Fake News is Violent Corruption


“Corruption” is a recent phenomenon.

For all but very recent human history — and for all of prehuman history — unquestionable use of predatorily gained power has been the rule, not the exception.

Spirits, kings, & beasts did what they wished, for good or evil, unless you could stop them.

Perhaps by a survival of the fittest systems, it now seems that democratic institutions are more resilient and long-lived than authoritarian regimes, strengthened through time because they need not be rebuilt at every coup, revolution, or leadership transition.

When democracy can live, the right to freedom is born. And on Liberty’s birthday, so too is her twin born: Corruption.

Are nominal democracies more often engines for “appeasement of” rather than the “implementation of” popular opinion?

Today, powerful minorities rarely “rule”, but instead — with similar effects — they “influence.” They influence legitimate legislation covertly, instead of overtly, perhaps expending even less resources on the threat and ordinance of force than is required by overt means.

Do most voters trust questionable evidence from self-interested actors regarding important issues in systems they don’t understand?

Today, most individuals constituting voting majorities seem to:

1. understand significantly less of the the political system’s anatomy than would be necessary to organize effective action for their favored causes.

2. trust evidence from questionable sources.

When the ideas of self-interested minorities are moved by force to win over ideas which are best for all, is there any greater obstacle to the optimal transformation of public policy?

Media are conscripted by powerful minorities to sway voters. How often is dissemination of public confusion intentional? Regardless, fake news — even negligent fact-checking — is more violent than the mere intention to confuse. Propaganda may not be bloody, but it certainly is powerful. And power that attempts to move a peaceful populace, exerted with harmful intentions, is violence.

Self-interested actors conscripting media to move their causes are fighting a proxy war. Fake news is violent corruption.

It is in every loving person’s heart to empower and protect their dearest relationships. Sometimes “community” is the best way to describe the results of this drive, and unfortunately sometimes “corruption” feels closer to the truth.

Regardless, might demonizing outsiders be ultimately less effective than seeking to understand the cultures and environments that breed corruption and seeking to solve this cultural problem with a cultural solution?

In closing, I propose the following thought experiment for public discourse:

What system of governance best facilitates the moral evolution of cultures?