People Ignore Facts That Contradict Their False Beliefs

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The more people there are who ignore facts that contradict their beliefs, the likelier a dictatorship will emerge within a given country.

Here is how aristocracies, throughout the Ages, have controlled the masses, by taking advantage of this widespread tendency people have, to ignore contrary facts:

What social scientists call “confirmation bias” and have repeatedly found to be rampant, is causing the public to be easily manipulated, and has thus destroyed democracy by replacing news-reporting, by propaganda - ‘news' that’s false - in a culture where lies which pump the agendas of the powerful (including lies pumped by the billionaire owners of top ‘news’media and of the media they own) are almost never punished (and are often not even denied to be true). Thus, lies by those powerful liars almost always succeed at enslaving the minds of the millions, to believe what the top economic-and-power class want those millions of people to believe — no matter how false it might happen actually to be. 

Recently, a particularly stark example of this came to my attention. On 15 September 2017, an article that I wrote for the Strategic Culture Foundation, and which was titled by a true statement that I had only recently discovered to be true, was republished at a news-site that I consider one of the best around, “Signs of the Times” or “SOTT” for short, and a reader-comment there, simply rejected that title-statement and the entire article, because it contradicted what the person believes. This commenter entirely ignored the evidence that I had provided in the article, which proved the statement to be true. 

No matter how irrefutable the evidence is, most people reject anything which contradicts their deeply entrenched false beliefs, and this reader-comment crystallized for me, this phenomenon of “confirmation bias” — the phenomenon of ignoring evidence that contradicts what one believes.

The article was titled “Liberalism doesn’t respect a nation’s sovereignty.” I never knew that fact until I researched it, but I found, after looking through (and my article quoting key documents from) the history of the matter, that it’s actually the case: that liberalism (as it’s understood and defined by the scholars of the subject, and as it’s based upon the key formative documents of the historical tradition, “liberalism”) rejects a nation’s sovereignty. This fact shocked me to discover; so, I wrote an article documenting it, and SCF accepted it, and it then became republished at a few other sites, including SOTT.

The reader-comment at SOTT which for me personified confirmation-bias, was (in its entirety): “This is a rather new twist blaming liberals for invading countries. I've always associated liberalism with the left wing and democratic, progressive politics. I've always associated conservatism with the right wing, big business, militarism and invading other countries. Trying to move the goal posts, are we?”

That person never clicked onto my article’s links documenting the case, nor even read the quotations given in the article itself from John Locke and from Adam Smith, who were key founders of “liberalism” as that tradition has come down to us. He instead ignored all of that evidence, and stated — entirely without evidence of any sort — that I (and SOTT, and SCF, for publishing it) were “Trying to move the goal posts.”

I (a Bernie Sanders voter, and a lifelong progressive and opponent of conservatism) am “Trying to move the goal posts” — how? By pointing out the manufactured phoniness of ‘liberalism’? By pointing out a key way in which liberalism was designed by its aristocratic sponsors (in this case by the aristocrats who sponsored Locke and Smith), to be an ideology that would encourage conquest, empire, and discourage democracy (which is based upon the sanctity of national sovereignty — based upon the lack of imposition of government by or on behalf of anyone who isn’t a resident on the land). Liberalism, I show there, was designed for Empire, not for democracy. That reader simply refused to consider the evidence.

People who insist upon deceiving themselves disgust me. Anyone who blocks out the key relevant facts and persists in believing the lies they were raised with, or became fooled into believing, doesn’t harm only themselves by the lies they believe; they vote on the basis of the lies they believe, and thus these people who refuse to be open-minded destroy democracy, and invite control of the nation by the aristocracy (who sponsor the proponents of those lies). People who refuse to question their own beliefs, become increasingly putrid pools of their own false beliefs, which have been created and nurtured and sustained and become larger and larger pools of lies, by constant repetition from the media and lobbyists of the rich and powerful, so as to enable the exploiters to enslave the masses, via those constantly repeated and embellished lies. 

Such self-‘justifying’ fools, who refuse to clean-up their conceptual pool that’s been increasingly polluted by lies, are enemies of democracy, no matter how much they may consider themselves to be ‘liberals’. They don’t even know the reality of what liberalism is. One thing that it definitely is not (as my article documented) is progressivism (which is utterly opposed to foreign conquest and to the entire imperial project of imposed rule, regardless whether by outright invasions or else by coups).

