Post truth = the OED word of the year = objective facts less important to forming public opinion than appeals to emotions and personal belief.
According to OED, post-truth has come about as the result of ‘truth’ having become devalued – life as we have known it is finished, or is it?
Let’s take a closer look at this newly devalued currency of ‘truth’ might really be.
It takes little or no time to discover there is and never has been a consensus on what is ‘truth’. There are, however, a morass of questions and critical theories: ‘coherence’ theory, ‘correspondence’ theory, ‘pragmatist’ theory, ‘semantic’ theory, and ‘redundancy’ theory – just to name a few.
You may know little or nothing about any of this stuff and you don’t have to do either. The takeaway point is that ‘truth’ has always been relative – impossible to define much less to determine. It’s probably good news that ‘truth’ no longer matters and this ought not to come as a surprise – at least not after World War I – during which so many governments and agencies (British, American, German, et al) took on the business of ‘opinion management’ on a mass scale – otherwise known as propaganda. So if you are shocked to hear that public opinion in the 21st century is formed (and/or maintained) by appeals to emotions and personal beliefs, don’t be.
The truth is – nothing really has changed.
You only need to look to what every good propagandist (that is or ever has been) knows – ‘opinion management’ works by (1) sharpening existing beliefs and opinions and (2) appealing to simple, strong, emotions (love/hate) – the more ‘black and white’ those emotions, the better.
Post Truth = Propaganda