Why Lies?

Jan. 17th, 2008 10:59 pm
le_bebna_kamni: (Sleep)
I found an interesting LJ community recommended to me on my home screen: iamtelling, with the description "Tell lies you wish you (or everyone else) believed".

There's not much there -- a single entry that reads rather poetically. But it got me to musing: are there any lies that I wish other people would believe?

And after sitting there for several minutes, the only answer that would come was "No, but I there are several *truths* that I wish people believed." How do I answer a question like that, when surely one of my greatest values is truth?

But then it hit me: the question for me is not "Are there any lies that I currently wish people would believe," but rather "Is there any part of my current ideology, if I found out it were false, that I couldn't give up and would prefer to accept (and propagate) as a lie?"

And that, my friends, is a hard question indeed. So I'm asking for your opinions to help me figure out my own thoughts in this regard: is there anything that you currently believe to be true that you would be unable to accept the possibility it could be false?
le_bebna_kamni: (Monk)
"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis



Revisionism is something that occurs to some extent in every generation as values change. For example, indigenous people to the continent were once called "savages" and as a general rule people thought their extermination/forced conversion/reformation was not only desirable but an absolute necessity. Yet today the descendants of these people are given more respectful titles such as "Native Americans" or even the right to refer to themselves as Lakota/Nakota/Dakota as opposed to "Sioux", with a recognition that what our government may have done was reprehensible and perhaps on par with many fascist regimes.

Yet while value judgments about said actions may change (or the respected emphasis that may be placed in our culture on specific events), the facts themselves do not. So while I might have ideological issues with someone trying to apologize for laizez-faire capitalism at the turn of the century by pointing out the rise in the GNP (with the resulting claim that the gap in the highest and lowest incomes was necessary), it's a very different story from someone trying to claim that standards of living and working conditions for the average wage employee were better before union-initiated reforms when in fact the numbers do not support that.

I take particular umbrage with historical revisionists who try to make claims counter to the facts, and who attempt to suppress evidence or make sure at least the mainstream textbooks print only what they want to see. Which is why I am particularly upset with House Resolution 888.

Is 888 Supposed to Be 666 Version 2.0? )

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