The way of the warrior.
A warrior who must fight with morality.
Journalists never got that memo who they were.
They were soldiers fighting in an intangible war.
They had to liberate truth from lies.
Reality from fantasy.
Logic from sophistry.
Fact from opinion.
Raw data from narrative.
And proof from theory.
That would have made a world of difference. Propaganda would stick out like a sore thumb if we were blessed with the kind of journalism that actually mattered.
But we weren’t blessed. We were cursed with a toxin that slowly destroyed our collective knowledge base.
Busido revolves around seven “virtues”, but idealism has nothing to do with it: these are tools of rationality to prevent you from losing focus and forgetting the point of the fight:
- Gi: Morality, righteousness, or simply being resolute and focussed on your goal. You have a purpose and you stick with it to the end. For the information-gatherer, it is finding truth in a battleground of lies. You do not become distracted by lies. You seek truth and you do not stop until you have found it.
2. Rei: Respect, or treating everyone with politeness and kindness. American journalism has no rei whatsoever: they are rude, belittling, and vile to the point of causing permanent and traumatic harm to whomever they disagree with. You do not have to be cruel to find the truth. You may challenge someone to liberate a truth, but you must still be respectful; otherwise, you are imposing your interpretation of reality on others, and becoming an ideological tyrant.
3. Yu: Heroic courage, or having the ability to face the facts that refute your working theory of reality. You must have the courage to be benevolent and liberate the truth from lies. Journalism lacks yu to the point of being propaganda devoid of facts and context. Pandering is a sign that the communicator lack yu.
4. Jin: Benevolence or compassion. There is no journalism without jin. Giving facts is a gift to society in order to help them find their right path, even if they wish to take a different path than you are taking. Not a worse path where you can look down on those people, and not a better path where you plot and scheme to thwart them because you are petty and jealous. The profound lack of jin in journalism has resulted in partisan propaganda because the linear divide of Left and Right refuse to acknowledge that different people have different life requirements. It is akin to forcing people with a peanut allergy to eat peanut butter. It has become obscene.
5. Chu: Loyalty to truth and seeing reality is essential to being a fact-gatherer. You do not sell out the truth because truth is stable, egalitarian, reliable, valid, credible, useful, and loyal to every one of us. You are dedicated to finding those deep universal truths and you are not beguiled by the lure of peddling lies.
6. Meiyo: Honour, or holding yourself to a real standard to preserve and improve the content of your character. You do not stoop to propaganda or manipulations. You tell facts, not sell a narrative. You do not use fear-mongering or hero worship, either.
7. Makoto: Honesty, the most important virtue of the fact-gatherer. Your word must be your bond. You must verify what you say, and not have ulterior motives saying it. Here are the facts. If you are not honest, you are enemy to truth. You pollute the information stream with lies, and with lies, no solution can be found.
The Art of War told us that war is deception, and yet a fact-gatherer must be the soldier who forgoes lies to liberate the truth. It is a different battle that turns the rules of war over in order to break them.
Journalism never took itself seriously, and it paid the price. The alternative to it must understand that idealism is absolutely necessary for society to progress. There is a difference between being naive, and being gullible for it is the conniving who are gullible, forever believing if they backstab and deceive others, they will win a nonexistent game.
There is a full-blown war on truth raging right now, and if we are to ever free ourselves from the shackles of lies, we must be prepared to liberate truths so that truth can return the favour and liberate us in kind…