Thus, we have two dominant ideologies against progressivism: One is conservatism, which everyone recognizes to be against progressivism and for Empire and constant conquest, profitable war for the arms-merchants and for the ‘news’media owners who also benefit from stirring up invasion-fever, not only like William Randolph Hearst did but today like they all do. The other is liberalism, which hides that it’s actually conservative — hides this, by being ever-so-sweet toward certain ethnicities or other groups that are being oppressed domestically, and by vociferously condemning conservatives for what is actually nothing more than the blatancy of conservatism’s favoritism toward the aristocracy.

An authentic democracy cannot be based upon a “demos” (a public) that is overwhelmingly composed of suckers - manipulated fools. Only by means of the tiny aristocracy plus the huge mass of their suckers, does a democracy degenerate into a fascism. (For example, something like this can be supported overwhelmingly by the political Party that dominates the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House, state capitals, state legislatures, and runs the U.S. White House, in this ‘democratic’ nation — ‘democratic’ according to the propaganda; but if this were really a democracy, then none of those politicians would be able to win public office.)

*  *  *

A well-established central finding of psychological research, concerning “confirmation bias” or “motivated reasoning” (which are two phrases referring to people’s tendency to believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of any contrary facts), is that individuals evaluate whatever they read or hear according to their pre-existing ideas about the given subject. Specifically, psychologists have found that people tend to pay attention to whatever confirms their existing ideas, and tend to ignore whatever contradicts those pre-established beliefs.

For examples, the following studies are available online:

“Motivated Skepticism in the Evaluation of Political Beliefs,” in the July 2006 American Journal of Political Science, reported: “We find a confirmation bias – the seeking out of confirmatory evidence – when [people] are free to self-select the source of arguments they read. Both the confirmation and disconfirmation biases lead to attitude polarization ... especially among those with the strongest priors [prior beliefs] and highest level of political sophistication [the highest degree of exposure to, and involvement in, the given subject-matter that the study was dealing with].” Prejudices were stronger among supposed experts than among non-“experts”: The more indoctrinated a person was, the more prejudiced. “People actively denigrate the information with which they disagree, while accepting compatible information almost at face value.” Moreover, “Those with weak and uninformed attitudes show less bias” (and this is actually one reason why the best jurors at trials are generally people who are not personally or professionally involved in any aspect of the given case – they are “non-experts”).


Sharon Begley’s article in the 25 August 2009 Newsweek titled “Lies of Mass Destruction: The same skewed thinking that supports a Saddam-9/11 link explains the power of health-care myths [such as that Obama’s health plan had ‘death panels’]” summarized the study in the May 2009 Sociological Inquiry, “‘There Must Be a Reason’: Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification,” which had surveyed, during October 2004, 49 conservative Republicans who admitted they believed that Saddam Hussein had caused the 9/11 attacks. This study found that 48 of these 49 extreme conservatives were utterly impervious to the overwhelming factual evidence which was provided to them by the presenters that contradicted this false belief they held.


A study concerning not political conservatism but merely resistance to new technologies is James N. Druckman’s “Framing, Motivated Reasoning, and Opinions about Emergent Technologies,” which was presented at a technological conference in 2009. He reported that, “factual information ... is perceived in biased ways ... (e.g., there is motivated reasoning).” “Facts have limited impact on initial opinions.” Moreover, “Individuals do not privilege the facts. ... Individuals process new factual information in a biased manner. ... Specifically, they view information consistent with their prior opinions as relatively stronger, and they view neutral facts as consistent with their existing” views.


“Motivated Reasoning With Stereotypes,” in the January 1999 Psychological Inquiry, found that, “When an applicable stereotype supports their desired impression of an individual, motivation can lead people to activate this stereotype, if they have not already activated it. ... People pick and choose among the many stereotypes applicable to an individual, activating those that support their desired impression of this individual and inhibiting those that interfere with it.” Similarly, another research report, “The Undeserving Rich: ‘Moral Values’ and the White Working Class,” in the June 2009 Sociological Forum, found that John Kerry had probably lost the 2004 U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush at least partly because white working class voters overwhelmingly believed that Bush was like themselves because he behaved like themselves, and that Kerry was not like themselves because his manner seemed “snooty.”


HRClinton Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:11 Permalink

People claim they want the truth. BS!99% of people want to hear the truth that's consistent with their worldview. Even here. Good luck in "Making friends and influencing Peole", if you point out truthy but painful facts. E.g. Gold Bugs, where "It's always a good time to buy". Just like in Real Estate or Stock Brokers, where those fees and commissions just gotta keep coming. 

