Monday, December 12, 2005

Notes on Pinter's Lecture, part 3

[In order for politicians] to maintain [power] it is essential that people remain in ignorance, that they live in ignorance of the truth, even the truth of their own lives. What surrounds us therefore is a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed.

Harold Pinter

While I do think something like an economy of knowledge and power is operative, I think politicians weave a "tapestry of lies" only to the extent that we undertake to believe them. A statement made by a politician should not be confronted with our beliefs, however; it should be confronted with our desires. One thing that the arts (philosophy and poetry) might teach us is that we are in no position to know the so-called facts that politicians refer to. We can, however, quite well decide whether or not the world they present us with (represent us in) is a desirable one.

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