Tag Archives: Trust

COVID-19 Has Forever Destroyed Americans’ Trust In Ruling Class ‘Experts’, by Josh Hammer

The author gives many Americans way too much credit, but it’s a nice thought. From Josh Hammer at The Epoch Times via zerohedge.com:

As even many casual observers of America’s fractious politics are aware, the overwhelming majority of lawmaking at the federal level no longer takes place in Congress as the Constitution’s framers intended. Instead, the vast majority of the “rulemaking” governing Americans’ day-to-day lives now takes place behind closed doors, deep in the bowels of the administrative state’s sprawling bureaucracy. The brainchild of progressive President Woodrow Wilson, arguments on behalf of the modern administrative state are ultimately rooted in, among other factors, a disdain for the messy give-and-take of republican politics and an epistemological preference for rule by enlightened clerisy.

Put more simply, the most straightforward version of the argument offered by partisans of the administrative state amounts to, “Trust the experts.” And over the century-plus since Wilson’s presidency, the “trust the experts” leitmotif has moved well beyond the realm of prevailing dogma for mandarins in such agencies as the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Rather, for large swaths of the citizenry and the elected official class, “trust the experts” now reigns supreme for everything from the military (“Trust the generals!”) to public health (“Trust the epidemiologists!”).

And therein lies the rub.

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America’s Trust in the Mainstream Media Hits an ALL-TIME LOW and “Journalists” Are Shocked, by Robert Wheeler

Lately, mainstream media figures have been asking how they can regain the public’s trust. The answer is simple: tell the truth. From Robert Wheeler at theorganicprepper.com:

Given the 24/7 hysterical propaganda coming from mainstream media, it is easy to see how Americans are clueless about current events’ true nature, whether it be politics, COVID, or foreign policy.

But, there is some good news.

For the first time, most Americans do not trust the mainstream media

According to PR firm Edelman’s Annual Trust-Barometer, fewer than half of all Americans trust the mainstream media despite the constant propaganda onslaught. 

Anyone in journalism or media could have told you long ago this would be the case. The dinosaur knowns as Mainstream Media is dying. Before Google conspired with Zuckerberg and other digital giants to crush alternative media, those alternative outlets competed with and beat MSM.

MSM and Big Tech attempted to put a stop to that revolution, but the damage was done. Alternative media gave a large portion of the American people a glimpse of real journalism, and, ever since, MSM has been slowly withering.

Edelman’s “Trust Barometer” shows that Americans’ trust in the media establishment has now hit an all-time low in 2021, falling three more points to 46 percent. For the first time, that figure has dropped below the 50 percent mark.

Social media is taking blows to the chin, with Americans’ trust ranked at only 27% for content found on Facebook, Twitter, and the like.

The lack of faith in the mainstream is not exclusive to America. Across the world, belief in social media is only 35 percent. Globally, only 35 percent of people rank social media as trustworthy for “general news and information.”

Other related information shows that Americans are not happy with journalists or the journalistic profession either. Fifty-six percent of Americans said journalists are “purposely trying to mislead people by saying things they know are false or gross exaggerations.”  Fifty-eight percent agreed that most media outlets were “more concerned with supporting an ideology or political position than informing the public.” This website published an article about how the MSM was goading the public back in 2018.

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Three Major Imbalances – Financial, Trust and Geopolitical, by Michael Krieger

Many things are out of whack and it’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

But greed is a bottomless pit
And our freedom’s a joke
We’re just taking a piss
And the whole world must watch the sad comic display
If you’re still free start running away
Cause we’re coming for you!

– Conor Oberst, “Land Locked Blues”

It’s hard to believe 2020 is just around the corner. If the last ten years have taught us anything, it’s the extent to which a vicious and corrupt oligarchy will go to further extend and entrench their economic and societal interests. Although the myriad desperate actions undertaken by the ruling class this past decade have managed to sustain the current paradigm a bit longer, it has not come without cost and major long-term consequence. Gigantic imbalances across multiple areas have been created and worsened, and the resolution of these in the years ahead (2020-2025) will shape the future for decades to come. I want to discuss three of them today, the financial system imbalance, the trust imbalance and the geopolitical imbalance.

Recent posts have focused on how what really matters in a crisis is not the event itself, but the response to it. The financial crisis of ten years ago is particularly instructive, as the entire institutional response to a widespread financial industry crime spree was to focus on saving a failed system and then pretending nothing happened. The public was given no time or space to debate whether the system needed saving; or more specifically, which parts needed saving, which parts needed wholesale restructuring and which parts should’ve been thrown into the dustbin. Rather, unelected central bankers stepped in with trillions in order to prop up, empower and reward the very industry and individuals that created the crisis to begin with. There was no real public debate, central bankers just did whatever they wanted. It was a moment so brazen and disturbing it shook many of us, including myself, out of a lifetime of propaganda induced deception.

