Veritas Est Non Grata

Column by Alex R. Knight III

Exclusive to STR

 

Twenty-five years ago, in 1987, the rock band Fleetwood Mac recorded a song with a chorus sung by composer Christine McVie that went, “Tell me lies, tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies….” It was as apt of a sentiment as could be for that despicable era of militarism, conformity, worship of authority, and “Just Say No” sanctimoniousness. I was an 18 year old high school graduate that year, and I hated every minute of it. I wanted the polar-opposite values of the 1970s back in the veriest way – replete, for that matter, with the far more agreeable catalogue of Fleetwood Mac songs from that decade.

Alas, as the Rolling Stones once counseled, time waits for no one. And it sure didn’t wait for me. Today, at 43, I find it totally apropos – if upsetting -- that the lyrics to that anthem from '87 were sung in McVie’s falsetto female voice.

So many people, were you or I to ask them whether or not they preferred to be told the truth and dealt with honestly, would respond immediately in the affirmative.

Yet, seldom is this the case, I’ve found, in practice.

Contrary to our commonly held romantic notions about good trumping evil, and truth prevailing over lies, the reality is all too often far less glowing. The most attractive women don’t vie for the man of honorable intent and high intellect, but for the scheming user – the pedestrian con-artist who again and again repeats his pattern of deceit with the willing, doe-eyed cooperation of his conquests. He’s normal, they think. He fits in. And yes, he lied to me . . . but they’re such sweet little lies . . . .

It seems to me after long experience that people in general don’t really want the truth. They only want that which comforts them. They have no desire to actually be right – only to feel right. And this is, after all, the only reason government and politics exist in the first place.

Why else do people vote, attend political rallies, make monetary contributions to political campaigns (above and beyond what is already extorted from them in taxes!), and praise bureaucrats as if they were rock stars in some kind of a public popularity contest?

Believe me absolutely when I say that my view of truth is nothing if not Doestoevskian: I would rather live with it above all else, no matter how painful, or difficult to accept. And I speak from the standpoint of one who has on numerous occasions, and continues to this day, to pay the emotional cost of that dedication. I would still have it no other way, regardless.

It’s why I’m a Voluntaryist.

But for the vast majority of the public, the title of this essay holds true. Translated from Latin into English, it reads, “Truth is Not Welcome.”

Until, that is, there remains no other option but to face it. And dire though it may sound, that day is now approaching on horseback. Apocalyptic sounding, perhaps, but . . . well . . . also true.

There’s a line from another Fleetwood Mac song that says, “Rumors make bad lovers.” Just like lies and other untruths. Like any hollow charade you want to name.

This includes government, and the idea that a voluntary society can’t function.

And that veritas better become grata – and soon. Time is short, and again, it won’t wait.

0
Your rating: None
Alex R. Knight III's picture
Columns on STR: 111

Alex R. Knight III is the author of numerous horror, science-fiction, and fantasy tales, including Tales from Dark 7.  He has also written and published poetry; non-fiction articles, reviews, and essays for a variety of venues; and is former Communications Director for the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire.  In 1998, he was awarded Activist of the Year for that organization.  He now lives and writes in rural southern Vermont where he holds a B.A. in Literature & Writing from Union Institute & University, and looks forward to living in a governmentless society of liberty.

Comments

Jim Davies's picture

"The most attractive women don’t vie for the man of honorable intent and high intellect, but for the scheming user"

No! No! Tell me it ain't so! :-)

But wait... what exactly do we mean by "attractive"? Real beauty goes a lot deeper than skin. And just occasionally one meets a person interested in finding true truth. Like you, for example. You aren't unique, are you? (Well, yes, each of us is unique; I mean, you're not unique in wanting to live with truth above all else.)

The key may be to interact with those when they are discovered, like gems in the mud, and set everyone else aside until another day. It's hard to disengage, but the more I observe the people I most admire, the more I see that seems to be their practice also. They wouldn't have time, otherwise.

That may be the idea behind Matthew 7:6 - "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet..."

