Saturday, October 30, 2004

The new realities studies

The current US government appears to be taking its policy cues from sci-fi novels.... or they are taking the 'death of grand narratives' seriously and applying it directly to their own take on truth and practice. Chris Bigum drew our attention to the following New York Times Magazine article by Ron Suskind (17 Oct., 2004) [requires registration, otherwise read a copy of it here], reporting on an exchange he had in 2002 with a senior adviser to Bush. Suskind writes,

"In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that
the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications
director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to
Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told
me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which
I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

"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.'"

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