Lying for your ideals

Evil and lies are often intermixed. For example, when the followers of an ideology seeks power, they may feel that their agenda requires ignoring conventional morality and lying. They don’t just lie to the enemy, they lie to the people they want to lead.

This is what Heinrich Himmler said to about 100 SS Group Leaders in Posen, occupied Poland in October 4, 1943.
“I shall speak to you here with all frankness of a very serious subject. We shall now discuss it absolutely openly among ourselves, nevertheless we shall never speak of it in public. I mean the evacuation of the Jews, the extermination of the Jewish race.”
“It is one of those things which is easy to say. ‘The Jewish race is to be exterminated,’ says every party member. ‘That’s clear, it’s part of our program, elimination of the Jews, extermination, right, we’ll do it….”

“Most of you know what it means to see a hundred corpses lying together, five hundred, or a thousand. To have gone through this and yet – apart from a few exceptions, examples of human weakness – to have remained decent fellows, this is what has made us hard. This is a glorious page in our history that has never been written and shall never be written.”

Heinrich Himmler
Heinrich Himmler
In other words, Heinrich did not want the world to know about the killings. It was a lie of omission. Even not all Germans could be trusted to know about it, judging from what he says about them: “And then they all come along, the eighty million good Germans, and each one has his decent Jew. Of course the others are swine, but this one is a first-class Jew. Of all those who talk like this, not one has watched, not one has stood up to it.”

Also consider the following:

Ilan Halimi
Ilan Halimi
French journalists postulated the existence of Jewish gangs beating up Muslims, taunting imams, or stealing motor scooters. This was all imaginary.
The Moslem gangs that attacked Jews did exist. First they tortured to death young Ilan Halimi, some of the torture to the rhythm of Koran readings. Then two years later a young Sephardic Jew, Matthiew Roumi, was tortured and beaten by the same gang. At the end of June 2008 a mob assaulted a Jewish teen, Rudy Haddad (who had a kippa on and was going to synagogue). More than 15 young blacks, armed with iron blocks, attacked him. He ended up in a coma for quite a while.
So why would French journalists make up stories about Jewish gangs? What are they trying to accomplish?

Or consider the following:
Steven Plaut, an economics professor at the University of Haifa says that Israel has for years been the victim of Arab ecological terror. He says that “the world media reports every single incident in the West Bank when Arabs claim that Jewish ‘settlers’ have burned or vandalized Palestinian olive trees…They do so even after the many cases where leftists, foreign “anarchists,” and Palestinian-Arabs have been photographed by the mainstream media vandalizing the trees themselves to make it look like “settlers” were responsible. Yet nary a word in the mainstream media about the countless acts of Arab arson against Israeli forests.”
So if this is true, then leftists are uprooting trees to make Israeli settlers look bad. It’s a lie in a “good” cause. And if the media really ignores Arab arson, it raises questions about the media – because what they choose not to report is as important as what they choose to report.

I myself have lied a few times, when telling the full truth would have gotten me into trouble. And I’m a person who values honesty. Still, as Austrian-American economist Joseph Schumpeter says, “The first thing a man will do for his ideals is lie.”

Its important to know what the ideologies and passions that motivate the unscrupulous are. Nazism was one, and its not dead yet (its getting more popular in Germany, for instance, and the basic ideas have their adherents elsewhere), Marxism openly motivates some, and still rules whole countries, Islamism, and various types of nationalism and hatreds are all out there. And less defined but still ugly attitudes that dare not show their face in public are present as well. So be careful when you consume news – even videos and audiotapes that seem unanswerable.

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