“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.” – Joseph Goebbels
It seems crazy to think that in this day and age, with the Internet, social media and so many disparate news outlets that any lie could be maintained for any length of time. It chills me to the bone to think that my fellow travelers in this republic could fall into the trap of believing the lies we are told, but I see it every day.
I have several examples of lies that are generally accepted, but wish to address just two. I am willing to bet that most people who read this post believe at least one of these lies.
Robin Hood robbed from the rich. We all know the refrain from the Disney movie that in the story of Robin Hood, he robbed from the rich to give to the poor. Think for a moment about his goals. Many years before Disney told the story, Robin Hood was played by Errol Flynn in a Hollywood telling of the imagined life of a knight of the Round Table. His actual existence is unknowable, but generally accepted to be true, or at least based on a compilation of characters.
Historically, Robin Hood fights with the sheriff of Nottingham, an overzealous tax collector whose efforts are driving the commoners into poverty. Errol Flynn is portrayed as the knight loyal to King Richard the Lion Heart whose brother, Prince John, assumes the throne due to his extended absence. Prince John then begins raising taxes as a way to enrich himself and build his power. By fighting the sheriff, Robin Hood becomes a tax protester. In few, if any versions of the story, is Robin Hood known to be a violent socialist redistributionist, “robbing from the rich to give to the poor.” That version appears to have been imagined out of whole cloth by the Disney corporation. Yet as generations enjoy the magical treatment reinforced with a clever jingle, Robin Hood slides from limited government patriot, to radical socialist.