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The Unwinnable Battle for Truth

Throughout history there have been oracles, prognosticators and soothsayers who have enchanted their audiences, as if hypnotically, to unquestioningly accept and even endorse their prophesies.

During the reign of the Roman Catholic Church, for example, parishioners have paid for indulgences to absolve themselves of sin, a custom which today seems absurd to the average reader.

There have been governments which have fleeced their own people, rounded them up and even exterminated them with the support or deafening silence of the public.

They've even conned their own peoples into wars of aggression against other civilizations they've neither known nor pointed out on a map.

Beyond the political realm, fraudsters such as Bernie Madoff have mesmerized greedy investors looking to make fast, easy returns, just as revolutionary economist John Law did in the early 18th century by exaggerating the projected fortunes which were sure to be made in the development of Louisiana, an economic disaster which would later become known as the Mississippi Bubble.

Just as Bernie Madoff's office produced fraudulent trading reports to sustain investor confidence, John Law would embark upon one of the foremost experiments with fiat currency, a failure which would inconceivably set the precedent for all to follow just a few hundred years later.

As it turns out, where there exists sweeping desperation or far-reaching aspiration, you are almost certain to find an opportunist with a suave demeanor and a tantalizing itinerary to riches.

This has been a fixture across time, and the purple rhetoric is as prominent today as it has ever been throughout history.

So it is now as important as ever to become educated on how to recognize it and perhaps insulate yourself and others from its perils. 



Whether across financial or political news media, daily discourse or the polemical protests strewn across your local college campus, much of the confusing rhetoric around any demonstration stems from a poor mastery of words and even more ambiguous interpretations which lead to further distortions of the truth, not by deliberate deceit but through the excitable yet incapable minds of those who sincerely believe what they say after accepting what they’ve heard or read.

So while the truth may be lightyears or footsteps away, waiting to be discovered by an earnest surveyor, the journey veers violently off course toward the savory remarks of the enraged orator who purports to know all of her craters, mountains and streams, doing so with utmost certainty and unflinching conviction, leaving the audience beguiled and amazed, without a shadow of doubt cast over any claim.

After the final bow, the audience then disperses under the illusion of a settled case while the orator leaves with the confidence of the world behind him, all while we are brought no closer to truth and the itch for discovery subsides, becoming dormant at the suspicion that everything worthy of discovery has already been uncovered.

And so the cycle goes, as the current of social inertia beats ceaselessly against the movement toward truth, where the bearer of curiosity is castigated as an apostate and the contrarian is cast away as a pariah, all to the benefit of hope, prayer and faith in unsupportable riches.

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