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What’s Been Normalized? Nothing Good or Positive, by Charles Hugh Smith

Many things that were considered abhorrent within the past few decades are now considered normal. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

What’s been normalized are policies and cultural norms that seek to enrich and protect the few at the expense of the many.

When the initially extraordinary fades into the unremarkable background of everyday life, we say it’s been normalized. Put another way, we quickly habituateto new conditions, and rationalize our ready acceptance of what was previously unacceptable.

Technology offers many examples of extraordinary advances quickly becoming normalized as we habituate to new devices and behaviors, but my focus today is on policies and cultural norms that were radical departures from accepted norms at their introduction but which are now accepted as “normal.”

This normalization of extreme policies conceals the often equally extreme unintended consequences of the new policies and norms.

Let’s start with two examples which have unleashed unintended consequences that have completely distorted markets: allowing pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to “consumers” and allowing corporations to buy back their own shares. Each of these activities had been banned for self-evident reasons, yet were allowed in the neoliberal rush to deregulate industries without regard for the long-term consequences.

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Reimagining Trusted Intermediaries, by Electric Capital

A growing number of people have trust issues with a growing number of institutions, including financial intermediaries. That is why cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and their roles will undoubtedly evolve and expand. From Electric Capital at medium.com:

A form of disruptive innovation occurs when a cultural shift is combined with utilitarian technology that allows the culture shift to scale. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have both of these properties. They are a cultural shift manifesting through useful technology:

  1. We are in the midst of a global collapse of trust in institutions.
  2. Technologies (blockchain, digitally scarce coins, distributed consensus, etc.) allow us to operate without these trusted intermediaries are now emerging, and allow us to reimagine a world without these intermediaries.

In the midst of crypto-mania, we believe it important to focus on the utility behind the hype: Blockchain is software that allows us to reimagine trusted intermediaries. Cryptocurrencies are one of the first killer applications. Cryptocurrencies are reimagining the world’s most successful means to transmit trust: money.

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Here’s What We’ve Lost in the Past Decade, by Charles Hugh Smith

There’s no arguing with Charles Hugh Smith on his list; life in the US has gotten much uglier the last ten years. From Smith at oftwominds.com:

The confidence and hubris of those directing the rest of us to race off the cliff while they watch from a safe distance is off the charts.
The past decade of “recovery” and “growth” has actually been a decade of catastrophic losses for our society and nation. Here’s a short list of what we’ve lost:
1. Functioning markets. Free markets discover price and assess risk. What passes for markets now are little more than signaling devices to convince us the economy is doing spectacularly well. It is doing spectacularly well, but only for the top .1% of 1% and the class of managerial/technocrat flunkies and apologists who serve the interests of the top .1%.
2. Genuine Virtue. Parading around a slogan or online accusation, “liking” others in whatever echo-chamber tribe the virtue-signaler is seeking validation in, and other cost-free gestures–now signals virtue. Genuine virtue–sacrificing the support of one’s tribe for principles that require skin in the game–has disappeared from the public sphere and the culture.
3. Civility. As Scientific American reported in its February issue (The Tribalism of Truth), the incentive structure of largely digital “tribes” rewards the most virulent, the most outrageous, the least reasonable and the most vindictive of the tribe with “likes” while offering little to no encouragement of restraint, caution, learning rather than shouting, etc.
The cost of gaining tribal encouragement is essentially zero, while the risk of ostracism from the tribe is high. In a society with so few positive social structures, the self-referentially toxic digital tribe may be the primary social structure for atomized “consumers” in a dysfunctional system dominated by a rigged “market” and a central state that no longer needs the consent of the governed.
Common ground, civility, the willingness to listen and learn–all lost.
4. Trust. Few find reason to trust corporations, the corporate media, the tech monopolies or the government. This distrust is reasonable, given these institutions have squandered the public trust to protect the swag being skimmed by insiders and elites.
Rather than earn our trust with true transparency and accurate reporting of data, these institutions spew a false form of transparency that’s doubly opaque, as it’s rigged to mask the skims of the insiders. Transparency: lost. Accountability: lost.
Do you really trust Facebook, Google, and the agencies that are supposed to provide oversight of these monopolies? If you said, “yes,” you’re joking, right?

The Existential Question of Who to Trust, by Robert Parry

Probably the best rule is trust nobody until they prove otherwise. From Robert Parry at strategic-culture.org:

The Existential Question of Who to Trust

 

The looming threat of World War III, a potential extermination event for the human species, is made more likely because the world’s public can’t count on supposedly objective experts to ascertain and evaluate facts. Instead, careerism is the order of the day among journalists, intelligence analysts and international monitors – meaning that almost no one who might normally be relied on to tell the truth can be trusted.

He Said That? 1/18/15

From Michael Corleone, in Mario Puzo’s novel The Godfather:

I don’t trust society to protect us, I have no intention of placing my fate in the hands of men whose only qualification is that they managed to con a block of people to vote for them.

A prediction for the still young year: trusting politicians who can con blocks of voters, never wise, will be particularly foolish in 2015. See “Be Prepared,” SLL, 1/15/15.