Often when I contemplate the lies of various regimes around the world, both now and in the past, I become confused by how badly all those lies play out. The stories and myths seem concocted by middle school kids barely paying attention. Often the lies are concocted to lead a country to war against some innocent people, but often the lies are just banal and trivial.
As I was pondering the lies of the state, I stumbled over the following quote in my travels over the internet. I can’t remember where I saw the quote so apologies to whomever I should give credit to.
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.” ― Theodore Dalrymple
Please remember that there is precious little real difference between the communist system and the crony capitalist system (or “corporatist” as Mussolini liked to use) that has become the standard in the world today. All states sooner or later assume dictatorial control over their subjects. (yes, subjects and not citizens) So this theory is that the state’s lies are even better if we are forced to believe them even when they are so very infantile and unbelievable. This fits in with many other descriptions of the state and its common methods.
I like the comparison between Mr. Dalrymple’s ideas and those of George Orwell in the quote by a high party official in 1984 that I wrote about some time ago. A member of the Inner Party tells Winston Smith:
“The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others were cowards and hypocrites. They never had the courage to recognize their motives. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. How does one man assert his power over another? By making him suffer. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing. In our world, there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement – a world of fear and treachery and torment. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face forever.” ~1984
In both quotes we see that the ultimate goal of the state is the infliction of pain, suffering, and humiliation upon the unfortunate subjugated people. The state is our enemy as Albert Jay Nock pointed out to us long ago. But it is not just that the power mad control freaks want your obedience, they want you utterly humiliated and enslaved. They want you to be dehumanized.
Murray Rothbard pointed out in his famous essay Anatomy of the State that the state is the “organization of the political means”; it is the systematization of the predatory process over a given territory. The state seeks to dominate, subjugate, and loot the human sheep they see as existing for that very purpose.
Considering the above, how can anyone believe that there is any form of the state that is not evil? Even the nation-state with the smallest power will grow stronger every day, just as the U.S. government did, and in the end dominate the populous in the manner foretold by Orwell or demonstrated in the communist dictatorships of the past.
The state is your enemy. The state is the eternal enemy of mankind. Remember that even when you can see through the simple-minded lies of the state it is still winning if you must remain silent about those lies. You must speak out when and where you can.