The Protocols of Trump

❝ It is an odd quirk in the history of logic that the blameless Cretans should have given their name to the famous “liar paradox.” The Cretan Epimenides is supposed to have said: “All Cretans are liars.” If Epimenides was lying, he was telling the truth – and thus was lying.

❝ Something similar can be said of US President Donald Trump: Even when he’s telling the truth, many assume he is lying – and thus being true to himself. His trolling is notorious. For years, he claimed, with no evidence other than unnamed sources that he called “extremely credible,” that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was fraudulent. During the Republican primary, he linked his opponent Senator Ted Cruz’s father to John F. Kennedy’s assassination. He has promoted the quack idea that vaccines cause autism, and has masterfully deployed the suggestio falsi – for example, his insinuation that climate change is a Chinese hoax designed to cripple the American economy.

❝ There has always been a thriving market for fake information, forgeries, hoaxes, and conspiracy theories. “History is a distillation of rumor,” wrote Thomas Carlyle in the nineteenth century…Modern history provides us with some famous examples. The Zinoviev letter, a forgery implicating Britain’s Labour Party in Kremlin-led Communist sedition, was published by the Daily Mail four days before the United Kingdom’s general election in 1924, dashing Labour’s chances.

Perhaps the most famous such forgery was The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Possibly manufactured for money, The Protocols purported to be evidence of a Jewish plan for world domination…it became the foundation of the anti-Semitic literature of the first half of the twentieth century, with horrendous consequences.

❝ So what is new? The attention being paid to fake information today arises from the hugely expanded speed with which digitally manufactured information travels around the world. In the past, one had to be able to hoodwink more or less reputable news outlets to plant fake stories. Now misinformation can go viral through social media, like a modern Black Death.

The important question is how this will affect democracy. Will the unprecedented ease of access to information liberate people from thought control, or will it strengthen it to such an extent that democracy simply drowns in a sea of manipulation?

Skidelky has no conclusive answer, RTFA for his analysis – and warning.

7 thoughts on “The Protocols of Trump

  1. Duck & Cover says:

    “We are in the dangerous grip of a worldwide cult of personality like the one that brought us WWII’s maniacal Adolf Hitler, sociopathic Benito Mussolini and unindicted war criminal Emperor Hirohito. The only difference is that in 1941 our President wasn’t a narcissistic nutter, and the bad guys didn’t have nukes.” Linda Stasi, New York Daily News. Saturday, July 29, 2017

  2. Verschwörungstheoretiker says:

    “Meet Donald Trump’s Propagandist – Right-wing radio host Alex Jones is America’s top conspiracy theorist. He has millions of listeners, but his most powerful one happens to be the president of the United States. DER SPIEGEL takes you inside his media empire in Austin, Texas.” “Jones’s rise to prominence is an example of how the internet has revolutionized and to some extent poisoned the American media landscape. Small niche products have sometimes grown into impressive operations. Established brands are fighting for survival, while alternative platforms like Breitbart News, Newsmax and Infowars are creating their own worlds. They are echo chambers of hate, which have become a home for all those seeking easy answers in a complicated world.”
    See also “Alex Jones’s Media Empire Is a Machine Built to Sell Snake-Oil Diet Supplements” RTFA

  3. U-PICK-EM says:

    “Trump is reportedly considering hardline nationalist Stephen Miller for White House communications director” (Business Insider)
    “Stephen Colbert took much of his Friday night Late Show monologue to make fun of President Donald Trump’s news program. “Trump has spent the last year telling us the mainstream media is ‘fake news.’ So now he’s finally fighting back, because President Trump has launched his own news program on his Facebook page. Now, that looks like state-sponsored propaganda,” Colbert said. The program is hosted by Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to his son Eric Trump.” (TIME)
    “Donald Trump has a sickening fetish for cruelty” (USA Today)
    “Donald Trump: A 71-Year-Old Man Who Needs a Military General to Manage His Twitter Use” (Newsweek)

  4. Fox News says:

    Fox & Friends host Abby Huntsman said Sunday that President Donald Trump’s historic summit with North Korean despot Kim Jong Un in Singapore would be a meeting between “two dictators.”
    The error went seemingly unnoticed by both Huntsman and her guest, former White House communications director, Anthony Scaramucci.
    “There is the president of the United States, Donald Trump, about to walk down those [Air Force One] stairs, stepping foot in Singapore as we await this historic summit with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un,” said Huntsman as live video played of the president deplaning in Singapore.
    “Anthony, talk to us about this moment,” she said. “This is history. We are living — regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators — what we are seeing right now, this is history.”
    Scaramucci agreed with Huntsman and called the president a “disruptive risk taker,” who is “willing to break the usual bonds of” not going to a “meeting like this.”

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