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Showing posts from April, 2017

#11 – 27/04/17: Lying in Politics

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When we talk about lying […] let us remember that the lie did not creep into politics by some accident of human sinfulness. Moral outrage, for this reason alone, is not likely to make it disappear. –––Arendt, 'Lying in Politics'

The ultimate aim was neither power nor profit […] The goal now was the image itself.
–––Ibid.

In what promises to be an excruciatingly topical session, we'll be reading Arendt's 'Lying in Politics' next week, with Derrida's 'History of the Lie' as secondary material.

Arendt's essay responds to the 'Pentagon Papers', the U.S. Department of Defence's report on their involvement in the Vietnam and Korean Wars. These papers were leaked by The New York Times amidst the furore of the Watergate scandal; they exposed 'the extravagant lengths to which the commitment to nontruthfulness in politics went on at the highest levels of government' (Arendt, 4).

The response we find in 'Lying in Politics' is an in…