When We Can No Longer Tell The Truth...

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Lies, half-truths and cover-ups are all manifestations of fatal weakness.

When we can no longer tell the truth because the truth will bring the whole rotten, fragile status quo down in a heap of broken promises and lies, we've reached the perfection of dysfunction.

You know the one essential guideline to "leadership" in a doomed dysfunctional system: when it gets serious, you have to lie. In other words, the status quo's secular goddess is TINA--there is no alternative to lying, because the truth will bring the whole corrupt structure tumbling down.

This core dynamic of dysfunction is scale-invariant, meaning that hiding the truth is the core dynamic in dysfunctional relationships, households, communities, enterprises, cities, corporations, states, alliances, nations and empires: when the truth cannot be told because it threatens the power structure of the status quo, that status quo is doomed.

Lies, half-truths and cover-ups are all manifestations of fatal weakness. What lies, half-truths and cover-ups communicate is: we can no longer fix our real problems, and rather than let this truth out, we must mask it behind lies and phony reassurances.

Truth is power, lies are weakness. All we get now are lies, statistics designed to mislead and phony reassurances that the status quo is stable and permanent. The truth is powerful because it is the core dynamic of solving problems. Lies, gamed statistics and false reassurances are fatal because they doom any sincere efforts to fix what's broken before the system reaches the point of no return.

We are already past the point of no return. The expediency of lies has already doomed us.

Honest accounts of hugely successful corporations that implode share one key trait: in every case, managers were pressured to hide the truth from top management, which then hid the truth from investors and clients.

This is the key dynamic in failed oligarchies as well: if telling the truth gets you sent to Siberia (or worse), then nobody with any instinct for self-perservation will tell the truth.

If obscuring the truth saves one's job, then that's what people do. That this dooms the organization is secondary to immediate self-preservation.

A distorted sense of loyalty to the family, community, company, institution, agency or nation furthers lying as the "solution" to unsavory problems. Daddy a drunk? Hide the bottle. Church a hotbed of adultery and thieving? Maintain the facade of holiness at all costs. Company products are failing? Put some lipstick on the pig. The statistical truth doesn't support the party's happy story? Distort the stats until they "do what's needed." The agency failed to fulfill its prime directive? Blame the managerial failure on a scapegoat.

Pathological liars and cheats rely on self-preservation and misplaced loyalty to mask their own failure and corruption. A hint here, a comment there, and voila, a culture of lying is created and incentivized.

Obscuring the truth is the ultimate short-term expediency. Now that it's serious, we have to lie. We'll start telling the truth later, after everything's stabilized.

But lying insures nothing can ever be truly stabilized, so there will never be a point at which the system is strong enough and stable enough to survive the truth.

We are now an empire of lies. The status quo--politically, socially and economically- depends on lies, half-truths, scapegoats and cover-ups for its very survival. Any truth that escapes the prison of lies endangers the entire rotten edifice.

In an empire of lies, "leaders" say what people want to hear. This wins the support of the masses, who would rather hear false reassurances that require no sacrifices, no difficult trade-offs, no hard choices, no discipline.

The empire of lies is doomed. Lies are weakness, and they prohibit any real solutions. Truth is power, but we can no longer tolerate the truth because it frightens us. Our weakness is systemic and fatal.

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yogibear's picture

It's fantasy economics, through central bank printing, and lies for the forseeable future.

Until the majority cannot afford to eat /live. 


hedgeless_horseman's picture


Obscuring the truth is the ultimate short-term expediency. Now that it's serious, we have to lie. We'll start telling the truth later, after everything's stabilized.

Short term?  How long has it been since FASB replaced mark-to-market with mark-to-myth?

PrayingMantis's picture

... when we can no longer tell the truth, we destroy the minds of our kindergarten-age kids ... >>> "Minnesota Schools Adopt Transgender Toolkit for Kindergartners" ... >>> "Teachers told to ask children their 'preferred pronouns' ... " >>> http://freebeacon.com/issues/minnesota-schools-adopt-transgender-toolkit... ...


hedgeless_horseman's picture


Same as it ever was?

MARCH 19, 2009

It is time people learn to read between the lines of the garbage the government spews forth, in its pervasive agenda to push "transparency" all the while covering every single pig in the U.S. economy with lipstick, restylane and botox



Looney's picture


The picture of Pinocchio is scary! This is what a Viagra overdose must look like!  ;-)


curbjob's picture

Right,  and when you upvote yourself, it's a lie.

Save_America1st's picture

He forgot the ultimate quote attributed to Orwell from 1984:

"In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act"


Or this:  A Final Warming from George Orwell:


He was a big-time insider w/ the globalist elites in the early 20th century...he knew what they were always planning for the world if they could reach the digital age and use it to strangle every bit of freedom out of whoever was left on the planet under their control.  We're seeing it play out today and the battle is raging right in front of us daily. 

small axe's picture

late April 2009 ... the beginning of long slide into fantasy

hedgeless_horseman's picture


The dictatorship, and the whole process of its coming into being, was above all diverting. It provided an excuse not to think for people who did not want to think anyway.



small axe's picture

"To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must some day lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head."


hedgeless_horseman's picture


It is a very interesting book.  I highly recommend it.  

besnook's picture

9/11 is a better date but 11/22/63 resonates as the foundation of my life.

BullyBearish's picture

read CIA: Legacy of Ashes to get a clearer picture of the deep state and it's impact in the world...

N57Mike's picture

this is why I come to ZH ... great reading reccomendaitons, (2) new ones for my list in just the past few blogs, thanks. 

venturen's picture

Obama was elected before that

CPL's picture

1910 with the event of the first fiat currency used on a global scale the fantasy started, then to window dress the success they all started to tinker with things they had no idea how to manage long term.  2007 was actually the year it started on a massive scale and everyone became involved by making sure all the central banks were tied together.  Unfortunately since they are all lying sacks of shit and had been lying about the health of their 'banks', they changed the rules so it could never 'break'. 

Remember, Obama didn't start this.  George W Bush Jr did. 

Barry Obama is just some silver spoon rich boy arab faggot like they all are in the big sand trap.  Bush's daddy is the one that started the troubles and it is with great pleasure I announce the exile of the Bush family tree to the first cousins from the Celtic circles.They should leave their lands and areas, go move to Israel since they like it so much.  There's titles, deeds and family history are now forfeit from the Celt Dominion.  Their family crest is taken down from the hall of ancestors and burned.  Their ancestors are cast out of Tir Na Nog with the full explaination as to why they are being cast out, they can roam with their stupid decendants to where ever they go.

<Take down Bush family crest from Hall of Ancestors and burn it>

<Exile for the Bush family from Celtic Circles for eternity>

<Jazz Hands!>


Macavity's picture

How did they change it so that they couldn't break it any longer? FASB?

Oldwood's picture

The only true currency of society is trust. Everybody lies, but all lies are not the same. As he says, this compounding of lies creates the shitstorm we now live, but the reason we can't fix it is not just because we want to avoid the pain, but that our currency, our TRUST has been destroyed. 

Written contracts became a necessity because we lost the trust of our handshake, and before that our word. Now contracts cannot be trusted because none of us knows what the meaning of "is" thanks to people like Bill Clinton. 

This loss of trust is what is tearing at our societies. There have always been liars, crooks and thieves, but when our primary institutions of trust are destroyed we revert to tribalism, racism and every other ism as our trust backstop.

This civil forfeiture law will only take us further down the road of government distrust....they seem blind to the consequences of their actions. This Russian thing going on is so damaging to our trust of EVERYTHING, left, right, media, justice, all of it, and they don't seem to care. 

The cost of lying is trust, and without that, we have NOTHING.

Zorba&#039;s idea's picture

True that! America's greatest deficit is its capacity to speak TRUTH!

GunnerySgtHartman's picture

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.


Oh, and banksters.  Gotta include the banksters.

Right-on Left-off's picture

"Our weakness is systemic and fatal."  Not true.

The real story is that no one to hardly anyone is willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of the whole.  There are no team players.  Every individual in his own mind comes FIRST!

CRM114's picture

Not so; ask most people in uniform, or who have served.

However, the whole has to be worth saving, and the sacrifice must have some chance of success. 

Too many are not worth my effort to save these days, and the time is not yet right for a chance of success.

Liberty2012's picture

Sacrifice is the wrong word to use. It plays into volitional slavery.

Give or trade is a better word.

Society requires both the individual and the group. Neither should be dismissed. Perspective is paramount.

I am willing to do much for a group that values individuals; not so much for the collectivist crowd.

Malleus Maleficarum's picture

Talk about a lack of truth, or willingness to face reality (all due respect)! It's merely human nature that every individual in his own mind comes first. It can't be any other way that I can fathom. It'd be great if we were 100% benevolent and altruistic, but that's not the truth. Sometimes we are, though, and that will have to suffice until someone way smarter than me figures out a new way.

And "sacrifice for the greater good?" Like "give up your freedoms and we promise, we'll keep you safe?" or "give us your body and spirit, fight our wars to line our pockets, then fuck off and die in the streets because if you can't pull a trigger or stop a bullet you've expended your worth?" On that last point, this nation loves to talk a big, blustering, bullshit game of "patriotism:" flying "made in China" American flags on a few days of the year, buying yellow-ribbon magnets, and clapping for soldiers in the airport. Yet, if we really cared about our soldiers, we'd use them for legitimate defensive purposes only - not sacrifice them in pointless wars for profits and NWO. 

Cloud9.5's picture

When your wife asks you if this makes her look fat.

Matteo S.'s picture

You are mistaken about banks printing money. Money is but a veil that adds a layer of distorsion on a an economy that is just structurally doomed.

The world economy is doomed because the logic of our economy made us hit a quantum wall. Ever rising productivity makes us reach a threshold where we destroy the source of revenues that is necessary to have people buy the ever increasing quantity of goods we produce.

