Keydets shall not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do. Sounds rather straightforward and to most folks that is enough to know a Keydet is an honest and therefore honorable person.
In watching a review of Arcadia Films‘s examination of Saul Alinsky, “A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” I was impressed by his mentoring by Frank Nitti, who replaced Al Capone as head of the Chicago Mob. The manufactured riots in Charlotte are textbook Alinsky: the surface story is always ‘people defending themselves in order to improve themselves.’ But that’s a cherry on top of a shit sandwich. A quick viewing of the Black Lives Matter goals on their website is a study in deception. Alinsky’s genius was to combine Mob tactics with communist ideology with a glaze of helping the poor. Alinskyite disciples and organizations are never what they seem. So too what they publicly espouse: Social Justice and helping the poor are in no way tied to social justice and helping the poor.
I viewed the UFO documentary “Mirage Men” which followed the fallout of Richard Doty, a man said to be a retired USAF OSI agent tasked with undermining the bedlam of UFOlogy. He did this by mixing fact and fiction, even in the same sentence! Watching his interviews was to watch a Ph.D in deception at work.
Then we learn our current Director of CIA, Brennan, voted for communists prior to joining the CIA. And the CIA is alleged to know this. He is pushing a deception that his vote is just youthful idealism. Believable? Certainly, except for Brennan’s record of deception and duplicity. Where does Brennan’s loyalty lay?
So Keydets, what is the point of this? You don’t lie. You don’t cheat. You don’t steal. And, Progessivism-forbid, you don’t tolerate those who do. By personally committing yourself to actively not doing those four actions, you are well ahead of the majority of your peers in your moral formation. Good for you! All you need in life, amiright?
It is not enough once you leave VMI. Not lying, not cheating, not stealing are essential elements in living either a life of corruption or of blessing. Believe it or not, you can deceive folks using the Honor Code. Deception has three components: doubt, denial, and distortion. Eve’s conversation with the Serpent in the Garden of Eden gives an early illustration of the art of deception.
To best define this, we must first define two terms: fact and truth. Oxford says these two word are synonyms, but in philosophy these terms are instead independent of each other, but that isn’t correct. Facts are independent of truth, but truth is dependent on facts. An infamous man once asked “What is truth?” and we’ve been following his example ever since. A fact is a thing that exists. It is immutable.
But! But! The KC Royals won the World Series in 2015 but not in 2014 – facts change! No. The Royals won in 2015. The Giants beat the Royals 4 games to 3 in the 2014 World Series. 2014 and 2015 are separate facts that co-exist harmoniously in the category of World Series. Facts are immutable meaning they don’t change but are subject to be ill-used based on one’s perception. Imo’s makes St. Louis-style pizza. St. Louis-style pizza is not superior to New York-style pizza.
See how a fact is used to deceive?
Truth is a fact, a collection of facts, and inherits the immutability of fact. I lived in Virginia. I live in Oklahoma. I enjoy baseball. Truth is linked to fact. If you break the link, you don’t have truth but do have the fact.
The three elements of deception focus on actively separating truth from fact. Doubt is the creation of uncertainty which instill fear. Fear of what? Being incorrect, of anything and everything that leaves one in a state in which one will cede responsibility for one’s life. Is a particular cereal the Breakfast of Champions? Is VMI the academic powerhouse it used to be? Did the Cadre Corporal really say the only smile you get in a day is from your socks? Doubt is expressed as a question. To question is challenge the truth of a fact or collection of facts.
Denial is to refute, or refuse to admit to the existence of fact or truth. Iraq did not have any Weapons of Mass Destruction. ISIS did not capture a Chemical Weapons manufactory. ISIS did not use chemical weapons on American soldiers in Iraq. There are no boots on the ground in Iraq.
Distortion is to infect truth with a lie. People who distort use the Hegelian method of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis. In English this is usally accomplished by pairing a fact with something that is not fact and then simplifying it adverbially or adjectivally to create a new ‘truth.’
One very popular example of this is “Dissent Is Patriotic.” Patriotism is the belief in one’s nation or country to such an extent that one supports the people who run the nation, its policies, actions, and the results of all of these. This is the Thesis. Dissent is the acting against a thing, be it a person, policy, actions or results. That is the antithesis. Synthesis is achieved by pairing the two opposing concepts with “Is.” A new ‘truth’ was created for the purpose of providing protection for a level of dissent that gave active aid and comfort to Islamic terrorists.
Another method of distortion is to replace facts but keeping the same label of truth. “Dissent is patriotic.” Is it? We’ve seen in the past 8 years that principled dissent by the Right has been criminalized. Dissent may be patriotic depending on who is facing jail time. As we saw during Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, dissent was defined broadly to include actively recruiting soldiers to ‘frag’ (assassinate) their officers, preventing trains carrying supplies from leaving factories for ports, and exceptionally odious programs to undermine the integrity of the election system. After January 2009, dissent was redefined so that any person who dissented was patriotic except for their inherent racism, homophobia, and so on so that the patriotism of the dissenter became a fouled, evil miasma that infected everyone who stands for the National Anthem.
Consider Snowden. By giving away the NSA’s secrets he provided material support to America’s sworn enemies. His dissent is incredibly patriotic! Snowden also noted that the NSA did all this with Obama’s permission. That RACIST! That traitor!
Doubt opens the door. Denial removes the truth. Distortion gives a new ‘truth.’ Combine that with violence and we are living in 1917 Russia, not George Washington’s America. Of course, George Washington dissented back in 1776. Was he patriotic? Today, we Americans can not face truth that is fact. Social Justice isn’t just or social. America’s biggest threat isn’t Transphobia, and our military isn’t designed to be cheerleaders for people incapable of knowing who their own identity. Our economy is based on being in debt, except for our leaders who tap into the government vaults for steady income in a socially just way. To get housing, transportation, or a ring for your sweetie you need a credit rating, which is only good based on having debt. Airpower never won a war. Government, lobbyist groups and high-profile corporations like the Defense and Entertainment sectors are modeled on and operate like Nitti’s Chicago Mob: a criminal enterprise that Putin admires and fears and uses political correctness to prevent being held to account.
This is your world Keydets. Don’t accept a single bit of it.