Events Calendar

Lies, damned lies and democracy!

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
FIMS and Nursing Building (FNB)
Room: 3090
Photo of Anton Allahar leaning on a brick wall wearing his academic robes.

Presented by Professor Emeritus Anton Allahar, Department of Sociology, Western University.

Everyone is welcome to attend this public event.

This is a FIMS 25th Anniversay event. Join us for other events this year.

Attend in-person: FNB 3090
Attend online: Zoom Webinar

Abstract: My title borrows from a famous quote that is attributed to Mark Twain who in turn attributed it to Benjamin Disraeli, a former British PM. Apparently when Disraeli was shown to be low in the poll numbers, he asserted: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics!” I modify this quote to read: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and democracy!” For my contention is that much of what passes for democracy today is based on transparent lies that are sold to an unsuspecting public by politicians, multiple civic leaders, media enterprises, teachers and even professors. It speaks to the processes by which a largely credulous populace exhibits a cultural willingness to accept myth and make-believe as ‘truth.’ In other words, the populace is so steeped in ideological distraction, so deceived that they are unable and even unwilling to see the ‘truth.’ I mean no disrespect to anyone, but that make-believe is rooted in the public’s widespread embrace of religion and the simultaneous rejection of scientific knowledge and fact. In the process ideologies of God, ‘race,’ gender, ‘tribe’ and nation are elevated and overall social solidarity is actively undermined. Finally, my argument directs attention to the phenomenon of Trumpism as a point of empirical reference.

Bio: Anton Allahar holds a PhD in Political & Economic Sociology from the University of Toronto and is a Full Professor of Sociology (emeritus) at Western University. His principal areas of interest are ethnic and racial relations, education, globalization, nationalism & democracy. Geographically his foci are the Caribbean and Latin America. Professor Allahar has written 8 books and edited 4 others, has published over 100 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and has delivered over 130 papers at national and international conferences. Anton has won 3 gold medals for academic achievements and 7 major awards for excellence in university teaching, including the prestigious Canadian National 3M Award, Western’s Edward Pleva Award and the OCUFA Award. Professor Allahar also holds 2 honorary professorships from the University of Havana in Cuba and the University of Oriente also in Cuba. In addition, he has been a visiting professor in Cuba, Russia, China, Fiji, Jamaica and Barbados. Finally, Professor Allahar was the recipient of the first ever Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Studies Association.

This event is hosted by current FIMS Rogers Chair James Compton (Faculty of Information and Media Studies).

Faculty of Information and Media Studies
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