The most efficient will just be the last to die but he will die, after having hastened the death of the less competitive.

J S Bach's picture

Truth is eternal.  That is why our society built on lies will eventually crumble away.  When the rebuilding finally comes, our job will be to identify the (((source))) of this decay.  It hasn't happened by chance.  Every single moral-debasing "ism" has been pushed on us for a very long time.  Today, we harvest the rotten fruits of this carefully cultivated garden of evil.  

Peacefulwarrior's picture

Didn't Noah have to build an ark the last time this happened?

HRClinton's picture

The (((story))) goes, that only the (((Chosen People))) are saved.

By a Natural or (((man-made))) cataclysm.

Ghordius's picture

1. are you sure Socrates would agree with you?

2. meanwhile, that "ism" thing... isn't a kind of "ism"... too? a dogma, too?

evidence is what makes a theory more credible. dogma... does not need evidence in the first place, does not need people to be more or less convinced, just people to believe

3. all human endevours or even human life are/is riddled with lies. oh, and conspiracies. starting with parents telling children about Santa Clause, and going further with the whole office not telling you that your fly/zipper is open, or that you have bad breath

and don't get me started with double standards, and how every society has them, in different measures

Chupacabra-322's picture

Who Killed Seth Rich?

Should be the leading Investigative lead story every Natiolal, Cable & Local News Stations should be airing since his murder.


the Presstitute's goal is to Gas Light as many of the masses with Idiocracy, Infotainment.

A Smith Mundt False Scripted Narrative of Deep State Psychological Operation's.

Open 365 days a year. 7 days a week. 24hrs a day. The PsyOp store does not close.

Vageling's picture

Truth is subjective. Nothing is eternal.

Misrepresentation and corruption. I'm surprised the word misrepresentation isn't mentioned. 

Ghordius's picture

good article, CHS

George Orwell, in the picture, nailed the most important part, imho

"...what people don't want to hear"

look around in the comments, and you'll see plenty of cases of "... don't want to hear"

and this by people that come here to ZH because they believe they are lied to... but are still not available to a rational discussion of things

in short, they want to exchange a tired dogma with a new, shiny and fresh one

best if it features the "right kind of" enemies and culprits to blame

Rothbardian in Cleveland's picture

I was definitely in the sky is falling camp for the longest time.  I'm just not there anymore.  Is the future of liberty dead?  Sure.  That died years ago and is never coming back.  Is the future one of totalitarianism fueled by generations of dependency, intellectual laziness and moral depravity?  Yeah.  


So the future isn't anything I would have picked.  I'm pretty bummed about it.  But armageddon isn't coming tomorrow.  (manmade that is, I have no idea when the real one comes).  It's just some bizzaro shitty through the looking glass existence that fucked up people are going to force upon me that is coming.  Up is down, right is left, debt is is a tool not a reality, so on and so forth.


It's a fucked up ride for sure but there is no crash.  There is no revolution.  There is no coming reckoning.  There is no TEOTWAWKI.  Just Big Brother.  Lot's of Big Brother.  (tear rolls down my cheek as the bullet leaves the muzzle)

We are all Winston Smith.

CRM114's picture

Two points:

People are lying to top management because top management tell them to. Plausible deniability, i.e. lying about lying.

Lying does not just ensure (not insure, FFS learn English*) that stability is unobtainable, it ensures destruction. Lying forces the continuation of failing policies, thus maintaining and accelerating the death spiral.




all-priced-in's picture

Yellen: "I Don't Believe We Will See Another Crisis In Our Lifetime"



Mena Arkansas's picture

"It's different this time"

Normally heard from bubble heads on cable financial ((( news ))) at market peaks.

And during insider distribution.

venturen's picture


BuddyEffed's picture

Or she was implying that "lifetimes" aren't what they used to be.

GRDguy's picture

The real problem is that the sheep reward the liars,

not the ones who try to tell them the truth. 

That's mainly because the schools and the churches have conditioned

the sheep on WHAT to think, not HOW to think.

RagaMuffin's picture

On a conceptual level, don't disagree with CHS but I can not name one period in human history that evokes integrity.  When he refers to system he should refer to "social system" If you want to get fancy include the issue functional dysfunction cause that is where most of us live

There's picture

President Lielie often demonstrably lies and contradicts himself in the same sentence.

36% of Americans requard his lies as truth. 

We can look forward to mass murders on 5th Avenue with no consequences when the Judicial system has been corrupted and controlled.

This Administration has neither Leaders or Patriots, only self interested and self absorbed incompetents who worship the methods of Dictators. 

Horseless Headsman's picture

And you must believe he has accomplished all this in the few months since the last election, while simultaneously believing that the previous 8 years have nothing to do with the rampant corruption of the political class in DC. Amazing!

There's picture

The "Shallow State" is not the answer.

Grandad Grumps's picture

Hopefully when we come out the other side from this "shit for government" that we have been experiencing in this country since at least 1913 and probably since 1871, real leaders who care about the country and its people will be allowed to run things.

The web of self serving lies and corruption has been very disheartening.