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What Got Us Into This--Lies, Or Bullshit?

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Plaid Adder Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:56 PM
Original message
What Got Us Into This--Lies, Or Bullshit?
OK, I don't know of any real philosophers who make this distinction, but it has always been an important part of my world view:

In the arsenal of deceit there are two great weapons: lies, and bullshit. They are related but not identical. A lie is a falsehood you tell other people in order to deceive them. Bullshit is a falsehood you tell yourself in order to justify something that you want to do but which you know is just morally wrong. People do not believe their own lies (although they want everyone ELSE to believe them); but they do believe their own bullshit (even though deep in their hearts they know they made it up). The whole point of bullshit is to be able to fool yourself so that you can do evil while believing that you are doing good.

Now, it has always been my contention that although lies are very dangerous, bullshit is actually *more* dangerous, because its effects are more severe and long-lasting. For instance, IMHO racism is the surviving residue of a particular form of bullshit developed by Europeans to justify the enslavement of Africans.

Often you find lies and bullshit in the same place--i.e., because someone has bullshitted himself, he ends up lying to other people to get what he wants. However, people who have bullshitted themselves are in some ways more dangerous than people who are merely lying to others, because believing your own bullshit does require you to abandon reality, which will ultimately lead you to do some stupid-ass, dangerous things.

So here is the question I now pose about this administration: This war is a disaster, *even for the people who wanted it.* Is that because this administration a) lied to us; b) bullshitted themselves; or c) both?

The lines are open,

The Plaid Adder
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Beetwasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. A Lot of Both
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 03:00 PM by Beetwasher
Depends on who we're talking about specifically...Also, it depends on their actual motives and intentions to begin with.
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HFishbine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. Bullshit
as a foundation for policy makers who, when the layers started to peel away, resorted to lies so they wouldn't be exposed as bullshitters.
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Sgt. Peppers Donating Member (142 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. Theft- 2000 Election
And going strong from their.
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BOSSHOG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
4. The bush administration
wanted a terrorist attack so they could activate the orders of the energy task force; take the oil fields and secure no bid contracts for halliburton. Oh, they forgot about all the death, destruction and despair that would be a nasty little reflection on the administration). THEY LIED TO US. It was a plan which worked (they got the oil fields - mission accomplished). No bullshit on their part; however, refer back to nasty reflection stuff. This scenario is merely a classic example of why IT SUCKS TO BE A REPUBLICAN. Thanks for asking.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
5. How about bullshit lies?
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On the Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:10 PM
Response to Original message
6. In T.S. Eliot's Words,
what got us into this was "the triumph of bullshit."
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Snow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. I thought I had an answer a moment ago - lies
especially on the part of Cheney & colleagues, who really want to enrich themselves & their friends, nothing more. Well, a little more - as long as they're at it they want to make the world a better place in which to enrich themselves. I think they know this, admit it honestly to themselves and amongst themselves, and cynically snicker at the folks who believe the lies they're putting out. That was my initial thought.

But there's some BS going on as well. It might be something like, they would really do better in terms of self-enrichment if they didn't always go for the completely greedy option in every situation. To simplify vastly, if you run a company you can run a sweatshop, overprice your goods & enrich yourself; or you can pay & treat your employees well, resulting in better production of a better product and the same degree of enrichment over the longer term. That's not quite what I'm getting at, but it's close, and maybe it isn't really BS because these fools really do believe the way they act is the best way to go. Dunno. Anyone wants to lend a hand, here, jump right in.
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loftycity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 05:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. Old guy who owned a car dealer ship had this to say about lying
"Those car sales guys tell lies all day and all week..and you know what?" "After awhile they start believing their own lies/bullshit."
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remfan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:23 PM
Response to Original message
9. Bullshit
The people pushing this war have been bullshitting themselves, and us, for the last 12 years. Amazingly that's how long they've been outside of government and holed up inside The American Enterprise Institute. It's also how long the INC, a product of the PR firm "The Rendon Group", has been in existence.

When a tight circle of people has tons of money, access to governments, access to intelligence agencies, access to the media, and focuses the majority of its attention on one subject for a decade, you're going to end up with some pretty narrow vision and some seriously obsessed people...cult-like. As they draw people in, the more serious ones become more and more obsessed and the inner circle tightens. Paranoia begins to set in, and the circle become even tighter. Anyone that disagrees is suspect, a traitor, not a "true believer". It's really almost tin-foil hat behavior because they see only the things that seem to corroborate their beliefs, everything else is dismissed, and even when the reality of their WRONGNESS is staring them in the face, they still will not concede.
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rocktivity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:10 PM
Response to Original message
10. It was a conspiracy powered by lies and bullshit
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 07:12 PM by rocknation
The plan from the beginning was to get into Iraq, get control of their oil, then get control of the rest of the Middle East. They thought the could pull it off because they had two insurmountable weapons: a compliant unquestioning mainstream media, and Bush's alleged religious conversion. Of course there would be some complainers. But if they could be portrayed as a tiny group of troublemakers, they could be kept at bay. So the lies and bullshit began to roll out of the Bush White House, the media rubber-stamped them, and only the pathologically unpatriotic would deny that Bush was doing God's work.

So what went wrong? The Bush White House (mis)underestimated their enemies. Just as the Vietnamese were written off as undersized rice eaters armed with not much more with sharp sticks, the Iraqis were supposed to take one look at our "freedoms" and swoon with envy. When a tiny group of troublemaking Internet bloggers brought down Trent Lott, the media monolith got its first crack. And when Michael Moore's Stupid White Men refused to detach itself from the top of the bestseller lists, anti-Bush regime literature was born.

The result? Those who didn't buy into the Afghanistan or Iraq invasions are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Millions come out for protest marches worldwide, anti-Bush books are rolling out of the publishing houses and flying off the shelves, Moore's next movie will address 9/11 directly, and Air America's gotten off to such a great start they had to stop registering people within an hour of going online. Most important of all, cries of "Lies! Bullshit!" are finally being heard throughout the U.S!


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