Reading about the latest
initiative to force through the laughably named ‘Protection of Information Bill’
today, I was reminded about a quote I once read by a famous man who was once
considered to be a master of propaganda. It goes like this:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as
the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military
consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use
all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the
lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
quote could so neatly sum up the rather thinly veiled motive behind implementing
such a draconian piece of legislation? People should turn their attention to
the lies that the ANC government wishes to bolster by installing such policies.
I can think of several off the top of my head such as the lies that there are
no problems with crime, AIDS or government corruption. Of course, the ultimate goal and point to these lies is to entrench the Party as rulers "until Jesus comes back". Favorable articles praising ANC as the Great Liberator, Vanquisher of the Old Guard and Eternal Moral Compass of South Africa will no doubt help in this regard.
As I suggested in the
title, the truth is always better than the lie, because it enables us to better
deal with the situation at hand. The ANC often parades around like the emperor in his new clothes, willfully ignorant of its own ineptitude. The media provides a vital role and can be of
great aid to the government if approached correctly.
illustrate, think of the patient who is reluctant to go to the doctor. He sees
a blackening mole on his body, he looks on the internet and it matches the description
of a melanoma. He checks it every day but does not want to face up to the fact
that it could be cancer. He repeats to himself that it will be fine and that it’s
nothing to worry about. Eventually he totally convinces himself that he is not
his friends see the mole in the gym change room and suggest that it looks
really serious. Instead of thanking his friends for their concern, the diseased
man rants on and on about how it’s nothing to worry about, that his friends
should mind their own business and so on and so forth. Six months later, the
man’s obituary appears in the paper. He died from a totally curable form of
melanoma, if only it had been detected earlier.
fails to realize that the media is like the friends of the cancer ridden man. The
media points out diseased and dysfunctional parts of government, and is much better as a judge. It is only the profit motive and what makes a good story that drives investigative journalists. Where false, tabloid style information is published there are the courts to refer to.
Whether it is
corruption, some inability to control a situation or the public’s feeling
towards certain government policies. Instead of attacking the media for
exposing the truth about the situation, the ANC has to realize that it is in
its own best interests to pay closer attention to it. A free press helps a
government that is truly concerned with its people's well being.
just as the man could not cure the cancer by lying to himself or telling his
friend to shut up, corruption, mismanagement and maladministration will not magically
clear up overnight because the media have been gagged. Rather, out of the media
spotlight, the situation will only become worse. You cannot alter the truth by
silencing it, or as the Japanese say, ‘It is only a fool that tries to block
out the sun with his hand.’
congratulate the Black Tuesday initiative and encourage all South Africans to
lend them their support. A nation can handle, and indeed requires the truth
about their government and society to be exposed if it wants to be armed with
the tools to change its destiny for the better of its entire people. Giving the
ANC the power to restrict the truth only leads down a dark path.
to the quote at the beginning of the article, it is attributed to a nationalist
of the socialist variety, an ideology that the African National Congress
continues to flounder its way towards embracing. Thank you for the insight, Herr