George Orwell's novel Nineteen Eighty-Four refers to the Big Lie theory on several occasions. For example:
“The key-word here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words, this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts”.
“To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed...”.
Friday, 16 January 2009
The Big Lie Technique
I have been thinking about the Big Lie.
New Labour is founded on the Big Lie technique, as advocated by Goebbels, Hitler and George Orwell.
To quote from 1984 (Thank you wikipedia):
Note the second of those paragraphs. Remind you of anyone does it?
The thing is there is only one defence against the Big Lie technique, and that is the absolute truth.
If you come across an adversary who uses the Big Lie Technique in competition, conversation or negotiation you are lost unless you use the absolute truth. If you don't know the answer say so, but reserve the right to return to it when you have carried out some checks and looked into the claims of your adversary. Be ready though for the 'are you calling me a liar' gambit when you do this. You have to be clear that at this stage that you are not doing so, but, it just might be that the factoid/opinion/idea held by your adversary has been communicated to them by someone who was not as well versed in the idea of honesty as are you and he, and as the factoid/idea/opinion is so surprising to you you would like a little time to check and improve your understanding. (Of course he knows that you will find out that he is lying).
The difficulty in this media driven soundbite world is that you'll not be able to return to the argument before it has moved on, or until your opponent has moved it on. But never fear, you will meet him again, and next time when he uses the 'are you calling me a liar' gambit you can return to the previous occasion and say 'well, possibly yes, as you may recall in our previous conversation you said X and I checked and it was a lie, so your track record in my experience is not good.'
What's the purpose of this?
Well, Gordon Brown is a liar. So how do the opposition get after him? They use the Absolute Truth Technique. Never engage in anything but boring truisms and follow the guidance above. Pretty soon he will hang himself.
At the moment Cameron still thinks he is the 'Heir to Blair'. He thinks he has the same charisma as the charlatan Blair. He is deluded. Stop being clever and just do boring and honest. The premiership will come to you as Brown digs himself ever deeper into the depths of the deceits he practices.
(PS. I've used this system all my business life, especially in the latter days of my employment with a major housebuilder. This company was so riddled with politics, deceit and lies that it cured me of employment for wages for ever).