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Plausible Denial

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) by RDFollendoreIII

Plausible denial is a concept that goes far beyond its use as policy by three letter Federal agencies. Plausible denial is a reality that is embedded within the microstructure of both political and personal reality. Maybe it is time to think our way past all of that and come to grips with what makes our ability to lie to ourselves and then to the public about what we are doing so problematic for our survival.

May 10, 2004

The fact is that our Federal Government is chocked full of hypocrisy that does not fit with realities of humanity and some might say that any system that has been around as long as it has always haves some hypocrisy embedded between its flesh and armor. Human beings have to design reasons for acting in ways they know are inhuman.  Humanity is like that. In times of horror and regret they always need to reach for a higher purpose. But even this comes at the price of ignoring reality.

Of course people would like to think that they were only doing what they thought was right for the greater good, and after all, they were only doing what they were ordered to do.  If we had only known... We have seen a lot of that lately.  The guards who served at Nazi concentration camps had to have known that what was going on was inhuman and they simply chose not to do anything about it. The German people who lived in the towns also must have known the truth as well. But perhaps the horrible fact is that no matter what reality is doing around us, we are capable of anything because we really do have control over what we choose to believe.

Like the mindset of ancient Greeks who refused to believe in the concept Pi, we don't just want to think that we exist in a correctly symmetrical geometrical universe where we and everything fits perfectly together, we have to believe.  It is too bad that Adolph Hitler did not live to see his trial.  We may have learned something about this because we could have gotten the chance to hear him try to defend his philosophy of serving the greater good. Maybe Hitler wasn't really an evil genius after all.  Maybe he was just an example of another really bad leader with a huge self serving ego who started with a seemingly plausible but truly bad reality and continued invest in it throughout his life.  The madness of Nazi Germany was that the plausible denial of reality that justified the ideology could not be stopped.  The notion that neat perfectly logical and rational solutions that we can absolutely trust exist is too easy and enticing to believe so that  almost every other generation has to relearn the hard lessons of reality.

Perhaps this uncontrollable urge by politicians and generals to see themselves in control for the destiny of greater good is where the worst problems of humanity stems.   It isn't particularly difficult to understand the thoughts of leaders who get themselves into trouble and decide to continue following their disastrous leadership path.. They just can't quite see that that problem they can't solve is the same weakness that makes them continue to have the need to hang on to power. "It makes no difference what happened, our intentions were good.  After all, there is no one who could do a better job than me (us)."  It is easier to forgive ourselves than it is to believe that others might be better at what we pride ourselves at doing.  It becomes easy to say and then even easier to accept the lie of the plausible denial of personal failure.

If we are going to put a halt to the spread of insanity within a world of cheap tactical weapons then there is going to have to be a deeper connection made with the realities of the citizens.  The popular idea that it is counterintuitive for leaders to actually tell the truth to their constitutes and their enemies is going to have to go by the wayside if humanity is going to be able to solve the increasingly rapid onset of catastrophic problems we all are facing as a human race.  If we don't then we might just find that there is microbial life in the universe and because it is willing to adapt to survive it is a lot smarter than we are.

Maybe what we need is a way to justify leaders who are sensitive instead of invulnerable, and who are ready to say that they are no longer as capable as others to lead and step down instead of remaining absolute in their conviction in spite of their record of dismal failures. We need leaders who know how and why they need to pick subordinates who can give answers and opportunities for results that can be different and better than the prepackaged ideologies that have failed so many of their peers.  We need leaders who really do stick with the truths instead of dwelling in their personal myths.   The price of plausible denial are refreshing new opportunities and solutions.

And so with the problems of personal myths and plausible denial articulated is appropriate that one might step up and onto their soapbox at this point to say the obvious fact that so many other professional writers refuse to state clearly.  No amount of plausible denial should get around the facts that the leaders that have run the United States of America over the past three and a half years have failed us. No amount of plausible denial should get around the fact that tremendous failures of realistic leadership have occurred on their watch. No amount of plausible denial should get around the fact that they did not cultivate an atmosphere and listen to useful oppositional ideas and opinions, and that they they did not then cultivate and use those ideas for the good of our country.  No amount of plausible denial can wipe the fact that the soldiers who were "doing their duty" as part of the occupation of Iraq, reflect the same mentality of our leaders who supported the invasion of Iraq to put an end to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.  No amount of plausible denial replaces all of the dead and crippled soldiers and civilians on both sides who have suffered so much because our American need to believe that other people have to want to be like us.   It is implausible that all of humanity should want to be the same as us or that we should want them to.





Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved