Can No Longer Tell the Truth...
By Charles Hugh Smith
When we can no longer tell the
truth because the truth will bring the whole
rotten, fragile status quo down in a heap of
broken promises and lies, we've
reached the perfection of dysfunction.
You know the one essential
guideline to "leadership" in a doomed
dysfunctional system: when
it gets serious, you have to lie. In
other words, the status quo's secular goddess is
is no alternative to lying, because the
truth will bring the whole corrupt structure
This core dynamic of dysfunction
meaning that hiding the truth is the core
dynamic in dysfunctional relationships,
households, communities, enterprises, cities,
corporations, states, alliances, nations and
empires: when the truth cannot be told because
it threatens the power structure of the status
quo, that status quo is doomed.
Lies, half-truths and cover-ups
are all manifestations of fatal weakness. What
lies, half-truths and cover-ups communicate is: we
can no longer fix our real problems, and rather
than let this truth out, we must mask it behind
lies and phony reassurances.
Truth is power, lies are
weakness. All we get now are lies, statistics
designed to mislead and phony reassurances that
the status quo is stable and permanent. The
truth is powerful because it is the core dynamic
problems. Lies, gamed statistics and false
reassurances are fatal because they doom any
sincere efforts to fix what's broken before the
system reaches the point of no return.
already past the point of no return. The
expediency of lies has already doomed us.
Honest accounts of hugely
successful corporations that implode share one
key trait: in every
case, managers were pressured to hide the truth
from top management, which then hid the truth
from investors and clients.
This is the key dynamic in failed
oligarchies as well: if
telling the truth gets you sent to Siberia (or
worse), then nobody with any instinct for
self-preservation will tell the truth.
obscuring the truth saves one's job, then that's
what people do. That this dooms the organization
is secondary to immediate self-preservation.
A distorted sense of loyalty to
the family, community, company, institution,
agency or nation furthers lying as the
"solution" to unsavory problems. Daddy
a drunk? Hide the bottle. Church a hotbed of
adultery and thieving? Maintain the facade of
holiness at all costs. Company products are
failing? Put some lipstick on the pig. The
statistical truth doesn't support the party's
happy story? Distort the stats until they "do
what's needed." The agency failed to fulfill its
prime directive? Blame the managerial failure on
Pathological liars and cheats
rely on self-preservation and misplaced loyalty
to mask their own failure and corruption. A
hint here, a comment there, and voila, a culture
of lying is created and incentivized.
Obscuring the truth is the
ultimate short-term expediency.Now
that it's serious, we
have to lie.We'll start telling the truth
later, after everything's stabilized.
But lying insures nothing can
ever be truly stabilized,
so there will never be a point at which the
system is strong enough and stable enough to
survive the truth.
We are now an empire of lies. The
status quo--politically, socially and
economically- depends on lies, half-truths,
scapegoats and cover-ups for its very survival.
Any truth that escapes the prison of lies
endangers the entire rotten edifice.
In an empire of lies, "leaders"
say what people want to hear. This
wins the support of the masses, who would rather
hear false reassurances that require no
sacrifices, no difficult trade-offs, no hard
choices, no discipline.
The empire of lies is doomed. Lies
are weakness, and they prohibit any real
solutions. Truth is power, but we can no longer
tolerate the truth because it frightens us. Our
weakness is systemic and fatal.
views expressed in this article are solely those
of the author and do not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Information Clearing House.