It is certainly no secret that the BBC is no friend of Scottish democracy. During the 2014 independence referendum campaign the behaviour of the state broadcaster in its negatively biased coverage of Yes Scotland became so transparently toxic a mass public movement sprang up in response.
Truth – or what we have come to call the truth – is the narrative. Yet the term “post-truth” itself confuses these categories and in so doing misdirects our attention back to the less important facts, and facts have always been unimportant to politics.
In this reality the author self-censors and conforms freely for fear of being seen and scrutinised by the now realised Big Brother state and state-dominated society. This is a democracy that behaves itself by conforming to the will of the state – to the will of power – en masse as a result of accepting as true the “promises of later success” and with vague hopes of the benefits and vague fears of the powers of the masters.
Society, according to Gramsci, is comprised of two spheres of power; that is civil society – the private domain – and political government – the public domain. Each of these is subject to the hegemony of the dominant class.
Full spectrum surveillance of whole populations, ranging from on street closed circuit cameras, to wholesale spying on emails and online activity, to the developments of smart devices for listening into conversations in people’s homes has become the norm.
We have known for a long time that the media comes with a bias, and for far too long too many people have simply accepted this as part of the package. Like Pavlov’s dogs we have gotten used to the power imbalance and made our peace with it. None of this defeatism is now necessary; as we have the tools at our disposal to circumvent the narrative that the establishment is trying to spoon-feed us and find alternative sources of information.
As everyone is entitled to their own opinions and come to their own conclusions within a free society, it follows that the best argument (for or against going to war) with the most convincing evidence will convince the greater part of an intelligent and informed population.
Nationalism, or the democratised sense of pride in national ownership and belonging, I am convinced, is not in itself an evil. Since the end of the Middle Ages this growing awareness of national identity has helped to free the vast majority of the world’s population from monarchy and other forms of despotism.