The Conversation

The End of Countermyth

Lisa's two recent stories on feminism -- here and here -- made me think of a word the left uses. When the left is lying -- when they're obviously lying, so much so that other leftists note, "Hey, that's actually not, what's the word?, true" -- but lying usefully, they usually don't accuse each other of lying.

 Instead, they call it "countermyth."

They begin with the idea that everything everyone else thinks about the world is itself a lie -- a myth -- and a lie deployed against this original lie is therefore justified and helpful. A "countermyth" can at least push back against the myth, their thinking goes, and then open up the spaces of the mind for truth.

When people rapped Oliver Stone for his many inaccuracies in JFK, he defended himself by calling it a "countermyth," if I recall correctly, walking back from his original claim that it was actually true. Similarly, I just saw a leftist rag defending Oliver Stone's falsehoods in South of the Border (a hagiography of Latin American dictators) as "countermyth."

It occurs to me that an awful lot of the most ridiculous things they are engaging in countermyth or, as the rest of us would term it, lying. But taking their assumptions as true, for a moment: Even if it were true that countermyth (a lie) could have the useful function of displacing another lie, doesn't there come a point at which the original "lie" that was to be displaced is in fact displaced, and pushing the countermyth no longer has any defensible purpose at all?

I think a lot of feminists claims are countermyths (in the minds of feminists) to displace the harmful (in the minds of feminists) myths about a woman's role in society. But now that many/most of these have in fact been displaced, isn't it now the time to stop with the propagation of the countermyth and get to the truth?

Wasn't the whole justification for lying in the first place to make room for the truth?


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