Updated: May 29
Conflict is a natural condition.*
Partners, husbands and wives, children and parents, teachers and students, employers and employees, citizens and governments, etc. are often in conflict with one another and many other beings.
Between and within nations, society, organisations even families there is constant conflict. A clash of ideas, strategy, tactics, power, influence, wealth, resources, partners, etc., conflict is always occurring.
In fact, put two creatures together and there is found to be conflict, until some outcome is arrived at between the parties involved.
Conflicting parties usually try to marshal their resources so as to triumph over the other.
In this effort they try to win over others to their side, ideology or philosophy. They know if they can win the hearts and minds of people, they will secure their support.
The raw material for the mind is information, and it is the factor most used.
Information is a key element in successful in winning in a conflict. The commercial output of information is called news.
Unfortunately anything that has use will also be misused.
Information always comes with its twin, 'misinformation', which is now known as 'Fake News'. Fake news has been around for centuries and this cartoon published in 1894 by Frederick Burr Oper clearly indicates that this is an age old problem.
Not only is there an advantage and profit for people to provide news and information there is often a great reward and benefit for withholding news.
There is also the immensely influential and profitable but unethical practice of misinforming, that is manufacture and distribution of fake news.
It shouldn't come as a surprise, that fake news is natural. Fake news was and remains omnipresent in every human society. Then why has the public's eye on fake news moved from the sidelines to centre-stage?
Unfortunately for peddlers of fake news, consumers of news now have alternative sources to receive and verify news.
The good news is thanks to technology, communications and access the common woman or man can quickly efficiently and cheaply tap directly into a seemingly infinite number of sources to obtain facts, news and commentaries.
In a sense information has become more democratic and democracies as always are noisy, messy systems. This has made it difficult if not impossible for providers of information to dish out fake news without getting challenged or caught.
The bad news is that creators of fake news have become very sophisticated, they also use technology to create 'echo chambers' that is the creation hundreds of thousands if not millions of fake voices so as to mislead the consumer that the news and support is widespread and commonly accepted.
The worst news is that, now we are being bombarded by so much data and information that we are getting overwhelmed sifting the useful and necessary form the garbage.
Our need for news and entertainment is so insatiable that the problem is not so much with the manufacturers and distributors of trivial and fake news, it is us the consumer of news.
In any open society, democracy or free market, supply will always emerge to meet demand. We demand and accept only what pleases or suits us, or that which matches our own narratives, prejudices and that which benefits us.
We ourselves are driving demand for fake news, we have become 'fake news'.
Though conflict is a natural condition, we humans possess the capacity to consciously to minimise conflict and cooperate with on another. That is why in every civilisation there is a stable social hierarchy, 'A place for everyone, and everyone in his place'.
This will have to be the subject for another article.