August 27, 2020

The trouble with truth

Comment on Philip Giraldi on ‘Rashomon American Style–Truth is somewhere in between’ 


Philip Giraldi’s summary misses the point by suggesting that truth is an entirely subjective affair: “The story reveals how all of the contradictory testimony was fundamentally dishonest, in that each participant was interpreting events to support his or her self-interest in the outcome of the tragedy.”

This conclusion is true for the political sphere. In the Rashomon story, though, the 5th person is missing: the detective/scientist. It seems that the paradox of multiple truths has been solved already by the ancient Greeks: “There are always many different opinions and conventions concerning any one problem or subject-matter … This shows that they are not all true. For if they conflict, then at best only one of them can be true. Thus it appears that Parmenides ... was the first to distinguish clearly between truth or reality on the one hand, and convention or conventional opinion (hearsay, plausible myth) on the other ...” (Popper)

The idea of truth has no meaning in the political context. It has no meaning in economics either, because economics is not a science. Science is digital=binary=true/false and NOTHING in between. There is NO such thing in science as roughly right or roughly wrong, it is only materially/formally true/false. The swamp between true/false where “nothing is clear and everything is possible” (Keynes) is the natural habitat of morons, agenda pushers, confused confusers, blatherers, fraudsters, trolls, incompetent scientists, in one word, of political economists.#1, #2

Egmont Kakarot-Handtke