Jim in MN TuPhat Mon, 09/25/2017 - 09:22 Permalink

We are suddenly living in a period of nearly unprecedented WORLD PEACE.Does THAT accord with peoples' worldviews?  It does not.Does it accord with powerful peoples' real agendas?  It does not.Therefore right here is the only place you will see this important, nay historic, FACT reported.Go check for yourself.  Find me a hot war with mass civilian casualties, outside of Yemen and the ISIS wrap-up, both of which should be over soon.

In reply to by TuPhat

new game jbvtme Mon, 09/25/2017 - 06:23 Permalink

all a politician wants is a vote for a promise for something free to non-critical thinking masses.SSM(simple shit maynard).the problem facing this nation is the credit to finance has run it's course.the end is nigh as the petrodolla regime has entered the violent stage of enforcement.SA has a new regime and will go with the gold backed yuan and expell merica and welcome new a new friend, china, same as it ever was. real money vs fiat promises backed by violence.iran is the fly in the ointment. but they can operate independent of SA with the same customers.the brics will be triumpant as they have gold to back their silk road banking i trust these fukers? no, but if this gold backed oil exchange becomes reallity via 50 percent of world reserves trading via china/HK/russia/iran rollout, then the dolla is in serious demise with rampant devaluation and subsequent dumpage of dolla denominated "assets". gradual at first with landmark point of no retrun, the day the world enter WW3.just guessin and predictin, a doomsday scenario where as nobody escaped the wrath of the  bankers...

In reply to by jbvtme

giovanni_f HRClinton Mon, 09/25/2017 - 03:25 Permalink

try debating one of those anthem-singing lightweight non-interventionist / pseudo-libertarian Trump zealots that both Norh Korea and Iran are a direct product of US aggression. Cite truckloads of sources, original US CIA information, point that "oh my ghawd" American Salafist-Protestant (ASP) to the war prayer of Mark Twain, one of the finest American minds ever, tell him, that now is exactly the situaton Mark Twain had in mind, explain that neither NK nor Iran pose a threat to the US - it will have the same result as talking to a photo of Kim Kardashian's ass. The ASP will shout the ASP-equivalent of "Allahu Akhbar" and continue to demand the US military go after the "aggressor" Kim Jong-UN. 

In reply to by HRClinton

Shemp 4 Victory giovanni_f Mon, 09/25/2017 - 04:21 Permalink

Twain's The War Prayer is amazing and brutal. It's no wonder that he insisted it not be published until after his death.

The ASP will shout the ASP-equivalent of "Allahu Akhbar" and continue to demand the US military go after the "aggressor" Kim Jong-UN.

There is a well known principle - if the facts contradict the faith, then so much the worse for the facts.

In reply to by giovanni_f

shinobi-7 Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:15 Permalink

Social Medias will accelerate this trend tremendously with their like and dislike, and finally algorithm which isolate you almost perfectly. We are just starting to understand the process. Once governments control it, discent will disappear or rather be under a very tight leach, just as a water repellent surface never gets wet, criticism will never again be heard in public. Unfortunately it looks like the sequel of 1984 should be called "2018, How we reached 1984 finally!"

Rapunzal shinobi-7 Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:47 Permalink

I wonder sometimes if Orwell and Huxley were part of the cabal, the NWO/Bankers. I wonder if they have been humanists or satanists. I have been wondering if it's the fault of the middle class, letting the banker class to fleece us. Not only that we are willingly sent into war when the bankers are afraid of us, we have been willingly culled in wars. Over and over again.

In reply to by shinobi-7

GreatUncle shinobi-7 Mon, 09/25/2017 - 06:48 Permalink

I have been unplugging, Facebook - cancelled, Ebay - cancelled, Paypal - cancelled, Twitter - had once it now defunct.I removed the leash and now live only with no leash.They can offer all they want not interested no more ... too old now to be bribed and that is the failing of youth who will go to war believing their lies.

