Monday, March 12, 2007

Ethics and Politics, Truth and Lies

"The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it." -Josef Goebbels, Nazi

The best political quiz ever given was that which I found on Marc Stevens' website which as of the redesign, I haven't been able to locate. It claimed to be "The World's Smallest Political Quiz." Except it wasn't the one you find on the website of the Advocates for Self-Government. It had one question and two possible results. (WSPQ is not the smallest after all.)

The question: "Should a good or service be provided at the barrel of a gun?"
If you said "yes", you were directed to the definition of "tryant", "despot", et cetera.
If you said "no", the test returned "Congradulations, you are not political."

I am not political.

Ethics and Politics are usually seen with a relationship whereby one's ethics decide one's politics. What you think is moral and immoral determines what you think should be legal and illegal. I don't exactly think of it like that. The relationship between ethics and politics is the same as the relationship between truth and deception. Politicians find ethics inconvenient just as liars find truth inconvenient. Politics and lies deliberately conceal and negate ethics and truth.

Political language is a language of lies. All political words reflect this. When you see a political lie, translate it to an ethical vocabulary. By doing this, you can make anyone who habitually uses political lies look like an idiot by using an equivalent ethical truth.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

Remove the political lies of "Your" (as if you actually had possession or property right in the government) and the implication that "country" means "government" and what we're left with is:

"Ask not what I can do for you, ask what you can do for me."

The stupidest idiot who ever lived could recognize this if not for the success of political language.

When political lies distort reality, the easiest way to set things straight is to restrict yourself to the ethical vocabulary, except to translate political to ethical terms or clarify how these political terms are related to the ethical terms.

When people talk about "war", talk about murder.
When people talk about "law", talk about involuntary servitude.
When people talk about "taxes", talk about theft.
When people talk about "nations", talk about individuals.
When people talk about "legality," talk about morality.

A libertarian reading the words "WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH" will see a beautiful irony here. That first, there are three perfect absurdities of logic, and three perfectly valid political statements. War abroad distracts the public, creating peace for the ruling class, while peace abroad creates political conflict at home. Freedom of government is slavery, and freedom from government enslaves the government. Ignorance is patriotism, patriotism is the basis of government's consentual element, and strength, force, is used to compel the rest to act as the ignorant masses do. They are three lies, but in the political realm, they are three truths. The political realm is a lie.

One of the most absurd of the political lies is the collective lie.

"National" = "Ours"
"Ours" = "Yours" as in "We tax ourselves."
"Ours" = "Mine" as in "We get federal aid."

"For every dollar we send to the state level, we get five dollars back." -local government

"For every dollar you give the mafia I like, I get five dollars."

So whenever you see "Our" or "Us" or "We" or "Nation" or "Country" or "State" in a political context, keep in mind that someone is lying to you.

Deception is an inherent, inseperable part of politics. Politics itself is a big lie.


Blogger doinkicarus said...

It's funny you mention the collective lie. Police officers identify the "collective lie" as an attempt to mask the severity of the truth. It is often framed thusly: "we were just hanging out, then, I dunno, we decided to break into the house/kill the stripper/steal the tennis shoes/etc." What is usually conveyed is that "I decided to steal..." Guilty people with guilty consciences create a fictional collective to deflect their own feelings of shame or remorse.

I had never thought about applying that psychological analysis to politics, though. Sweet.

7:27 PM  

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