Lies and Propaganda

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Let's say your little sweet daughter comes up to you and asks if she can have some of your Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzels Pieces.  And you don't want to share for whatever reason, so you tell her they are yucky.  So she decides that's good enough and stops asking for some.

Victory, right?  No.  That's a lie.  The pretzels are in fact very yummy and you know it.  Telling her the opposite of what is true is wrong and will backfire some day.

Hopefully, you will never have this happen.  Or if it does happen, you will correct it.  Depending on your child, it may be impossible to correct the problem for many years.  Some kids remember what they've been told for a long long time.

And when that time comes, there may be some mistrust to deal with as result.  If someone has been lied to for a long time, even if that lie was propagated by other means, it can be very difficult once the truth comes out.

So just don't lie in the first place.  If the pretzels are yummy, tell the truth.  If you don't want your kid to have the yummy pretzels because it's too late in the evening for them to eat something like that, tell them the truth.  It is much easier in the long run.

By the way, in reference to the title of this article, when an individual tells an untruth, we call it a lie.  When an institution or organization tells a lie, we call it propaganda.

Posted via email from Anthony Martin's Weblog



  1. Well, sometimes "propaganda". Other times: "gospel", "law", "curriculum", etc...

  2. Winterset says:

    The worst problem is that it's not only lies that are used for propaganda. The scarier thing by far is when they use the truth to deceive. Admittedly this is less common in the US, but it does happen that occasionally the government tells the truth. Invariably when they do tell the truth, it's in an effort to either cloud a different issue or to justify the taking of power.

    The same can be, and is, done by individuals even in scenarios similar to what you're talking about in this post. I've often said "the Truth is the best manipulator". One of the most insidious things about manipulation is that once you realize how easy it is to do, it's almost impossible to not do it. This, of course, is a million times more true of governments which is no small part of why they should be forbidden in general.

    • That's true. If you want control, you do have to be perceived as a reliable source of information. Then it's easy to distract away from the real issue.

      Sometimes these are conflations and dialectics. Or fnords, in the slang.

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