Skip to comments.A Culture of Lies
Posted on 07/28/2007 1:34:27 PM PDT by Harrius Magnus
A Culture of Lies By Fjordman Created 2007-07-26 19:09
The always excellent writer Theodore Dalrymple, one of the most astute observers of Britain and indeed of the Western world today, has assessed the ten years under the leadership of former PM Tony Blair. According to Dalrymple, Many in Britain believe that he has been the worst prime minister in recent British history, morally and possibly financially corrupt, shallow and egotistical. One of the reasons for this negative view is the rapid growth of insecurity, ironically combined with the even more rapid growth of surveillance: The typical Briton finds himself recorded by security cameras 300 times a day does not secure him in the slightest from crime or antisocial behavior, which remain prevalent in Britain, so no one feels any safer from the terrorist threat despite the ever-increasing government surveillance.
British citizens pay obscenely large amounts of taxes, but get less and less in return for this, except an increasingly hostile state: The National Health Service, where bureaucracies have hugely expanded and entwined their interests so closely with those of private suppliers and consultancies that it is difficult to distinguish public from private any longer. Spending on the NHS has increased by two and a half times in the space of 10 years; yet it is hard to see any corresponding improvement in the service, other than in the standard of living of those who work in it.
He believes the inadequacies of the state are hidden beneath a web of lies of half-truths, and by confusing the public through corrupting official statistics. Unemployment rates are artificially kept down by classifying people as sick rather than unemployed, and thus, by a single lie, is the population, the medical profession and the government corrupted. Likewise, crime rates are kept down by encouraging the police not to record crimes. Through such measures, the whole of society finds itself corrupted and infantilized by its inability to talk straight.
Dalrymple states that We have come to expect dishonesty of which this little lie was an example at every level of society. The dishonesty is intellectual, moral and financial, and its root is self-interest conceived in the narrowest possible way. In modern Britain, probity is foolishness or, worse still, naivety. He believes this corrupts the entire fabric of society: When dignity requires illegality, there is something rotten in the state.
The media and the authorities have been deceiving the public for decades about Multiculturalism, EU integration and the true cost of Muslim immigration. Thus a culture of lies and moral and financial corruption is cultivated. It starts at the top and spreads downwards. If the state lies, cheats and collects money for services it fails to provide, why can't average citizens do the same thing?
According to Dalrymple, Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. Ones standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.
Polish writer Nina Witoszek warns that people who have lived under Communist regimes are struck by a strange feeling of dejá vu regarding the censorship autopilot in Western Europe: Soon we shall all write in a decaffeinated language: We shall obediently repeat all the benign mantras such as dialogue, pluralism, reconciliation and equality. [ ] We prefer safety above freedom. This is the first step towards a voluntary bondage.
She quotes Polish writer Czesław Miłosz, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature for books such as The Captive Mind, where he explained the seductiveness of totalitarian ideology. One essay by Miłosz is titled Ketman, an Islamic term brought to Miłosz's attention by Arthur Gobineau, who had noticed that the dissidents in Persia had evolved a strategy of dissimulation, which involved not just keeping your mouth shut, but actively lying in every way necessary. According to Miłosz, a very similar strategy was used in Communist countries. Those practicing dissimulation felt a sense of superiority towards those who were stupid enough to state their real opinions openly.
When people who grew up in Communist societies are asked about what they hated the most about their situation, many of them will answer: The lies. This practice of systematically lying every single day, of placing no importance on the value of truth and of despising those who are stupid enough to tell their real opinions is the hallmark of totalitarian societies, and it is now spreading in the supposedly free West. This suits Muslims, accustomed to living in authoritarian societies where only fools state their true intentions, very well, but it is detrimental to any free society.
One could claim that serving the occasional lie or half-truth is the very nature of politics, since human beings frequently prefer to hear pleasant lies over unpleasant truths. Perhaps, but it becomes a serious problem when such lies have become endemic, when every political statement and media report is steeped in them and when the very structure of society will collapse if these lies are not upheld. By then, reality has been reduced to a mirage, faithfully reproduced and projected by the servants of the state on a daily basis.
