John updates Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave for the modern era, putting the cherry on top with some truly painful puns and a canny reference to John Carpenter’s classic film They Live.
The bad news is, to one extent or another, we’re all prisoners of the cave. We see misperceptions in our daily life, either of our own construct or as constructed for us.
Who would construct misperceptions for us?
Lots of people. Here are a few examples:
- Harry Truman, on August 6, 1945, said: “Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base.” Well, sure. It was a militarily important city. And farms were militarily important because they made food that people might eat. And schools were militarily important because they educated children that could fight us. But that would be like saying, “San Francisco, an important American Army base.” (Note: I’m not saying I disagree with the decision, just that Truman’s statement was shady as a Netflix® show about dancing children.)
- Operation Northwoods: Essentially a plan from the Pentagon for our military to stage terrorist attacks in the United States while pretending to be Cubans as a justification to attack Cuba. Really. Here’s the Wikipedia® on that (LINK). Not Alex Jones. Wikipedia™.
- The CIA performed illegal mind control experiments on American and Canadian civilians. Here’s the Wikipedia (LINK). Most of the documents were burned, so there’s no telling how many people were impacted. When I first heard of this, my response was that it was impossible. Nope. They did it.
- Let’s pull the media in, too. The New York Times® “reporter” Walter Duranty wrote stories that there was no mass starvation in the Soviet Union in the early 1930s, despite knowing that millions were being starved to death on purpose. Duranty got a Pulitzer Prize™ for his lies – a prize that has never been rescinded. I wrote about that starvation here (In The World Murder Olympics, Communists Take Gold And Silver Medals).
I could do dozens more where the government, academia, industry, or unions lied and most people believed them. I’ve written about those again and again – the 1960’s Harvard Sugar Study, anyone (High Carbs, Harvard, Insurance, And Avoiding Doctors)? If it was just statements from politicians that were lies that most of us believed? I don’t have enough electrons on my computer to store all of those.
Essentially, unless I get up and go outside of the cave I’m in, I’m sitting and watching those shadows on the wall. But when I do get up and go outside of that cave, I learn amazing things – all those things that are glossed over in history classes, and generally not easy to find, though they’re (for today) clearly documented on even Left-leaning sites like Wikipedia®.
Fifteen year old me wanted to believe in the government, wanted to believe that the press wasn’t hopelessly corrupt. Me in 2020 has seen too much.
If you haven’t seen the movie They Live, there is a scene where the protagonist tries to help his friend stop staring at the shadows on the wall of the cave. In the movie, there are sunglasses you can wear to see a different reality. The clip below from the movie, with Rowdy Roddy Piper playing the protagonist, and Keith David playing his reluctant friend who really, really doesn’t want to put on the glasses (some NSFW dialog):
Since I always just loved the flick—and Rowdy Roddy, and what the heck, Keith David too—I’m more than happy to endorse Wilder’s example by using the sincerest form of flattery.
Possibly the longest fistfight sequence in all of moviedom, but for me it never gets old. Back to John for the payoff.
Leaving the cave is scary, and it’s difficult. And I absolutely don’t promise that understanding reality a little bit better will make you happy – it’s very likely to have the opposite effect. But it will bring you one step closer to the truth.
Maybe you and I can finally figure out what those shadows really are.
Let’s go see what’s outside.
By all means, let’s. Admittedly, there’s plenty of the real, the bad, and the scary out there, sort of offsetting the beauty and grace. But in the end, the truth is the only thing that can set us free. And by now we all ought to have learned that the chances of ever getting even the smallest morsel of truth from Ruling Class reprobates who have for so long fed us nothing but falsehood hovers somewhere betwixt None whatsoever and You can’t be serious.