The debate about fake news does not lose momentum. On the contrary, the concept gained the same ideological value as, for instance, fascism or nazism. Already, by calling someone fascist, that person is devalued even before any serious discussion about his virtues begins. The same goes with “fake”. By naming something fake, any possibility of restituting its value is in vain.
Despicable as such practice is, one cannot act as if it does not exist. So, I tend to attack it from a surprising angle by putting fake and trust in positive relations.
What is fake?
To do this, let’s first address the “fake”. What is fake? The most straightforward answer is that fake is anything that is not true. It doesn’t matter whether fake is produced by intention or ignorance; fake happens when a designated object does not correspond to the truth. Such an object might be a product labeled by a stolen trademark (shoes labeled by Nike not being originally Nike), a scientific discovery that proves not to comply with objectivity behind, or a simple utterance (a claim that I am a kind person, for instance).
I do not intend to classify all possible instances when something does not correspond to reality or is false in itself. I only wanted to point out that truth is not a homogenous concept. (I will live for later that not a single concept is homogenous).
Multiple draft scenario of truth
I am hardly the only one who takes the concept of truth as something that cannot be objectively verifiable. Out of many authors that have confronted this ambiguous concept, let me advise Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s book Truth: A History and Guide for the Perplexed. Felipe is a historian in the pure sense. He does not imply any philosophical ideology about truth in his dissertation. He simply describes all the different truths that coexist now and have coexisted in history. It is striking that they do not contradict each other, as contemporary politically correct intellectuals want to imply, but coexist. Scientific truth based on the Popperian falsification method is only one of many. (Note that even the Popperian method fails to assure 100% correspondence to reality as proved by Kurt Gödel)
Truth as intersubjective emergence
Fortunately, a new theory about the truth was developed recently by Andrej Drapal published in Homonism (2022). According to his theory, truth is intersubjective. The beauty of this theory is that it avoids both pitfalls of subjectivity and objectivity. Truth is not something that comes at individual will (subjectivity) nor as something objective lying inert somewhere out in reality (objectivity). According to Drapal’s theory, truth happens as a transition, even for science. It is quantum-like, meaning that the more you know its position, the less you know its velocity. The truth literary happens as a memetic emergence as a consequence of human interactions. Thus, it is interrelational/intersubjective. It is not locked in time but continual. It is always memetic.
Saying it is memetic, we say it comes in distinct quants and simultaneously as analog waves. Memes do not combine and recombine as genes. Memes are second replicators (of life), but distinct from genes exactly in their analog nature in contrast to digital genes. (Though, in reality, genes aren’t ideally digital. Should they be, life would be repeatable and dull, but it is not!)
Trust and communication
Now that we have positioned truth as an utterly necessary (tautology) entity that emerges from human interactions, it is time to relate it to trust.
Trust is a core concept of public relations for just reasons. And there is no need to stumble around zillions of papers and books written about trust. One could explain trust straightforwardly: no trust, no communication.
Do you see the poetic resemblance of the latest statement with the title of this blog? Should one conclude: no fake, no communication? Yes. Counterintuitive? Yes. Counter politically correct intellectual mindset? Yes. (Thanks, god!)
Trust comes first, truth later
But then the explanation lies in front of your nose. Should the truth be objective or verifiable, we would no longer need trust. Why bother with whether to trust someone if the truth/falseness of that person’s statement would be objectively verifiable?
Truth is essential for human relations precisely because truth is not objectively verifiable. We have to test the truth constantly through interactions (communication). With the presupposition that anything is as fake as true, we establish the importance of trust. Trust comes first. Trust allows us to interact with those we trust and enables us to co-construct specific truths in each instance of communication (intersubjectivity).
It is because we intuitively know, against all odds of politically correct intellectuals prevailing in Western dominant academic social sciences structures, that it is fake that we test continuously that communication is possible. Truth is devastating in the objective sense, as depicted so beautifully by George Orwell. For this same reason, all contemporary collective fights against fake news are not only futile but even harmful since they led to a totalitarian mindset like that in 1884. Since everything is objectivized, including truth, no trust is needed anymore. No one trusts anyone anymore in the world of perfect truth, objective truth.