You cannot speak falsely about a party or country simply because they are your rivals. I confess that I am stunned by the sudden resurrection of Cold War sentiments in the U.S. media. But much worse, is the U.S. government’s attempt to make a judgment that declares Russia’s wickedness to be the cause of the terrible Ukraine shoot-down of an airliner ,when it knows it lacks adequate information to make such a judgment stick. Our judgment that we are always right never leads to a genuine truth. That kind of predominating certainty flatters the national conceit, and national conceit is a hungry deity that soon casts about for victims. Nothing can be more ridiculous indeed than the way in which we exaggerate another’s vices and extenuate our own. The whole is an affair of prejudice on one side of the question, and of partiality on the other. The administration doesn’t act as if it’s judgments are merely hypotheses. No, instead, they desire to think in decrees.
So what you see happening today is the transformation of individual convictions that become overwhelming in force because they are repeated endlessly by those in authority. The cautious restrictions of what once was called, “Iron objectivity” had been discarded as too ineffectual and cumbersome. Few in the media have the intellectual or moral strength to resist what is told them by their leaders. The collectivities have the habit of drowning anything that is private and not collective.