In reply to by shinobi-7

Anteater Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:18 Permalink

Globalist Calvin Coolidge and the Bankers imposed the Star Spangled Banneron our troops and they were marched off to the WW1 killing fields, then theyimposed the Star Spangled Banner on our children in the schools, adding theymust hold their hand over their hearts. And here was the predicable outcome:for a full CENTURY, Americans have been slave-dupes of 1913 Jekyll Island.Fact is, America the Beautiful is our original and only real national anthem.

sinbad2 Anteater Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:35 Permalink

The US went into WWI, because American banks had loaned a lot of money to Britain and France, and were worried they wouldn't get their money back, if Germany won.Britain and France saddled with massive repayments to the US tried to get Germany to pay. Germany couldn't pay the debt, and tried money printing.This led to the rise of Hitler and Jews being blamed for the problem, because then as now Jews owned the American banks. So fast forward to today, and it's America that can't afford the repayments on its massive war debt?

In reply to by Anteater

not dead yet sinbad2 Mon, 09/25/2017 - 03:14 Permalink

Germany was kicking the Brits ass in manufacturing, just as they are today, before WW1 and the Brits wanted to make sure Germany would never do so again thus British support for WW1 and the drastic reparations after. When Germany wasn't paying fast enough the French marched in and occupied the Ruhr Germany's industrial heartland. It was all about destroying German ability to be a serious competitor to France and Britain in the manufacturing arena.I've got some bridges and swampland to sell you if you think the US will ever repay any of it's debt let alone war debt. When the mighty US empire eventually falls and the US becomes an also ran shithole the US will default on it's debt and take the whole world down with it. This is one of the reasons most of the rest of the world continues to kiss US ass and be bitches of the US because they know when we go down they will too. Kicking the can down the road on a massive scale with those doing the kicking hoping the SHTF after they have gone to their great reward. If they really cared about their kids and succeding generations they would fix the problem instead of kicking it down the road.

In reply to by sinbad2

UselessEater not dead yet Mon, 09/25/2017 - 08:36 Permalink

Again prior to WW2 Germany went through an economic revolution and was a trade threat and was going to prove it could be done as Andrew Jackson did, without the slave chains of national debt to the (((bankers))).Gen. Robert E. Wood stated at a Senate committee that Churchill had said to him in November 1936,

“Germany is getting too strong, and we must smash her.”

Churchill also stated in the year 1936, “We will force Hitler into war, whether he wants it or not.

In reply to by not dead yet

BiggestLoser Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:24 Permalink

I don't give a squat about a nation's soverienty. The highest good is individual soverienty. What is that? Not conservative and not progressive. I thought it was classical liberalism. I can keep my bias if I like it.

ByTheCross BiggestLoser Mon, 09/25/2017 - 04:40 Permalink

It does seem that the individual should be prime, however, this ignores the primacy of the species and its survival (ecological environment, etc.).From the individual's perspective, the survival of their species understandably appears to be of such little concern and relevance that it can be disregarded - and is thus omitted from their principles. After all, it would seem such responsibility lies with the genes, not the individual.However, the species is of such import, that even if most individuals are unware of it, its primacy impacts everyone.

In reply to by BiggestLoser

brushhog ByTheCross Mon, 09/25/2017 - 08:02 Permalink

The species is not furthered by collective planning. It flourishes best when each individual has the freedom to pursue his personal interests. Groups work best when they serve the individuals within them. Thats just the nature of human beings, we are not designed to work like an ant colony. The human individual puts himself first; He "groups" for his personal benefit, and avoids "grouping" when it doesnt benefit.You cant change human nature anymore than you can change an ant's nature. Systems work best when they work WITH human nature, not attempt to override it.

In reply to by ByTheCross

HillaryOdor ByTheCross Mon, 09/25/2017 - 08:21 Permalink

Oh give me a break.  Individual sovereignty is not in conflict with the survival of the species.  Primacy is not objective, extinction is objective, and individual sovereignty does not lead to species extinction.  Every time someone correcly points out how the world should work some leftoid lunatic chimes in why the world can't be that way based on some ridiculous fantastical nightmare scenario that has never happened, could never happen, and will never happen. If anything is going to lead to species extinction it's going to be government and all you lunatics planning for the supposed good of us all.  I think that'll happen even before another meteor strike.  Either way at least we won't have to live around you psychos anymore after that.As it stands, surrounded by you lunatics and morons, I do not value the survival of the species at all.  This species doesn't deserve to survive anymore.  To this end I fully support all your big government schemes and plans.

