LONDON (Realist English). We have a truth crisis all right. But it is much deeper and wider than we care to admit, believes The Guardian’s columnist George Monbiot. Perhaps the biggest lie of all is that the crisis is confined to the Kremlin’s falsehoods and the far right’s conspiracy theories.
Monbiot reminds that in order to justify its policy, the British Empire needed a system of comprehensive lies.
“Not only were our imperial crimes deleted from the record, but an entire ideology – racism – was constructed to justify the killing, looting and enslavement of other people. … Almost everyone in Britain believed that the empire was a force for good, and that we had a holy duty – the “white man’s burden” – to either crush or “civilise” those races we labelled “inferior” and “savage”. Almost everyone believed the lies of national heroism, the lies of the crown, the lies of the church and the lies of the social order.” he stressed.
The British columnist points out that today almost all media and politicians agree that economic growth can and should continue indefinitely on a limited planet:
“Almost all believe that we should take action to protect life on Earth only when it is cost-effective. Even then, we should avoid compromising the profits of legacy industries. They appear to believe that something they call “the economy” takes priority over our life support systems.
They further believe that the unhindered acquisition of enormous wealth by a few people is somehow acceptable. They believe that taxes sufficient to break the cycle of accumulation and redistribute extreme wealth are unthinkable. They believe that permitting a handful of offshore billionaires to own the media, set the political agenda and tell us where our best interests lie is fine.”
In the second half of the XIXth century, at a time marked by the activities of such personalities as Benjamin Disraeli, Joseph Chamberlain and Cecil Rhodes, the British Empire was at the peak of its power. Then the idea of the “white man’s burden” was formed as a moral justification for imperial rule.