10 March 2011

The Reality-Based Community

Part 4 of Errol Morris's terrific 5 part essay series is out. Footnote 70 is worth quoting:
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community,’ which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.’ I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works anymore,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”
The text of the actual quote is here for comparison. This statement, of course, captures the nature of power. It is also why we should resist agreement with received discourses. Ultimately, it is this attitude that engenders neuroauthoritarian styles.

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