Battle-lines have been drawn.
The war is being fought in the rarified air of The Freedom Bunkers, with its deep-state propaganda, internet memes and endless supply of meals, ready-to-eat.
It is also being waged on the barren fields and plains, hidden from TV cameras, op-ed pages and the bluescreens that sometimes still glow in the dark.
The Fog of Democracy is a heartfelt homage to those struggling to survive this absurd world of internet trolls, fake news and climate breakdown.
The Fog of Democracy is anti-war fiction in a post-truth world.
Read it before it is banned. Or tossed in the bonfire.
The Fog of Democracy
anti-war fiction in a post-truth world
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What is the Fog of Democracy?
On any given Sunday morning, TV viewers nursing hangovers or coffee can often bear witness to a steady flow of retired military generals, aging politicos and former CIA, NSA and FBI hacks – all of whom are too old to do battle – discussing the inevitability of wars being fought or might be fought, “over there.”
With steadfast confidence they assure us that innocent lives will be lost, cities will be leveled and survivors will be forced to “migrate” to distant failed states which are only marginally better equipped to feed or house them.
And then the Alphabet Soups will proclaim, with great mock-sadness, that these are the natural consequences of “the fog of war.”
The term was originally intended “to capture the uncertainty regarding one’s own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign.”
But more recently it has become a convenient shorthand allowing the TV-Pundits to avoid any mention or responsibility for “friendly fire,” “collateral damage” or countless other horrible infractions of the-once-sacred Geneva Conventions.
If we manage to step back from this mesmerizing lunacy for a moment we would see that, in real life, there is little room for ambiguity: There is fog and there is war, both of which are concepts we can easily understand.
But when these simple concepts (fog and war) are willfully manipulated to approximate something “unreal” (the fog of war) it is only natural that we should feel confused and agitated by the distortion.
And so it is when we observe a wanton tampering of the concept of “truth.” When “the truth” is manipulated, we know almost at once that something is amiss, even if we cannot immediately put our finger on the “real truth.”
Think ‘Fuckishima.’ Or Hanging Chads. Or the induction of Jerry Lewis into the French Legion of Honor. Or the version of The Grapes of Wrath that was translated into Raisins of Anger. You get the idea.
But it gets worse. The manipulators of The Truth see themselves as being Master Craftsmen, and so it is only a matter of time before they create an even more distorted and confusing “new-new truth.”
This new-new-truth is too much for our wee brains. We cannot help but question not only our intelligence, but our capacity to understand simple concepts. Like fog. Or war. Or the truth.
It is not our fault. This technique is as old as “democracy” itself. Indeed we could call this process the Fog of Democracy.
The Fog of Democracy is predicated on our total and unconditional acceptance of otherwise nonsensical conceits that we assume form the very foundation of our democratic way of life.
Think “American exceptionalism” or the “Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists” or “enhanced interrogation” or the very extraordinary “Extraordinary Rendition.”
Now no one in their right mind would believe there is legal or moral rationale to remove anyone – foreign or otherwise – from their beds or an airport queue, blindfolded or drugged, and transporting them to be tortured -sorry, interrogated with enhancement- in Syria, Guantanamo Bay or any of the dozens of US black-op sites scattered throughout the world.
But we are repeatedly asked to accept such notions. We are told that torture is justified, for example, and so we take at face-value the idea that torture is a natural consequence of our ‘democratic way of life.’
After all, we have surely been brainwashed into thinking and accepting that The West is indeed The Very Center of The Known Universe. So why shouldn’t we be able to kill, main, bomb, starve or terrorize any one with absolute impunity. We are on the side of God. And Good.
And so it has come to pass that we now accept the absurd notion that millions of now-homeless people in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia… hate us not because we kill and main them, but because they are jealous of our Freedom and our Democracy.
But we are the ones living in a fog. The Fog of Democracy.
There is a certain brilliance in its simplicity, an elegance that real-and-true fascists would admire. Or do admire. Who knows anymore.
This novel is a fictionalized version of a world rendered impotent by The Fog of Democracy. It centers on a collection of characters – both good and bad, rich and poor – who are either fighting against The Fog of Democracy or attempting to deny its very existence.
It is an age-old-battle, but perhaps this time, when the battle is over, we will discover that the war will not have been won. By anyone.
For it has come to pass that we are now seconds away from midnight.
But even witnessed in the dense fog, even though inundated with innuendo and deep-state-propaganda, we are burdened with an inkling that we may have finally lost the power to turn back the hands of time.