Notebook

‘Truth’

The Russian president claims he has ordered the invasion of Ukraine to ‘denazify‘ the country. The Patriarch of Moscow, meanwhile, maintains that the invasion has metaphysical significance and somehow represents a moral crusade. It is hard not to draw a line between such statements and the business venture of a former president of the United States: a social medium in which subscribers can post any idea that happens to float into their mind as a ‘truth’, expecting this to be picked up and transmitted by others as a ‘retruth’.

During Lent we reflect on Christ’s words: ‘I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter’ (Matthew 12:36). There is nothing to suggest that this was intended as a throwaway remark, that is, a ‘truth’ in the social-media sense, requiring inverted commas.