All of us are interested in constructed truths. Considering that lies are just truths modified by context, same idea may be applied to lies. Constructed truth may be understood as the ones where we interpret a certain incident, idea or person’s behaviour in a frame dominated by information supplied to us and outcomes desirable to our personal material interests. Desirable outcomes and a sense of something being good for our personal material interests depends upon years of psychological conditioning. Living in environment of constructed truth makes us feel happy, empowered and contented with our identities. This false sense of empowerment is so strong that most would fight their throats out in order to defend the constructed truth.
Hereunder, I list a bunch of constructed truths and how it affects the social behaviour.
1. Most of us have been made to believe that president Abraham Lincoln was the torch bearer of Niger rights and fought against slavery. Not only did he push America into civil war in order to abolish slavery but also helped pass legislations that empowered them. He is portrayed as the saint who changed America for the good and fought for the rights of the neglected. However, little is known about the capitalist structural requirements that pushed Lincoln to do so. Lincoln, who had official stated in multiple campaign speeches that he will not abolish slavery in south, did so under the pressure of white northerner capitalists. Northerner capitalists were is turn pushed by the fact that ownership of labour resulted in constraints to the movement of labour. Further, considering that much of the industrial output was fluctuating, northerner capitalists could not afford to permanently own labour. Hence, had slavery existed, labour would have been in short supply during peak season and the capitalist would have to bare unnecessary cost of maintaining the labour in off season. Further, basic rights and empowerment of such labour was needed to let the capitalist machinery work in terms of ensuring that labour may be a moving variable within the capitalist competitive market system. Even after all the above reasons we still choose to look as Lincoln as some hero and ignore importance of structural variables. This ignorance is fuelled by the basic variables of the current social structures. Subsequently much of Lincoln’s efforts are labelled as humanist.
2. Freedom from colonialism of European countries was rather an outcome of Second World War, devastated Europe, excessive debt upon the European nations and extraordinary build-up of US during the war. It was in interest of US that intra-empire preferential trading system of European power be dismantled and a larger world free market dominated by US manufacturing industry and dollar as reserve currency, be constructed. Such a financial system along with extraordinarily large military industrial complex helped further the capitalist requirement of wealth accumulation and subsequent investment to further accumulate wealth (and the cycle continues). For the cycle to continue, construction of unified global market and application of comparative advantage principle was necessary. Hence, colonialism had to be done away with. Yet most of it is portrayed as a humanist step for the furtherance of right of self-determination.
Three conclusions flow from the above stated examples.
1. Capitalism, perhaps desire of resource extraction, is extraordinarily powerful and fuels the social change!
2. Constructed truth is the outcome of current system and structure’s perspective of looking at the past. It has to be done in order to feel empowered and be satisfied with the identity of the self.
3. Present movements like feminism, Dalit rights movements, refugee rights, movements with respect to rapes and sexual harassment etc. are fuelled by fundamental capitalist requirements of globalization and globalized free flow of fundamental capitalist variables; and are being viewed as just, higher truth etc. because of the core variables of current social structure.