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PERCEPTION AND REALITY By Ken Howell

posted 15 Oct 2015, 15:13 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 15 Oct 2015, 15:13 ]
The view is commonly held, that perception is stronger than fact. As a result, we are sometimes led to rely on our perception of people, events and such other situations, in most instances, based on the allegations placed in the public domain, without the hard evidence with which to support our collective conclusions.

This is not the fault of the masses/electorate/multitude, which ever label you may choose to use, who are constantly bombarded by the media, which, incidentally, they have grown to trust to tell them the truth. Now, this is where we begin to run into some difficulty.

In today's world of the internet, political platform propaganda and social media, one's perception or idea of what is the truth varies because our thoughts and ideas are influenced by what the electronic and print media tell us is the truth. We all are aware of many instances, where, in reporting the news about a crime, a natural disaster, civil disturbances, or military conflict, the report varies with respect to the facts presented by the respective media and specifically; in whose interest it is, to slant the news, for the purpose of achieving a particular objective.

It is widely accepted that the media is the watch dog of our so-called democracy. But this watch dog is owned and is led along by a chain which is held by the hands of those who own and control the political and economic system. That is a fact!

Now let us examine that in the context of what is our perception of the politics and how our perception is manipulated over and over against, or in favour of, this or that political leader or party in the cut and thrust of the political campaign. This is done particularly for the benefit of those of us, who under the laws governing our electoral system, are required to help the controllers of our society decide which group of cut throats should guard the loot. Having performed our duty at the ballot box, a right for which our fore-fathers fought in the 1940s, we return to our homes feeling relieved, until we are shocked with joy or sorrow at the results.

What is remarkable about our behaviour in this regard, is how the whole society returns back to normal like hunting ants, who after consuming some snake or other animal, return to their nests. In our case, we return oblivious to the damage the character of some individuals might have sustained. What I can say in favour of the ants is that they may have contributed to the maintenance of ecological balance, while we may have contributed to our demise by unwittingly placing power in the hands of a dictator, all because of our perception of the so-called democracy which we are allowed to exercise every five years.

That perception has led us, falsely, to believe that because we pay taxes, the money so collected, belongs to the people. No one seems to be interested in asking who are we referring to,\ when we use the term “the people” This is because we are constantly labouring under the contrived perception of a “democracy of the people, for the people, by the people” All that happens every five years, is that we are recruited into an enterprise for the purpose of returning or removing from office, a government, who had performed or whose performance might have placed in jeopardy the power and control of the ruling classes over the masses.

Now this is not something which is easily identified by the collective eyes of the masses, because we have been schooled into believing, from an early age that we must trust in the power of the system to deliver justice. So the working people continue to believe, and are also led to believe, all that is required is a change of government and that the incoming government will implement monetary and fiscal policies with their interest in mind.

However, as is usually the case, working people discover the error of their ways after having removed from power several governments who did not keep their promises. That is because we choose to ignore the fact that this democracy of which we continue to believe that we are a part, was not designed with us in mind.

Notwithstanding the error in our perception of our reality, every time we stumble or fall we learn from our mistakes and we come closer to an understanding of the task we are fated to perform. That task, first and foremost, is to ensure, that the wealth of society, which is produced by our sweat blood and tears, is not transferred into the hands of the wealthy at our expense. That is the immediate task facing the working class in Trinidad and Tobago today and for the next five years.

Many of us are not aware, that perception is a brand name which is not named, but is constantly in our faces every time we switch on our television or read the classified ads. These advertisements hardly present us with real information about the products and are mostly vague in most of what is presented in their effort to convince us about the quality and or durability of their products. As a result, many of our working people are trapped by the perception of the credit system, which boasts of giving us the opportunity to own and enjoy a product while paying for it. What we fail to realise is the fact that it is designed, to lock us into debt, which we are usually unable to sustain.

We must always strive to arrive at our conclusions on the basis of the facts; not on the basis of perception. Because once again we are in a situation where another economic crisis is looming on the political and economic horizon and as a result it is extremely important for us to know what is fact from fiction and why we must not rely on perception.
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