Can't prove it yet, but I reckon that every one, just a few times in his life at least, opens his mind to the possibility of his having been hornswaggled all along, and so to hearing a rational alternative. And even the dumbest blond encounters a moment when she wishes she knew a real man with integrity. Those are the moments we have to be there.

DP_Thinker's picture

"The key may be to interact with those when they are discovered, like gems in the mud, and set everyone else aside until another day. It's hard to disengage, but the more I observe the people I most admire, the more I see that seems to be their practice also. They wouldn't have time, otherwise."
 
I couldn't agree more as I have noticed this also.. Not only that, it seems that the more time you spend on people/things that have a high value to you, the happier you will be and you will feel more rewarded..
 
There is so much useless junk put in front of us these days. I bet 90+% of books that come out these days are useless.. Or how many "research" articles do you think it's worth your time to read. It seems that you have to filter out everything that doesn't make the cut.

Glock27's picture

Absolutely correcto mundo. The truth is painful, always is. It is said that "the truth shall set you free", but not without enormous amounts of pain and in general very few humans want to feel pain--pleasure is all the more satisfying. The truth is that drinking gin is bad for you few gin drinkers will accept the truth and persue the pleasure it brings or scotch, brandy, cocaine, perscription meds and etc.

Denying the truth keeps the "self" safe, survival above all else, the self must be protected and kept safe regardless of the wrongs committed. It is a natural occuring response. When you are caught speeding the very first emotional response that hits you is shame, maybe only a nano second of it, but all the same shame attacks the self because you know what you did and you got caught, but that shame soon turns to anger and hopefully you keep it contained so you don't become arrested or having additional tickets written on you. Many will make excuses for their speeding while many of us will remain there embarassed and shamed as drivers pass by and look at us.

We are not rational beings but imaginative beings imagining our own truths that make us emotionally comfortable. John Hasnas in "Anarchism/Minianarchism 'Is a Government Part of a Free Country'" under his essay the Obviousness of Anarchy takes the position that we are not rational but Imaginative beings. Hasnas says "Human beings undoubtably have the ability to reason but they also have the ability to imagine that the world is different than it is and the later is a far more powerful force." (Page 130, Ashgate Publishing, 2008). He goes on to provide numerous examples to demonstrate his position. Hasnas tells us that we believe in the things we do because we were taught to believe in them and we could imagine that it was correct despite evidence against it.

I contend that rather than tell them the truth that we help them imagine a peaceful world where there is no government threatening or coercing everyone into legislative beliefs. Talk about imaginative people--government legislatures and presidents are some of the most dillusional people in the world. I guess I should have said allusional people.

Stop reasoning with people. They do not want to hear reason when they have already imagined they have the perfect Constitutional and governmental system in the world. Help them to imagine something different because the truth is just not going to cut the mustard.

Respectful observation and not a criticism.

Suverans2's picture

veritas non est excipite

"The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere." ~ Leo Tolstoy, in a letter to his friend Vasily Botkin

I decided to go with Leo on this.

I DO NOT CONSENT TO BE A MEMBER OF YOUR POLITICAL CORPORATION AND I WAIVE ALL MEMBER-ONLY BENEFITS. MY LAW IS THE NATURAL LAW.

Glock27's picture

The can't deal with the truth and reason, so I will imagine that the government is an allusion, ergo, everything steming from government is imaginary. John Hasnas in his "Obviousness of Anarchy" sited above and Tzo, In "New World Rising" , "The Theory of Natural Hierarchy and Government" really clarrifies "Imagine" and "Imaginary" quiet well. It's like Imaginative Common Sense.

Suverans2's picture

"...the government is an illusion, ergo, everything stemming from government is imaginary..." ~ Glock27

Absolutely correcto mundo. Kind after kind.

Paul's picture

The only thing worse than the constant following after liars and untruths by the hoi polloi, is the notion that we ourselves have a perfect line on the truth. A dose of humility is always in order. I can't begin to recount in how many and varied the ways (including very important ones) I have been wrong in the past...