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Truth, Post-truth, Non-truth: New Aestheticized Digital Regime of Truth

  • Nina Cvar
  • Robert Bobnič
Chapter

Abstract

Recent discourses of post-truth and fake news indicate that something has happened in terms of how (neoliberal) reality is perceived. But how can we theoretically conceptualize this phenomenon, embodied in the recent rise of alt-right movements, which came full circle with the election of Donald Trump and the re-emergence of chauvinistic discourses in Europe? Is post-truth a problem reserved exclusively for the sphere of politics or does it resonate as something still more far-reaching?

Even though this text will claim that discourse on post-truth ought not be conceptualized as a radical break in terms of its ontology and epistemology from the Western episteme, it is still interesting just how recently the notion of post-truth has emerged as a phenomenon associated with the rise of populist alt-right political movements. Regarding the phenomenon of fake news, contrary to common mass media perception, we claim that the term fake news is in itself flawed, as it more or less designates a crisis of the dominant journalistic paradigm, coupled with economic models of mass media corporations. Therefore, to address it directly we will conceptualize its epistemic conditions, engendered in particular media technologies and its economic and social organization, concluding by providing a case study of the so-called conspiracy theories as a form of a specific regime of truth called post-truth.

Still, this text will argue that the phenomenon of post-truth is not exclusively tied to political discourses. In fact, current political discourses are just a small (albeit important) part of the new aestheticized regime, distinctive for its specific technological mediation, manifested in the singular correlation between organization of the human sense of perception and historical circumstances, indicating a unique socio-political conjuncture.

In this vein, this text is arguing that post-truth should be regarded as a phenomenon that cannot be properly understood without taking into account this new aestheticized regime, distinctive for its contemporary mode of technologized mediation, its specific historical circumstances of optimized neoliberal governmentality and, finally, its epistemic conditions tied to the Western epistemic matrix, which will firstly be thematized by addressing the problem of mediation through two major theoretical perspectives on communication, i.e. Stuart Hall’s cultural and C. E. Shannon’s mathematical model of communication, and secondly, through the work of François Laruelle and Jonathan Beller as both question the Western epistemic matrix by intertwining the digital with the metaphysical.

Keywords

Object-oriented-ontology Media studies Post-truth Critical communication studies 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nina Cvar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Bobnič
    • 3
  1. 1.Senior Lecturer, Erudio Business SchoolERUDIO Education GroupLjubljanaSlovenia
  2. 2.Researcher, Faculty of MediaLjubljanaSlovenia
  3. 3.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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