Swedish journalist Kurt Lundgren wants to know the cost of mass immigration, thought by many observers to be considerable, potentially enough to unravel their famous welfare state. He asks the authorities about this, and gets the reply that no such calculations exist, although the elaborate Swedish bureaucracy has statistics readily available for just about anything else. Lundgren concludes that this is because the authorities dont want people to know the truth.
He recalls reading a book about the GDR, the former Communist dictatorship of East Germany, and recognizes many similarities between the lies served there and the lies served in Sweden. The endemic lies in Communist countries resulted in that very few citizens believed anything they were told by the authorities, which eventually resulted in the collapse of the state. Lundgren fears something similar is about to happen in Multicultural Sweden.
On of his blog readers comments that Sweden is still decisively different from East Germany in several respects, above all that the GDR had much more police in the streets. What the two states have in common is that the authorities are enemies of their citizens. The fact that they hide the true cost of immigration is a result of this, not the cause. The reader also wonders how citizens should behave in a country where the state has become the enemy of the very people it is supposed to serve.
That is an excellent question, and one that is not limited to Britain or Sweden. It is applicable throughout Western Europe. If you are a native European, the major problem isnt that the state is powerless; it is that the state is now actively hostile to your interests. This didnt happen overnight, it happened gradually over many years, with Multiculturalism, mass immigration and the EU.
Why is complicated to answer. Maybe its because the post-national elites want to break down existing nation states through mass immigration in favor of a pan-European superstate with themselves on top, ruling disjointed nations as an authoritarian oligarchy. Maybe its because our media, academia and state apparatus are heavily dominated by left-wingers and Multiculturalists who hate Western civilization. Maybe its because we as a culture suffer from a crisis of confidence following our declining influence in the world. Or maybe its because the state, initially created to serve a specific people such as the Dutch, the Swedes, the British etc. has now decided that these nations no longer exist. Consequently, the state now exists purely to maintain itself and to serve abstract, Utopian principles.
At the end of the day, the cause matters less than the result: The state is now an enemy. Giving more money to the state isnt going to solve any problems since its is no longer willing or able to serve you. It is merely interested in extracting more money from you for doing less and less, and for sustaining its bureaucratic machinery through projecting the illusion that it is still there to protect the interests of its citizens. How are we going to deal with this culture of lies and a hostile state? I dont know. But Western Europeans will have to find the answer to that question soon.
Islam is the acid that will dissolve the nation-state and led to the total breakdown of civilization.
A spreading problem in the West.
See McCain-Feingold and "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" for further details.
The objectives for most politicians and bureaucrats has become incumbency and accruing power. "Public service" has become the very essence of corruption...
This is probably why the socialists jealously guard PC and try to ensure that everyone else conforms to their own world view.
So where is respect for Western Civilization taught? How is it imparted from generation to generation?
Not in the schools, not in the popular media, almost not at all, it must be passed person to person by those few who still have a clue what it is and what it means.
Once its gone its gone.
Deal with that problem or watch it all unravel.
“Islam is the acid that will dissolve the nation-state and led to the total breakdown of civilization.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!......Your Post is a good Tag-line for you. I’am saving it. Thanks!!!!!!....
And it’s beginning to seem that our GOP elites (bush and the RNC) are also “actively hostile to the interests of citizens”—
The Labour (I wouldn’t call it “Blair”) governments failure is not unlike the last time Labour was in power for a time.
Ironically, it is not the Labourites themselves who are to blame, it is the British people who elected them, who in effect have punished themselves for their bad judgment. And this does not excuse the supporters of the Tories, either, as they, too, have shown themselves to be ineffectual, incompetent and undeserving of power.
In a manner of speaking, this has all been the case for one reason: there is no truly Conservative political party in Britain.
By this I mean whose philosophy is truly Conservative. In America, we can only point and laugh because our Conservatives are generally crystal clear, sharing such a similar set of values and ideas that arguments among them are generally over only fine points and incremental steps.
