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The Language of Lies

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Ethan Indigo Smith     Permalink
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  The Language of Lies

    There are three types of institutions in the world.   There are those of state, religion, and corporation.   And they all lie.   They all have lied.   And they all will continue to lie unless you learn something, not just enough to read street signs and follow orders.   You have to learn and keep learning just so that institutions won't lie to you and the rest of society.   Information is power.   And the powers of the world often limit the information/power at the disposal of everyone to hold onto power.  

    The lies of institutions are usually subtle and often difficult to detect.   Frequently they are simply lies by omission.   The stark facts are removed and a less consequential fact is inserted.   Often they use lies by euphemism and dysphemism as well.   A specific recent example of this type of lie by omission concerns the common description of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear experiment disaster in which practically all the "reporters' referred to the disaster in the same, exact way.   Every time an article was written in the mainstream media the disaster was called the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, or the biggest release of radiation since Chernobyl.   To be sure this is true.   It is the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.   But the more stark and more descriptive fact is that it Fukushima Daiichi is the worst nuclear disaster in history, ever.   And it is the worst industrial accident, of any kind, ever.   And it is ongoing.

    There is only onee reason why all institutions lie: because what you think is important.   Because with information they can steer what you think.   These lies by omission and mis-description using euphemisms and occasionally dysphemisms are the most difficult to detect.   Once one realizes how perspective can be steered by leaving out information or by presenting mis-description with euphemisms and dysphemisms it is easier to detect lies, but you still have to learn.   And you still have to question in order to learn.   And you still have to question the most difficult subject to learn about, that of power.   Otherwise institutions with power will lie to you or hide the truth from you.

    Our education system indirectly teaches us not to question power, by only requiring surface investigation and minimum understanding through multiple choice mentality.   We are taught to understand the surface layer and that is why people won't see the lies by omission, they'll miss the euphemisms and dysphemisms altogether and take them to be accurate fact because it is true that the nuclear disaster in Japan was the worst since Chernobyl.   It is simply also true that it is the worst nuclear/industrial disaster in all of history.  

    Of course the powers that be will directly and indirectly suggest there is no reason to question them or their kool-aid.   Because they care what you think.   Because if you knew the truth about nuclear experimentation you demand it be ceased, because if you knew the truth you would demand they cease or change.   And whether it's matters nuclear or otherwise that's why they care what you think.   They being the lying institutions and those who tout their lies of course.   In this case the nuclear industry linguist who began the comparison as "the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl' when in fact it was the worst nuclear disaster in human history, and it's ongoing.

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    Perhaps if our education system was different, perhaps if our classes were more focused on teaching how to learn instead of teaching shallow facts we would find ourselves, as a country more inventive, more curious and less likely to listen when some institution lies to us, as a country.   If only our education system was different.   If only we were taught to question everything up to and including, god and the government as prescribed in the First Amendment.

    I went to a school like that and I thank god I did whenever one of these lies by omission sneaks up and no one else notices.    I went to school at Central Park East Secondary School in Harlem.   All the teachers were amazing and we all worked according to the principles developed by Deborah Meier.   She taught us how to learn.   The whole process looking back was ahead of its time.   And I think the whole U.S.A. is now ready for its process.  

    To give an example of how ahead of time the process was please take a look at this New York Times article from 1987:   click here=all&src=pm

    In the article the reporter asks about my project on the Boston Tea Party.   Years later I would write a book on patriotism, with a chapter devoted to the Boston Tea Party.   I guess I never stopped questioning.   In the article Deborah says of the students, ''They will be using typewriters and computers all their lives.''   Possibly the most accurate prediction ever uttered in the field of education considering she said typewriters and it would later be personal communication devices.   

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About Ethan Indigo Smith:


Activist, author and Tai Chi teacher Ethan Indigo Smith was born on a farm in Maine and lived in Manhattan for a number of years before migrating west to Mendocino, California. Guided by a keen sense of integrity and humanity, Ethan's work is both deeply connected and extremely insightful, blending philosophy, politics, activism, spirituality, meditation and a unique sense of humor.

The events of September 11, 2001 inspired him to write his first book, The Complete Patriot's Guide to Oligarchical Collectivism, an insightful exploration of history, philosophy and contemporary politics. His more recent publications include:

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

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