The truth shall set you free

Flickr photo. Slieschke

The Truth shall set you free, or so we are told. Today I ran across the following quote from a friend on Facebook:

“9/11 Truth can end wars, stop the Empire, expose the US National Security State and also expose the pressing geopolitical context of Peak Oil. That’s powerful stuff, and therefore shows that we in the “9/11 Truth movement” are not all bat-shit crazy.”

Whatever your feelings about what happened on that day, if I told you that by believing that 9/11 was an inside job you could end the wars, stop the Empire in its tracks, expose the National Security State (think CIA) and expose the looming problem of Peak Oil, wouldn’t you be tempted to sign up? There’s a very religious tone to this: Believe and ye shall be saved!”

I don’t think the Truthers are “bat-shit crazy.” Most of the people I have spoken to are intelligent, rational people who are passionate about this event and its role in the direction our country is headed. They seem to be fairly active and organized. And from what I can gather many Truthers are also involved in other political causes as well.

Unlike most, I don’t discount conspiracy out of hand. I believe Conspiracy and Class Power are essential to understanding the dynamics of the state. They go hand in hand; of course, no ruling elite could ever rule through conspiracy alone, but even they have to go outside the rules they have created to maintain their class privilege. There are numerous, well documented, examples throughout history. COINTELPRO is perhaps the conspiracy most relevant to Leftists today, but there are plenty of other examples.

Nevertheless, I seriously doubt the Truth about 9/11 is going to have any serious impact on what’s going on today. Before you think I’m a naysayer, consider the fact that most Americans now know that we invaded Iraq based on lies. Far more people have died there than did on 9/11. It’s cost this country far more, with some estimates as high as $3 trillion dollars.

Has the well established truth about the Iraq war had any real impact on the anti-war movement? As people began to understand that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, that we made up the intel, that we did whatever we could to invade Iraq, did people take to the streets in droves? No.

Education is no doubt important. It’s a critical link in the chain of organizing. But it’s not enough; it will never be enough. The critical problem is not to convince people of one thing or another; it’s to get them to act on those things they already believe. The truth has never set anybody free. The truth of Capitalist exploitation didn’t free Bakunin or Marx; Organized, mobilized, democratic mass resistance can set us free, but it’s a little more work.