fake and fact

Image Markus Winkler


We are perplexed in the face of arrogant people who consider themselves to be the owners of the truth and the paths of history, while they go on destroying the best that has been built

There is talk of fake, but it is not admitted that miracles of Christ or hagiographies of saints could be fake either. Religions, however, have trained politicians to expect people to believe what they say, no matter how absurd. With what conception of truth has it been operating? Is it possible to “operate” with it, as if it were a thing, an instrument? Or is it us, do we open ourselves to the truth that looms in us and becomes word and image?

For the Greeks, truth was the revelation of the being of beings. In the Middle Ages, the doctrine of faith as truth was imposed. The truth came out of things into the sacred text. Belief principles are not, however, truths, but projections of unconscious and unconfessed desires. It is not because an entire community believes in them that they already become true. Paralogisms prevail among us. When you think that the truth is in the word, in the speech, you think that something is true just because it is said. Fake News prevails, but few are willing to learn that they have always prevailed in different religions, in different political regimes, in current versions of history. The country will miss the opportunity to develop critical reason.

the notion of veritas as adequacy between thing and intellect is problematic, since what the thing is and what is in the mind are never the same (the ad aequum, even though math says the terms of an equation would be equivalent). Descartes, by diverting the source of truth to the thinking subject, did not rethink what was understood by truth. He even repeated the equation present in Thomas Aquinas and Augustine: 2 + 3 = 5. God continued to be the guarantee that this would be true, whether the subject was awake or asleep. But a set of 2 + 3 is not equal to a set of 5! They pretend they are, even though they are not. The very concept of truth is false. This Nietzsche has already seen, but is not remembered.

For scholasticism, the identity thesis rested on the absolute identity of God: A = A. It was a conservative ideology, as it claimed that what had in good times been considered true should be true for all time. He postulated, however, that there would first have been a God alone, followed by a God who would develop the “ideas” of things as purely spiritual forms; there would later be a God who would transform these “projects” into things, creating the universe, and later would take the trouble to create man, infusing him with a divine soul. He would also have had the task of annihilating a race that had not worked out by the flood. For Christianity, there was also a God who, unlike Jehovah, seduced a virgin in the temple to make a son, in order to see him suffer on the cross.

What changes is in time, not eternal. There would be, in this sequence, not only A but A0 – A1 – A2 – A3 – A4. Today's people would not give him peace of mind, making him intervene in history, an A5. In short, God would not be A = A. What changes is in time, not eternal.

German idealism, in the canonical reading, would have based its system on the foundation that I = I. If A is not = A, I is not = I, one I is not equal to another I. The said assumption seems to be that the self would be the manifestation of the soul and that it would be eternal. In the first edition of Critique of Pure Reason, Kant observed that, in empiricism, a self is not equal to another self. Everyone says I about themselves, none is the same as the other. Throughout life, people change, they cease to be the way they were. The self is no longer identical to who it once was. To repent is to modify oneself in such a way that one will no longer do the evil one has done. Thus, the I loses its absolute identity with itself. Pietists thought it would be to lose the immortal soul. Kant tried to rectify his work.

Fichte said that the I generates the not-I, but the not-I also generates the I. Thus, two antithetical assertions arise, both of which are true. This would be unacceptable to scholastic logic. The dialectic of the synthetic judgment imposed itself on the mere unfolding of the analytical. On the other hand, if the not-I becomes part of the I in the process of knowledge, there is a dimension of the not-I that escapes the awareness of the I. Fichte discovered the unconscious. For Nietzsche, this became part of the knowing subject. Therefore, there would be no more “in-dividual”, “atom”, “uni-verse”. Certainties evolved.

For the conception of truth, in 1927 Martin Heidegger's contribution was made on “alétheia”, the revelation, the uncovering of the thing. That the clearing is the truth of the forest is an assertion that is quite repeated in Brazil, but he has already suffered the opposite argument, that the clearing is not the truth of the forest, but its exception, or, as Paul Celan said, “says the truth who shadows says”. Heidegger II was characterized by the insistence on the notion that directing the gaze in one direction serves to not see other directions, that revealing certain aspects of something can serve to veil other dimensions, sometimes even more crucial.

The human being known in history should be surpassed by a better species. The virus has in the last year developed strains that are more and more effective and, therefore, more harmful. will be the Homo sapiens the most virulent strain that nature has developed against itself? Around 1800, Friedrich Schlegel saw man as nature's creative look back on itself. The question today is whether he is not rather the most destructive agent she has developed. The romantic proposal allowed art to be seen as the model of creative action, but the question today is whether art can still be used to justify the bad man in history.

We are perplexed in the face of arrogant people who consider themselves to be the owners of the truth and the ways of history, while they go on destroying the best that has been built. They correspond, however, to the formation of the country. The zeal for quality of life was not taken into account when cities spread across Brazil. They were built around temples, whose towers indicated that the most important life would be after death. Thus, real life was already degraded, although it is the only one that people can have.

Creeks and rivers across the country were reduced to open sewers. The belief in Divine Providence makes one think of living in the best of all possible worlds. What illuminists like Voltaire and Diderot wrote about is not usually taught in Brazilian schools. It is difficult to assume that one is part of a gullible, backward, crude people.

The religious guideline, posted in the Genesis, “be fruitful and multiply” made families have 10, 12 14 and children, thinking that the more they multiplied, the more they would be fulfilling Jehovah's will. This generated cities in increasing number and size, which pressured urban expansion both horizontally and vertically. The god did not say, however, whether the multiplication should be by 100, by 5, by 0,5 or 0,1.

Those who live in an apartment do not have space for many children. Better to have fewer children and raise them better. Birth control made this both possible and necessary. In the future, there will be more space for fewer people. Cities will have to decrease in size to increase quality of life, which becomes lifespan. The average lifespan of Brazilians has, however, fallen; the quality of life of the majority, too. We are weak and fragile, shipwrecked: we try, however, to swim, as if wanting to prove that we are still alive.

* Flavio R. Kothe is professor of aesthetics at the University of Brasilia. Author, among other books, of Culture semiotics essays (UnB).


See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Letter to the presidentSquid 59mk,g 18/06/2024 By FRANCISCO ALVES, JOÃO DOS REIS SILVA JÚNIOR & VALDEMAR SGUISSARDI: “We completely agree with Your Excellency. when he states and reaffirms that 'Education is an investment, not an expense'”
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives
  • PEC-65: independence or patrimonialism in the Central Bank?Campos Neto Trojan Horse 17/06/2024 By PEDRO PAULO ZAHLUTH BASTOS: What Roberto Campos Neto proposes is the constitutional amendment of free lunch for the future elite of the Central Bank
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table