Most of us can easily recite off a list of the core values of Conservatives, with little variation. But where in Britain is there a group of people that embrace the same values?
(In no particular order.) Smaller and less intrusive government. Serious punishment for violent crime, including the death penalty. The right to keep and bear arms. Free enterprise over socialism. A strong military. Lower taxes. Good schools. A strong economy. Etc.
Now granted, individuals in Britain may feel just the same way as we do on these issues. But politically, they get no respect. Those who might advocate *some* of these things, also advocate totally wacky and bizarre things, making them unpalatable to most people.
But if you compare their Labour party with their Tories (don’t even call them “Conservatives”), you will find that they are just two shades of the same color (or colour), of pink.
Both parties are Europhiles. Both are anti-military. Both are soft on crime. Both show their inefficiency by emphasizing control over the minutiae in people’s lives, instead of the big issues of the day. Both parties believe in intrusive and surveillance obsessed government. Both parties are more than willing to cede power to their foreign masters in Brussels.
And until somebody in Britain stands up like their version of Ronald Reagan, and clearly and succinctly states to the people what core Conservative values really are, Britain will continue to wallow in decay and decline, living in an increasingly greedy and shallow nanny state, victimized by the brutal and vicious, ever poorer and in greater despair.
The first thing to be done is to abrogate any European agreement that diminishes British sovereignty. To establish that Brussels is to facilitate European accord, not to rule over it.
Second is to build prisons equipped to handle new and tougher laws and mandatory punishments for societies criminal deviants.
Third is to slash the taxes and largesse of government, to restore the right of the people to retain their wealth. To reduce the size of government by half or more.
Fourth is to restore health care to Britain by privatization. And to open broadcasting to the public by privatization.
Fifth is to use the increase in revenues from lower taxes and a growing economy to rebuild the British military.
This restoration of Britain to being a first world nation is what a return to real Conservative values would bring. But until British voices and votes bring forth such a restoration from the people themselves, Britain will remain under a deep and abiding curse.
Such a hero to lead his nation out of darkness would deserve the sword Caledfwlch (Excalibur), from the Lady of the Lake.
Is there a GOP candidate for POTUS who will use this in a speech?
Every thought, sentence and observation - Perfect in every way.
Thanks for the post.
When the State exceeded the scope and size necessary to provide for the basic needs of civilization, it became the enemy. For European states, that was long ago. In the US, it may have happened as early as Lincoln. It certainly happened with Roosevelt.
The State should now be called Leviathan: a self-important beast that considers the citizens to be captive tax-slaves who exist only for funding “vital services” and “unmet needs”, by which the State earns its living by continually positioning itself as the arbiter of groups that it maintains through other policies.
For example, this is the very reason for the current push in the US by both parties, to grant amnesty to millions of (mainly) Mexican illegals. Not because these people deserve somehow to be citizens, but so the government can incorporate them into the tax system, and then can offer them more “services”, like free healthcare and free, Section 8 housing.
A related example is found in the relatively new law that demands any US citizen who leaves this country and gives up his citizenship is still liable to report and pay taxes on his income for another 10 full years, no matter where he earns it and no matter where he moves to.
And pretty much yup here in the good old USA.
This is probably why the socialists jealously guard PC and try to ensure that everyone else conforms to their own world view.
I am sure all this is true but I can never hope to understand it, I simply cannot imagine spending my time plotting ways to gain power over others. I don’t know if this means I am simply unfit for modern society or what.
Americans have absolutely nothing to be smug about in this regard.
“Free” health care will happen and cost us more of our attenuated freedom.
Telling the truth cost most of the Soviet version of the census bureau their lives in the mid/late 30s. Their published statistics showed a huge population decline in the Ukraine following the Famine. An ‘Inconvenient truth’ of rather a different sort, embarrassing Stalin and undermining the effort to hoodwink the world as to the true nature of things, despite the best efforts of the OGPU, Mr. Duranty and the NY Times. Following a purge of the statisticians the population figures were revised upwards.
To me, the last sentence is the scariest part of the entire article.
He could just as easily be writing about the US.
Thanks for posting this.