an end in itself and trying to insert reality and the truth of reality back into the meaning of language and back into action based on the language of truth. As far as acting on lies I tell myself, so what? Unless I know it is a lie, it is my truth and thus I am acting on truth. If I know it is a lie and I still act on it, I am proving my freedom by acting upon a lie with the knowledge it is a lie. Cannot be anymore free and honest than having true knowledge and the power to freely act or not act upon that true knowledge. Right? Supposedly, even the ultimate truth that is God has given us the complete freedom of rejecting that ultimate truth.
Also, if I am going against truth, I seem to be going against reality which goes against the purpose and goal of my seeking an alternative to truth. This impression is also incorrect. Notice that I said “try” to do the opposite and “try” to act as implied by your truth. As I have repeatedly concluded in my writings including in these blog essays, no one in Power — be it God or His anointed Powers-that-be — care what I think nor really care what I do. In the end, I will always have to act according to their truth; all I can do is believe the opposite and intend to act in opposition to it. Which is a significant accomplishment these days. Remember what I pointed out about the simplicity and honesty of Pilate and his Rome and also the warning of Orwell in his 1984:
By comparison with that existing today, all the tyrannies of the past were half-hearted and inefficient. The ruling groups were always infected to some extent by liberal ideas, and were content to leave loose ends everywhere, to regard only the overt act, and to be uninterested in what their subjects were thinking. … With the development of television and the personal computer, and the technical advances which made it possible to receive and transmit simultaneously on the same instrument, private life came to an end. The possibility of enforcing not only complete obedience to the will of the State, but complete uniformity of opinion on all subjects, now existed for the first time.
The error of this impression is most obvious in the hard sciences. I may try to reject their truth that E = (1/2m)p2−(er⋅E); F=ma; E=mc2; or whatever but I cannot. If I want to accomplish anything physical I have to trust them and act on faith in accordance with their truth — does not mean I have to like it and accept my bondage. Never know; someday I might be able to challenge these truths and prove they are false and create new math and a new physics. Remember the old school spirit of science and the humanities, this is what the scientific spirit and the spirit of the Enlightenment is supposed to be all about: rejection of argument and faith based purely on authority.
This impression of going against truth is more deceiving in the social sciences and the humanities. Starting with “a” for example. According to the normative supposed humanity of the law, abortion is not only ethical and moral but a natural right of the mother. By my alternative of contrariness, this is false but so what? No Power cares. As long as they want their daughters to be able to abort their children, they will allow their daughters this power — plus it allows them the power to get rid of a lot of unwanted poor kids. If I actually act to stop the infanticide, I will go to jail. The point of my alternative to truth is a free life and not a life of imprisonment nor of my death; it does not require I be a hero. So probably the best that my alternative will let me do and the only way that I can by action affect the elimination of abortion is by creating medical technology to make test tube babies, designer babies, and designer bodies (that only get pregnant when pregnancy is desired by the person) so as to have the material reality that no one gets a pregnancy unless they actually want it. At that point, abortion will fade away in the same way that bleed therapy by leeching has faded away: because it is technologically inefficient or does not work to solve the problem trying to be solved. The Powers will always let me mess with technology — we are a Technological Society, it is a requirement. Of course alternative action allowed by my alternative to truth and allowed by the Powers will result in other ethical and moral problems, but so what, everything in life and in living causes ethical and moral problems. F–k them. One problem down and solved, on to the next one.
History is class struggle; no class struggle, no history — we become a stagnant and eventually a dead culture and society. My alternative to truth not only maintains this struggle and creates it but does so as an act of freedom instead of just an pretend struggle of words between individuals in the bondage of aesthetics. “In prison, dreams have no limits and reality is no curb. Intelligence in chains loses in lucidity what it gains in intensity”. — Albert Camus, The Rebel. As the poem goes, at least I will be or at least can pretend to be “the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”. One thing I learned from the Navy, if you are going to die a miserable death in struggle, you are better off doing it as an officer on the bridge or at the helm than as a lowly snipe pushing the boat around and providing its power, water, and light in engineering with no clue as to where you are, where you are going, nor how or why you got there. At least at the helm or as “O’Captain! O’Captain!” you will have some control over your “fearful trip” and its demise.
I have my alternative. In honor of the philosopher Nelson Goodman and his “New Problem of Induction” that inspired much of my reasoning in my life’s epistemology and never ending search for a theory of knowledge, I name this alternative “grue”. From now on, I will honor and respect truth — as I must or else — and I will pretend to seek it in all my endeavors — as I must or else. But, what I really will be doing when freely making my beliefs or my rules of action for life and living is seeking, honoring, and respecting grue: when acting upon words that are the truth as told to me by the Powers, I should try do the opposite of what that truth implies doing. When acting upon the words of truth I am telling myself, I will try to act as action is implied by the truth I am telling myself.