Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Politics – the art of believing rather than lying

13 September 2016


A week ago, my daily Blendle news summary notified me of a Huffington Post article on the lack of punishment for lying politicians. It’s indeed the only position in which lying does not jeopardise your career. After some consideration on the why question, I must conclude that the answer perfectly fits with my concept of the 7 Belief systems.

Lying is a known distortion of facts. Facts are rooted in Knowledge or “known knowns”. Opinions are however rooted in beliefs (“known unknowns”) – or ignorance. Many people will change their opinion after hearing/seeing facts. My concept of the 7 Belief systems has identified the following 7 (extreme) beliefs: Love, Money, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science and the Truth.

Politics is the only profession in which all members share (extreme) beliefs, opinions, and are only interested in facts if and when these facts are in their advantage. Politicians are seldom held accountable for their public views. When these situations do occur they leave a bitter taste. Let me give 2 examples: Dilma Rousseff and Geert Wilders.

Former left wing Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff acknowledged that she exaggerated about the state of the Brazilian economy before her reelection. Firstly, exaggerating is rarely seen as lying in Politics. Secondly, if lying was reason to remove a politician then no politician would be in office anywhere on this planet.

The Dutch nationalist right-wing politician Geert Wilders faces a trial for his public statements after his overwhelming success in the 2014 community council elections. His statements directly refer to his political beliefs. His political opponents first filed civil (unsuccessful) and then criminal legal complaints. His court cases are about limitations on a politician’s right of free speech.

Both court cases leave a bitter taste as there is something very wrong with them. It’s not about exaggerating. It’s not about lying. It’s not even about the right of free speech. It’s about restricting the power of a successful elected politician. The appropriate way to do that is in (new) general elections. The wrong way to do that is by using and abusing Justice.

Politics is in the Power domain of the 7 Belief systems. Power makes friends and enemies. Both Dilma Rousseff and Geert Wilders lack adequate political friends. That makes them vulnerable. A successful victim role can turn both of them into even more powerful enemies.

Knowledge is not static but dynamic. Facts can become ancient beliefs and beliefs can become future facts. Human history is full of such examples. The ones in power may think that they are right but there will always be a tiny, little voice telling the (new) truth, eg, the Emperor’s new clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.

It’s easy for us to view people with a different belief as liars (eg, Donald Trump). Extreme believers are never convinced by facts. Today’s beliefs are tomorrow’s facts. Power is all that matters. The new Emperor will then decide about beliefs, facts, lies and opinions. Your vote is all you have left.

Smash Mouth – I’m a Believer (1966) – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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