In reply to by ByTheCross

HillaryOdor TheLastTrump Mon, 09/25/2017 - 08:24 Permalink

Yawn.  More of the same bullshit, thinking you're saying something profound.  If I want to disassociate from my family then I will.  It's my choice as an INDIVIDUAL.  Good people freely choose to associate the closest with their own family because it is in their own individual interest to do so.  Bad people ditch their families to be worthless thugs.  No amount of government is going to change that.  It's still individual choice.

In reply to by TheLastTrump

Memedada Aussiekiwi Mon, 09/25/2017 - 03:58 Permalink

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It is not the same. Cognitive dissonance is when the distance between the manipulated mind and the reality it is confronted with grows too big. Like when the indoctrinated mind is conditioned to believe the economy is improving but only sees poverty, lowering living-standards, misery and food-stamp-lines. Confirmation bias is an attempt to avoid cognitive dissonance.

In reply to by Aussiekiwi

thebigunit Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:45 Permalink

I can explain this.

People Ignore Facts That Contradict Their False Beliefs

Humans are very tribal.  Fourteen thousand years ago, at the end of the last ice age ALL humans lived in tribal bands and made their living as  hunter-gatherers.Every tribe had a shaman/witch doctor/medicine man who talked to the spirit world and answered all the questions that were unanswerable.Tribe members trusted and believed the shaman because they didn't know any better, and also believed that the shaman knew how and when and where to hunt.  If the hunt failed, the spirits were displeased but the shaman wasn't wrong because he was the best shaman ever.Tribalism is baked into the DNA humans, and it takes a large brain, and an act of will to question the wisdom and pronouncements of the shaman.The Democrat Party is just a modern version of tribalism.  The members DO NOT question their shamans, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, because they are just presumed to be smart and have all the answers.  

not dead yet Mon, 09/25/2017 - 02:46 Permalink

So how do we know this guy is peddling the truth. Because he says so? Take the climate change debate. Scientists on both sides line up their "proof" and claim they are right. The Holocaust never happened or it did. Hitler was a good guy vs Hitler was the devils disciple. The civil war was about slavery or was it economic and all about money? Winston Churchill was a great leader or was he a warmonger POS who facilitated WW2? Same for FDR. The subjects are not cut and dried as one can line up all kinds of proof from so called experts to convincingly prove each side of the things I've mentioned and most anything else. One with first hand knowledge can report the facts but how would we know this person was telling the truth or only telling partial truth to push their agenda. History is rife with falsehoods especially when most of those living in that era are dead and then history is rewritten to support an agenda, with the unprovable claim they found new evidence, when there is no one alive to refute it. Or the "truth" of wars, complete with "proof", written by the victors while the accounts of the losers are trashed as sour grapes and falsehoods by the winners.

Rapunzal not dead yet Mon, 09/25/2017 - 03:14 Permalink

The 1st world war was the first war about the future master resource OIL. The British just started to change their fleet into diesel vessels from coal. The Berlin-Baghdad railroad was a scorn for the British. As well as the Rothschild/Rockefellers knew about the oil in the Middle East, own by a weak and old empire, the ottomans. The Balfour declaration shows who really has the power. The Rothschilds was giving Palestine by the British crown, at that time it was still Ottoman. Now you know why Gallipoli, soldiers were send in a useless battle to fulfill the contract with the devil.

After the war the Jews didn't move to Palestine, they wanted to stay in Europe. Thus the Rothschilds family that had already aquired a lot of land in Palestine needed someone to push the Jews out of Europe. And they remembered what Herzel said, it takes and antisemite ruling in Europe to move the Jews to Palestine. Now you know why the Rothschilds supported Hitler massively.

The Rothschilds gives a rats ass about the Jews, they just used the Zionist movement to take control over the Middle East, that's all.

WW2 or Rothschilds 2.0 was created to push the Jews out of Europe and the Nazis were willing to this deed. That's why Britain and the US refused to take in Jews before the war and during. They needed them in Palestine.

The holocaust is only partially true, yes there were labor camps were a lot Jews starved to death, but the gas chambers are a lie, the millions are a lie.

They needed the Jews in Palestine, not killed in Europe and if you look at the numbers that came to Palestine after the war you know the 6 million is a lie. Realistic estimates are around 300,000 to 600,000. The placard at auschwitz was already reduced from 4 million down to less than a million Jews.

Why the lie about the Holocaust, they needed the surrounding countries to accept the founding of isreal and what better story to achieve that. The Rothschilds knew that isreal would not be self sufficient, so what better than make Germany and the US foot the bill for isreal forever.

In reply to by not dead yet