Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Lying for the Cause

If myths do more for social progress than facts — then why worry?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

 

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About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Residence in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, a professor of Classics Emeritus at California State University, Fresno, and a nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is also the Wayne & Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History, Hillsdale College, where he teaches each fall semester courses in military history and classical culture.

20 Thoughts on “Lying for the Cause

  1. Thank you Professor Hanson,

    If I was born with a Natural Law that no one can aggress upon my spirit, soul, mind, body, property or finances… then Progressives have upended this idea, since if I or you or we are in the wrong place at the wrong time and Progressive Thought Controllers find our circumstance useful, despite our innocence and adherence to Natural Law (i.e. we fought back against hooligans and didn’t die), then we shall be branded, we shall be charged in criminal court for political purposes, and our finances and futures shall be ruined.

    Why? Because lies are expensive to project into a false-reality-field. And BIGGER lies are needed to reinforce greater lies into a LARGER false-reality-field. The bigger and longer the lies goes on, the worse it gets.

    This is a clear and obvious false-right of the Progressive Thought Controllers, to choose what lies to promulgate. How can we strip them of this evil right they have taken? Perhaps tar? Perhaps feathers?

    Progressives are doing great violence against the truth. But truth knows how to fight back. Truth is a winner, and it is economic. It can also be fast, though normally it is known over lengths of time.

    But truth is a winner. That is what the Progressives are so scared about, that truth will be known. And that Progressives shall be known as sad Troglodytes, who commit heinous crimes against themselves and humanity… because they hate truth and love lies.

  2. David Park on December 9, 2014 at 8:31 am said:

    Want truth? Take a post sunset stroll through an urban neighborhood personally pigmented in a shade not your own. Without a camera crew.

  3. Joe D'Agostino on December 9, 2014 at 8:37 am said:

    One of the first lessons to keep in mind that conservative mythology also has issues, but we won’t go into those. Nor the mythologies spawned by other ideologies such as the communist or fascist or various religious ideologies.

    • For a passing grade in this course, distinguish between mythology, theory, ideology, world view, creed, hypothesis, principle, and lie.

      For extra credit, choose one “mythology,” describe how it distorts modern life, and state what you think needs to be done to combat it.

      Saying “It’s hopeless” is a waste of everybody’s time.

      • Joe Toboni on December 10, 2014 at 4:46 am said:

        I don’t think I could pass your course Ace. I see no difference in real life whether someone bases his crusade of choice on the Bible, a manifesto, a philosopher, or his favorite rock star. I only know he

  4. A traditionally devote acquaintance said in a very zealous manner that he was convinced of the guilt of UVA frats because “where there is smoke, there is fire.”
    I said nothing because I knew I was speaking to a slave. The Progressive masters contradict fact and logic and tell people what they say is the truth. So, it is logical for the slave, in order to show his subservience, to publicly proclaim that same kind of logic.
    Progressive have brained washed and enslaved the general public, without the use of torture or mind altering drugs, through a convincing and utterly authentic display of religious zeal in almost their every public utterance.

  5. No myths about it. Progressivism= Energy Serfdom, Universal Poverty and National Discontent.
    Free Enterprise= Liberty, Freedom and Prosperity.

  6. John Lewis on December 9, 2014 at 11:35 am said:

    And where does this all lead? The answer is given by Theodore Dalrymple’s “Life at the Bottom.” The British lowest class have food, shelter, and entertainment, guaranteed. Because of the breakdown of law and order, and schools finding it politically incorrect actually to teach (this occasioned by bien-pensant liberals further up the food chain), the poorest live with a high level of violence, and little chance of escape. Dalrymple is clear that this is a new situation; his father came from a slum, and got out because the schools still functioned; and Orwell’s account of life at the bottom is not so bleak as Dalrymple’s.

  7. JohnnyBoy on December 9, 2014 at 12:33 pm said:

    Mr. D’Agostino, one of the first lessons is that a lie in one city does not cancel out a lie in another city. Try to stick to the point, rather than drag it off into the ditch for a proper beating. You’ll get more out of it and it will be less irritating to other posters.

