One thing that makes democracy look beautiful is the liberty people claim it has. Liberty, which liberty? Politicians are very smart people. They stripped our democracy of all her beauty, including this so called liberty, and covered it with sentiments and emotions. They know how to play with our emotions to manipulate us in the same way preacher men do. They even go further to working with pseudo religious clerics in stupefying the masses. It is only in politics that who masters political brouhaha and is very good in logical fallacies, even if he doesn’t know anything about leadership, win election. No one lets unqualified surgeon operate on him but everyone vote for ignoramus and wait for positive result. Astonishing, isn’t it?!
People are overemphasising freedom and liberty in democracy in the time they submit themselves voluntarily to slavery of falsehoods, misconceptions, misinformation, disinformation, half-truth, fake news, bullshits and flawed facts in the time of social media. Our democracy, to borrow from Noam Chomsky, is necessary illusion. Since politicians can’t control us with force today, where there is touch of civilisation in the politics, they subscribe to what the philosopher called thought control. It is irony that whatever came to help masses liberate themselves quickly turns against the masses. Instead of our youth to use social media to cry against the oppressors, they are working for them with their fingertips.
In what Frederick Nietschez called “slave mentality” social media contributed to what Jean-Paul Sartre called “bad faith”, in a way people illogically appeal to emotions and campaign for candidate that would enslave them for free with their hard earned data bundle, even if they know that the candidate they campaign for is removing them out of frying pan and putting them into fire. Bad faith is when you know you are going to hell but emotions clouded your reasoning and put you into the delusion that you are only passing by it.
I stopped writing, except on Twitter where everyone is angry or Facebook where people post their minds not their brains, because I know using reason in an argument with emotionally clouded political puppets that gain meagre amount of thirty thousand naira monthly for ranting against opposition and using abusive languages to attract attentions leads to negative conclusion. Why should I waste my time in arguing with the person who claimed that the only “trustworthy” Nigerian is President Muhammadu Buhari? If this incredulity is not logically fallacious then what is the meaning of “Ad Ignorantium”?
On social media, few days before general election, I became a staunch critic of President Muhammad Buhari and, as a result, some APC men accused me of working for PDP, as if we have only two parties in Nigeria. This type of logical fallacy, “reductio ad absurdum”, is very popular everywhere around the world. When George W Bush claimed that whoever is not with US in her war against terrorism is against the US, he fell into trap of this logical fallacy in his sweeping generalisation. Some men might have found American war against terrorism too hazy to support or smelled something fishy about it and were also not against the country. When Buhari defenders claimed that by my criticism against their god I was working for PDP they were suffering from the same logical fallacy, reductio ad absurdum. My criticisms against our democracy don’t mean I am against democracy or I am working for anarchism and dictatorship.
In this time of social media where some people post to gain likes, comments, retweets and shares; readers should be cautious of what they would come across on their newsfeeds. It is time of logical fallacies and men are not as smart as they think they are. One has to know that the age of fallacies is not past, it is forever here.
One has to look and find them from the pages of old books to the streets of new media for, as Abel J. Jones successfully put it in his “In Search of Truth”, that an idea is not necessarily true or false because your parents, friends or siblings have accepted it. It is not necessarily false because you would hate it or true because you would love it. Old or new arguments are neither true or false in themselves and repeating them million times doesn’t make them true.