Moreover, one must toe the line whether for a company or another conglomerate of people or get ejected from our fold has been the way that it goes. It has been the case since tribal days when dissent meant removal from the tribe and possibly death from not having a material and/or a financial (in much later years) support system.
So people generally conform to survive, it seems. They try to fit into the conglomerate of those around them as or dire consequences result as they did for my parents’ friend Howard Fast:
Having refused to cooperate with the House un-American activities committee and provide records of the joint anti-fascist refugee committee, he was convicted of contempt of Congress in 1950, and served three months in jail – it was in effect a congressional imprimatur of his leftwing credentials and integrity. It also meant that, overnight, his books became unpublishable. He was blacklisted. Angus Cameron (obituary, November 30 2002), the editor-in-chief at his publishers, Little Brown, came under fire in 1951 … – From Obituary: Howard Fast | Books | The Guardian
Currently, though, individuals can undertake the action of selectively picking and imparting views as do news sources, which represent freedom of speech and the spirit of First Amendment rights. It’s not like the eras in which Howard or others lived.
First Amendment – Religion and Expression. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. – From First Amendment – U.S. Constitution – FindLaw
Of course, this option for free speech even further in times past and past Howard Fast’s wasn’t always the case. If doubting this curtailment that people routinely faced, then check out:
Mar 19, 2014 – This week in my Free Speech and Censorship course, we are focused on Galileo’s 1615 “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina,” which is his …
For example, does anyone really believe that all Huns were bloodthirsty devils, who cut off the breasts of women and threw their babies into wells? Does anyone really believe that all people in another cultural, ethnic or religious group other than his own are evil monsters to be universally hated and rejected? … The answer is: Yes, yes, many individuals do believe this malevolent outlook!
If they weren’t so horrid and evocative, some of these vile posters at the following link would be slightly amusing: 25 best propaganda posters images on …
My favorite for being dangerous and stupid is the last one. It is certainly applicable today and speaks volumes about the ease with which people can decide to en toto “smite one’s enemy.”
When I have mistakenly shared erroneous information, people “in the know” are quick to point out the errors and falseness to me. They understand that I appreciate it and know that I absolutely do not want to pose fictitious bogus information as truth when someone sends it to me after which I trust the information and forward it.
So I admit my mistake in support of a mistruth. Then I inform others of it as a correction for those to whom I sent the lie.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” – Thomas Jefferson It is also one of the main foundations of morality and integrity.
The Boy Who Cried Wolf. letter B. There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!” The villagers came running up the hill to help the boy drive the wolf away. But when they …
“I’m not upset that you are lying to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
We all know where lies and misconceptions can lead. For example, they lead to vituperative and damaging “othering,” which can, in turn, lead to the poison of hatred and lynchings.They lead to a Lebanese Christian restaurant in Worcester, MA being all but destroyed after 9/11. (The family had fled their country for being persecuted and were not Arabs). They lead to a Sikh being beaten and kicked to death in CA after 9/11 as his turban was misidentified as a Muslim headdress.
Othering and condemnation are quite commonplace occurrences. Here is an excellent review of the process, which explains some of the reasons for the orientation’s prevalence whether directed against this group (or individual), or another group (or individual).
Dec 28, 2011 – By “othering“, we mean any action by which an individual or group becomes mentally classified in somebody’s mind as “not one of us”. Rather …
So let’s leave phony baloney to where it belongs: with benign tales of Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the likes. Truth is too hard-won much of the time to leave it to chance to occasionally arise. And let’s not ever forget all of the rampant lies in Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm serving to viciously manipulate and control thought. Let’s not forget Machiavelli’s take on lies: Chapter 18: The Subtle Art of Lying | The Municipal Machiavelli.
As a tangentially related aside, I find this ensuing article excerpt interesting. As with the bamboozling weapons of mass destruction lie created by Bush, Cheney et al about Iraq, lies do have a terrible way of initiating wrongful actions and fictitious “notions” based little on actual reality. …
In relation, “never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception.” – Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince
Further, “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth,” attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Oh yes, indeed, this is so and it primes the public, as well as government leaders to accept the lie:
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has responded to the Chilcot Inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, saying Britain must never repeat the mistakes of the Iraq war.
Speaking before the House of Commons on Wednesday, Cameron said that then PM Tony Blair took the country into war based on a belief that had lost credibility by 2003.
He told the lawmakers that Iraq’s supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) played a “central” role in Blair’s decision. “However, as we now know, by 2003, this long held belief was no longer a reality.”
The inquiry, headed by Sir John Chilcot and established in 2009 to investigate Britain’s most controversial military engagement since the end of the Second World War, published its 6,000-page report on Wednesday.
The report said that the legal basis for military action was “far from satisfactory” and Blair based his case for war on “flawed intelligence” about Iraq’s WMDs. – From Invasion of Iraq based on false perceptions: Cameron …
Here’s Jonathan Cook‘s “take” on a similar. situation:
In the end, we all have a choice. We can condone, reinforce and generate lies based on stereotypes and fears that we have or we can try to foist truth forward except in dire circumstances when doing so would cause harm or death for oneself or others.
In this vein, it is up to each and every one of us to be honest with ourselves to discern truth whenever we see it rather than to succumb to castigation, hatred, maliciousness, stupidity and ignorance. This means our not spreading to others, nor personally succumbing to lies except under the most dire and life threatening circumstances.