The Rope Trick

Dear Friends,

It seems to me, sometimes the best thing you can give an adversary… is rope. Skilled liars can take hundreds of yards, and create an impressive knot with it, but eventually that knot will tighten around their own throats. One need be careful the opponent does not bury the rope however, for if it is buried, that rope will never find it’s target. This strategy works best when the initial assumption of the foe is absurd. The more absurd the better. Because anyone peddling absurdity must use a great deal of rope, yet absurdity is notoriously difficult to tie up in a neat package, so a Gordian knot must be created. One factor that insures the effectiveness of feeding rope to an adversary, is if that adversary is arrogant. Even the most skilled of liars can be defeated at their own game, especially those who are arrogant, simply by feeding them all the rope they need, to lynch themselves, while making sure they don’t bury the coil in the mud of fake news.

Lies have a tendency to compound, the longer they are told, the more they compound. No time is this more true then when a lie is absurd. Even the most charismatic liar needs to be able to add at least a veneer of logic to her statements. The most fawning press cannot treat what is clearly nonsense as truth, because when they do they lose credibility, which is why over time they always lose credibility. This leads to the need for more rope to weave an ever growing web of lies, and to try to claw back some credibility to the propaganda bureau. Once the lies become so obvious that even the most zealous of partisans has to admit them as lies… the noose cinches shut.

Arrogance leads to evil people removing the mask the moment they feel it is safe. It is a factor of arrogance to believe oneself to be superior to the run of the mill human being. Those who consider themselves superior must, as a matter of logic, underestimate the intelligence and acumen of others. This plays right into the strategy of feeding a liar rope. The arrogant liar will quickly weave a gleaming mask of lies, then take it off just a moment too soon, revealing her true hideous visage underneath. To be arrogant puts one perpetually behind those who are not, simply put, to be arrogant is to underestimate others, and to underestimate others is a sure path to ruin. No where is this more true than when a liar is arrogant and therefore underestimate’s her opponent and the people themselves.

This strategy is limited if your enemy has the ability to silence dissension. If that is the case we are reduced to using word of mouth. Clearly, anyone engaged in lies is someone who will not balk at meaner measures, like burying a story or promoting foolishness. If however, the government run propaganda agencies can be discredited, and often they disgrace themselves, (look at the wonderful job CNN has done in discrediting itself), word of mouth will gain far more credibility and will become as fast as email. In the realm of information, credibility is the currency upon which the media trades, without it, one is poor no matter how well endowed with radio and TV stations and with it, the other with credibility is rich, despite the dearth of infrastructure to promote his message.

Obviously, for a person to practice the tactic of feeding rope to a foe must be both certain in the justness of his position and fearless. I would add that it helps to be braggadocios. Someone loud and boisterous, fearless and a bit arrogant himself would employ just this strategy, to defeat an enemy that appears to hold all the cards… controls the media, the bureaucracy and is backed by the new class itself, would be indomitable to anyone but the egotist. Yet it is just the braggart who would exploit the deep vulnerability of arrogant liars and feed them rope upon which to hang themselves. And it becomes more obvious every day that despite control of the media, the bureaucracy and indeed the new class, as the coils fall from the loudmouth, gathering at his feet… a certain faction has tied a Gordian knot around their own necks… and are getting ready to jump from the chair.

Sincerely,

John Pepin

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