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  1. #1
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Who is responsible for the lies of our leaders?

    John J. Mearsheimer’s “Why Leaders Lie”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/entert...8jD_story.html

    The University of Chicago political scientist argues that the leaders most likely to lie are precisely those in Western democracies, those whose traditions of democracy perversely push them to mislead the very public that elected them. In fact, Mearsheimer says, leaders tend to lie to their own citizens more often than they lie to each other.
    The last two types of lies — “national mythmaking” and “liberal lies” — deal with a country’s self-perception. National myths fuel solidarity by putting a country’s history in the best possible light. This is why French schoolchildren read textbooks praising the country’s colonial past, or why America’s founders have achieved demigod status over the centuries. (Founding myths are particularly untrustworthy, Mearsheimer warns.) And liberal lies — a term the author uses apolitically — are used to justify odious behavior that conflicts with traditional ideals. For example, Winston Churchill and FDR served up a generous helping of deceit when depicting Stalin as a good guy (friendly ol’ “Uncle Joe”) to justify their cooperation with the Soviet leader during World War II.
    Should the people be held responsible for the lies of their leaders?

    Are such lies such a bad thing?
    Are there worthwile strategic reasons for such lies? (Plato's Myths come to mind)
    Are there psychological reasons why we accept or prefer our leaders telling such lies?

    Do we tell similar lies to ourselves?

    How could we (the citizenry) stop permitting such lies?

  2. #2
    The Eighth Colour Octarine's Avatar
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    Default

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  3. #3
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Catbert View Post
    Should the people be held responsible for the lies of their leaders?
    In an indirect manner, I suppose. People dance to the right tune. If they didn't dance so well to lies, politicians wouldn't be singing them.

    Are such lies such a bad thing?
    Not intrinsically. It depends on what your goal is.

    Are there worthwile strategic reasons for such lies? (Plato's Myths come to mind)
    Many. This ties in to the below, but if you're at the mercy of the opinion of the mob it makes sense to control that opinion using all the tools at your disposal.

    Are there psychological reasons why we accept or prefer our leaders telling such lies?
    I think for the general public the mind prefers ease and simplicity over difficulty and complexity, with lies easy to craft into the former and the truth typically taking the form of the latter.

    Do we tell similar lies to ourselves?
    I think so.

    How could we (the citizenry) stop permitting such lies?
    Don't dance to them.



  4. #4
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Don't dance to them.
    That is easy to do if you can recognize the false tone but very difficult if you are a natural dancer with no musical education. Sometimes in politics, of course, it is wiser to dance to the best tone available than not at all.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd2AHZ22SJ8"]Dance to them[/YOUTUBE]

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