Commentary - 01/28/2010

Noble Lies And Muddy Brains

It's extremely frustrating to see those who lie and steal be financially rewarded, yet those who try to help others hang onto the rewards of their labor and efforts seem punished and drained until they can do no more. Until recently, I had not realized that it has been that way for a very long time. We're talking back to 380 B.C.! Plato's time. By inadvertently coming across Noble Lies and Muddy Brains, today's current events seem more easily and clearly understood.

When trying to truly understand something, one must drill down deep into their subject. In martial arts, it's called "breaking down," studying movements within movements. In economics, it's "pure research." While doing so, a click of the mouse landed me in the description of the "Noble Lie."

In politics a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony, particularly the social position of that elite.
Maybe this is what Thomas Jefferson meant when he wrote:
"How soon the labor of men would make a paradise of the whole earth,
were it not for mis-government, and a diversion of all his energies
from their proper object -- the happiness of man --
to the selfish interest of kings, nobles, and priests."
Perhaps this is why many of the so-called elites are sociopaths. The definition of sociopath used on this site is:
"Intraspecies predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they cold-bloodedly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret."
I suspect that one of the reasons it is difficult for us to know if they're lying or not is that the so-called elites don't think they're lying. They seem to believe that they're doing "God's work," where they win and everyone else loses.

Here's what Irving Kristol, the "godfather of neo-conservatism" had to say about that:

"There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work."
In my opinion, Irving Kristol lied; but I suspect that's why our so-called leaders classify, redact and omit so much in what they write and say to the rest of us. AIG and the big banks, the Feds (Federal Reserve), Congress and many Ivy League graduates of economics and business seem to have bought into Kristol's fallacy, much to the detriment of the rest of us. "National security" really means their security from the nationals they're lyin' to. These lies and omissions are muddying the brains of the nationals, and it matters not in which nation you find yourself.

I first encountered "muddy brain" in the beginning of Charles Walters' 1971 book Unforgiven.

The Cassandras of history always rise so that this truth be given, and the beast of muddy brain always kill them, "unforgiven!" Those who stand up to be "unforgiven" can be found at almost any stopping point along the way.
The term muddy brain comes from a poem titled "The People," written by Tomasso Campanella who lived 1568-1639. A copy of that poem appears within an article from the November 2005 issue of AcresUSA, the eco-agriculture newspaper founded by Charles Walters.
The people is a beast of muddy brain
That knows not its own force, and therefore stands
Loaded with wood and stone; the powerless hands
Of a mere child guide it with bit and rein.

One kick would be enough to break the chain;
But the beast fears, and what the child demands,
It does; nor its own terror understands,
Confused and stupefied by bugbears vain.

Most wonderful! With its own hand it ties
And gags itself gives itself death and war
For pence doled out by kings from its own store.

Its own are all things between earth and heaven;
But this it knows not; and if one arise
To tell this truth, it kills him, unforgiven.
These are some reasons that Sometimes The Dragon Wins

NOTE: I was fortunate to be acquainted with Charles Walters in his last years. He lived less than ten miles from me at that time. We had quite a few discussions of practical economics and, among many, miss him greatly since he left us in January 2009.
2010 by Edward Ulysses Cate
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