Another book I read this year is Trumpocracy by David Frum. I know the Trump Era is over, kinda, but I still had a few books I hadn’t read. What I liked in this book is how he talks about the truth. The author says that if there is no truth, there can be no lying.
“A leader who lies constantly can distort a nation’s perception of reality. “You are annihilated, exhausted, you can’t control yourself or remember what you said two minutes before. You feel that all is lost” as one man who has been subject to Mao Xedont’s campaign in China put it to the psychiatrist Robert LIfrton. “You accept anything he says.”
How does this work in cohousing? Same way. Be wary of people who don’t want to know the truth. In one workshop I went to about authenticity, they put it clearly. If there isn’t truth, you are not making decisions with all the facts. Community needs people to be honest, authentic and a safe place to be themselves.
The author also shares, “In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot” so said the great Polish poet Czeslaw Milosz in his 1980 nobel prize lecture.”
That’s how I felt – the group think wanted to create another narrative. I kept trying to add facts and no one was interested. The truth was too scary and too big a problem to deal with. A false narrative felt more manageable.
The author also points out that Post-truth is pre-fascism according to Yale historian TImothy Snyder. One more quote I like is “To abandon facts is to abandon freedom”
Cohousing tends to attract liberal democrats but if you don’t deal with the truth, you could become the opposite. I once heard a woman in an intentional community in Europe “We are not fascists” when faced with a problem there. Must have touched a nerve since her parents fought with the Nazis years earlier.