Today’s narrative has too many lies to unite society

Today’s narrative has too many lies to unite society. By the Z-Man.

Even adjusting for our natural recency bias, institutional lying has exploded over the last thirty years in America.

Every day someone from the government stands in front of cameras and blatantly lies about things. They know they are lying. The people in the press room know they are lying. Everyone in the room knows that the people watching it know everyone involved is lying. There is the sense that the people in these positions look at lying as a game where the biggest liar wins the day.

This is not a new thing. For twenty years the drug companies have said that serotonin levels are responsible for depression. It turns out to be wrong and the studies they relied upon were obviously wrong. In other words, they should have known their claims were false, but they had a billion reasons to lie, so they lied. This sort of deception has become the norm. Here is a story about a prominent cancer research facility caught faking their research. …

Degeneracy and dishonesty perhaps?

Many people have noticed the scale and degree of lying from official quarters, but the assumption is always that the cause is degeneracy. That is the people slithering into positions of authority are responsible for the rise in deception. The solution is to round them up, put them on boats and send them out to sea. Put honest people back into positions of authority and we return to the normal levels of deception.

That may be just as wrong as the things coming from our leaders.

They don’t feel like deplorables are real people like them?

It may be that we have reached a point where the people in the ruling class of society, this includes the managerial and administrative classes, no longer feel any connection to the rest of us. They lie and willingly repeat lies, because it causes no harm to them and solves immediate concerns.

Like people in clannish societies, deceiving outsiders brings no penalty as outsiders simply do not count. The ruling class is now an alien clan that is indifferent to the rest of us. …

Confuse the majority into inaction?

Alternatively, this evolving class awareness may bring with it a sense that the people over whom they rule are a constant threat. Like the Alawites in Syria, the new class at the top of the social hierarchy now sees their position dependent on keeping the masses confused and disorganized. … Perhaps the explosion of lying is due to fear and hostility by the ruling class. …

Believing a common narrative:

An underappreciated aspect of the communications revolution is how unity has become the standard of politics. Fifty years ago, people understood that politics was the art of the possible, which meant compromise. You give a little to get a little, but often there was no deal to be had and you just accepted it. Today, politics is all about uniting everyone behind a narrow cause. Every day our rulers demand we put aside our interest for something. Mass cooperation is the norm.

These demands for mass cooperation track with the growth of mass media and they track with the rise in anathematizing of dissent. As communications have increased, the demand for cooperation have increased. As cooperation increases, the deception increases with it. Some of the lying is in an effort to trick people into putting their interest aside for the good of the cause. Much of the lying is just opportunism. The greater cooperation has led to an explosion in deception.

A common narrative creates unity and purpose among huge numbers of people. But the people currently in charge of our narrative are so stupid and self-interested that the narrative they are spinning is obviously false in dozens of areas. Not credible. So instead we get disunity, fractiousness, and malaise.