"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin."
- Charles Darwin

Aug 11, 2007

On Deception: Cheney, Chomsky & Trivers

How politicians deceive the country and themselves

First, consider what then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney thought about invading Baghdad in 1994:

Um . . . huh?

Robert Trivers is a renowned anthropologist and biologist most famous for his theories of parent-offspring conflict and reciprocal altruism. His most recent book is Genes in Conflict. Noam Chomsky is the MIT professor of linguistics who has a dual career as a political analyst and activist. His most recent book Failed States follows up on his bestseller Hegemony or Survival: America's Quest for Global Dominance.

The following dialogue was just posted on YouTube courtesy of the SEED network (which also hosts the wonderful The video has been edited to six minutes but the full dialogue can be viewed here and the transcript here.

What is the psychology of deception and self-deception in our political leaders? How can citizens anticipate such abuse of power and work to counter it in these circumstances? Two of America's intellectual treasures discuss these vital issues that affect all of us today.

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the_collective_unconscious said...

The leaders were less deceived than deceiving. It was all about the oil. They fully expect to be there for 20 more years.

Anonymous said...

I feel that the so-called leaders are only themselves doing as they are told, and wanting to remain in the "game" the are only to willing to end justify means and then move on.
No one has lost in Iraq except the people there, the fact is there are huge bases obscured from the american people themselves, and it is to the rulers wonderful all the strife as it keeps the ball rolling.We should turn away from our endless amusements and realize that the same people are capable of doing the Abu Grhaib dance on us, but unfortunately history is repeating itself, just as those same intellectuals chattered about Hitler without realizing the true horror to come.