  8. dupere on December 9, 2014 at 3:27 pm said:

    The masses are being distracted by the things of the mind—- illusions are pleasurable. Revealing the truth of a dying world order must be postponed at all costs– there are billions and trillions more to siphon off the organism. From the first financial upheaval in 2008, World debt has climbed from 70 to 100 trillion— the spinning top of globalized free trade is wobbling, unbalanced. Find a lifeboat before the other 99 percent realize they need one as well, the problems facing the globe are unsolvable. The future is mitigating the damage and triage. And if history is a guide— War. { hands up brain-dead sheep }.

  9. Jeff Stanley on December 9, 2014 at 4:28 pm said:

    I heard a brief interview on NPR with Rolling Stone writer Sabrina Rubin Erdely. She was jaw-droppingly unapologetic about the fact that she made no attempt to get the fraternity’s side of the story. And standards of sound journalistic practice be damned.

  10. Paul Oglebay on December 9, 2014 at 5:50 pm said:

    One largely unspoken reason for the disfunction of a disproportionately high percentage of black Americans is the degree to which they hit their kids. A tiny bit of research will show you that people who get hit as kids are way more likely to be disfunctional adults and the vast majority of black parents hit their kids. This, coupled with the extremely high percentage of single-parent households, explains a huge percentage of black problems.

    • re: black people hitting their kids. I can’t speak to the frequency of black people hitting their kids, but the times I’ve seen it seemed absent love (yes, it is possible to dispense corporal punishment lovingly). The most recent was when I halted my car on a residential street to allow passage to a very obese black lady on foot accompanied by her (presumably) her two small daughters and toddler son to cross the street carrying small bags of household trash to the dumpster on the other side of the street. On the way across the street, otherwise bare of auto traffic, the toddler boy stumbled, fell, and dropped his sack, spilling trash onto the pavement. The woman instantly reached down and roughly jerked the boy upright while cursing him, and spanked him hard several times. She then mostly dragged him across the street by his arm with him barely keeping on his feet all the way to the dumpster then back across the street, cursing him all the way.

      Where to start with the many degrees of awfulness I witnessed? At a very young age, possibly well before he can remember when he gets older, he’s already learned the risks of trying to be helpful, the instant white hot anger and profanity of a black woman, the lack of justice and understanding for an ordinary mistake mostly not his own fault, public humiliation and scorn, and lack of gratitude for trying to be a help, and how levels of retribution are wildly out of proportion to errors and failings. How many more such experiences, in addition to those he may already have experienced, will he have as he grows up? And what will their cumulative effect be upon his psyche? I still despair when I think of what I saw that day.

      And the trash stayed spilled on the street.

  11. thanks for this essay. lies are so corrosive to human society that it is very difficult to overdo calling them—and liars—out. i’m encouraged that you do.

  12. Irenedabanian on December 10, 2014 at 8:33 am said:

    The truth of what happened in the Michael Brown incident is out but no one cares about the truth. People make up stories of why the truth is not the truth. We are living in 1984 times now. One cannot say what we believe now or why we may disrespect some aspects of our accepted cultural elements. Acceptance of gay sexuality, going green to save the earth when most of the world decimates it regularly in their normal course of living (Asia), paying people who do not work but are capable of working. When the truth does not matter, we are in a sad place. It must be what most Americans want or we would not have the leaders that we have. We are becoming a third world country where politicians lie, the people know they lie, but are or feel helpless to change anything. We are swiftly losing our ability to take action against what is right and what is wrong. There is no such thing anymore. It is the end of western civilization.
    Glad I will be gone to see it all. The young will get what they deserve as they have bought in to all of the glitz.
    But during their lifetime, there will be less and less of it available to them. Those in power will have it and they will have become enslaved with high taxes, and a grey existence, just like the story details in the book, 1984.

  13. Michael Bradley on December 10, 2014 at 2:10 pm said:

    Dr. Hanson, excellent writing. This article was the voice in my head. I wish I could express it as clearly as you.

  14. Rick Goodin on December 12, 2014 at 7:14 am said:

    When I saw the photo of Michael Brown in graduation garb, I wondered why no one had thought to instead post his baby pictures or photoshop it to appear that he was holding rescue kittens. Perhaps it just didn’t occur to them or it might have been (for now) a step too far in using post modern means for currently and all too dynamically defined social justice ends.

  15. Brutha V on December 12, 2014 at 8:04 am said:

    For moral-relativist Progressives, the ends always justify the means. They have end-goals that they believe (subjectively) to be moral and/or fair, and any method (even those that are immoral/unethical) for achieving those ends is acceptable.

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