Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics with John Mearsheimer

The University of Chicago
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John Mearsheimer, professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, provides the first systematic analysis of lying as a tool of statecraft. He identifies the varieties, the reasons, and the potential costs and benefits, arguing that leaders often lie for good strategic reasons, while distinguishing between lying to another state and lying to one's own people.

John Mearsheimer is also the co-director of the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago and has written extensively about security issues and international politics.

The World Beyond the Headlines is a project of the Center for International Studies, which brings scholars, journalists, and world leaders to the University to discuss issues of current global importance.

For more information on this event, visit cis.uchicago.edu/events/2010-...

Information on the entire The World Beyond the Headlines series can be found at cis.uchicago.edu/wbh

This program was organized by the University of Chicago Center for International Studies and co-sponsored by the Seminary Co-op Bookstore and the International House Global Voices Program.

April 7, 2011.

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21 Mar 2023




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Colder Yıl önce
There is one very important aspect of lying which the adepts of "noble" or "strategic" lying prefer not to mention. There are always "third parties". And when they see you reaching your goals through lies and deception they sooner or later understand that they simply can't trust even a single word from you. And that undermines totally the basis of peaceful relations and inexorably leads to war.
Oliver Jamito
Oliver Jamito Yıl önce
@Carl Bitney well said beloved. Keep thy crown and I shall do the same indeed. Nothing is wasted but increased
Carl Bitney
Carl Bitney Yıl önce
@Oliver Jamitoyes, sincerity, what the cynical are afraid of, eh? to paraphrase Swami Vivekananda(1863-1902) "no power has the strength of purity". one of the examples he lived by was; truth in thought, word, & deed.🔑💥🔓🌿👣🐾🌱🕊️
Oliver Jamito
Oliver Jamito Yıl önce
Beloved why time is given? What is the time for my beloved? Our time is like the MILEAGE from thy feet beloved! Do you blame a man and many, many, many like you and me. Who looks at you worth more than anything nor everything that exists! Why to acknowledge science, technology, nor to molding to create beloved? A child will say? What foundation, intent, based is thy aim. Given privilege to do what you do? Remember likewise will be your heart will be also beloved. LAUGHTERS of our innocents youngs sons and daughters is SOOTHING to God's ears. Is not me and you! But be AWAKE! And see principalities who sits in high places beloved brothers and sisters! You see what we see. Truth and peace reunite. Life given and life kept indeed. Is like why talked at all? Now what Aim is thy Aim belove. Let us have sincere conversations beloved. Like a child having sincere conversations with God. Love one another beloved
Sinethemba Kepu
Sinethemba Kepu Yıl önce
I like this guy when he says "I never thought about that". What a true scholar.
rhythmandblues alibi
Lecture begins at 3:26
Calkimchi Yıl önce
"Given that the united states seems committed to trying to run the world, is a democracy, and seems committed to using military force liberally, it seems that we should expect to have lots more evidence of fearmongering in the years ahead." The relevance of that line gave me chills.
Cheryl Penny
Cheryl Penny Yıl önce
@TheGoblinDude the rooster has come home to roost
Christoph Mahler
Christoph Mahler 10 yıl önce
An engaging and modest speaker on a subject usually left to radicals. To admit not having thought about an aspect yet - and to use a lecture as a way of learning on a subject from the view of students - seems a fine way of teaching to me. I quite liked the amount of time taken for a debate with the audience. An interesting question was on the definition of a 'greater good', justifying a (platonic) noble lie. As far as I have learned, this term is deemed to be ideological within democracies.
YBVB Yıl önce
@Christoph Mahler yes, I don't see a problem. ✅ Are you at peace with your own power? 😌
Christoph Mahler
Christoph Mahler Yıl önce
@YBVB "The main issue with democracy was once lies (...)" From Pericles to *Alcibiades* and *Cleon* , the polity of Athens is as much described as a *_'demagoguery'_* as it was an effort toward a participation - and the raising of the standards of living - for sailors, crucial to maintain a formidable navy. "Thankfully these times are relaxing (...)" Then You must 'live on another planet', because modern _civilizations_ are _constituted_ on deceiving the masses with political *'caucasus' replacing the oligarchies of Hellenistic antiquity* . If one looks at any headline in modern, Western media, and compares it to the study of any topic of political relevance, one realizes: *_never has there been more lies, propagated than in our, modern times_* and one can argue that it started this way by distorting the doctrine of the *'kingdom of God'* into a _secular utopia_ . That is why we find 'president' Kennedy negotiating, *_'in good faith'_* with 'Khrushchev' on stationing nuclear missiles in Turkey - while recording his own cabinet meetings, _in secrecy_ - both men who believed in _personal bonds_ were subsequently 'retired' by their own bureaucracy...
The Key Premise is that Lying sometimes makes strategic sense. Probably true ... But now every leaders lies all the time ... so that's where that gets us.
StavroGavro Yıl önce
If the lying is constant, it just means that the strategy is not against the competing countries but rather against those who have to hear those lies.
Jannette Berends
Jannette Berends Yıl önce
“Everywhere he talked people were very interested in the subject.” Listening to this man for two minutes I think “every subject you talk about I would be very interested”.
Eric Wedin
Eric Wedin Yıl önce
It would be interesting to get the presenter’s view on the change social media has made for leaders to lie, not least for their domestic audience.
PJ Yıl önce
One of the few intellectuals keeping it real 😂
Coffelt6 Yıl önce
One of the few intellectuals you will hear say "I haven't thought of that before" when someone in the audience asks a question. He doesn't just pretend to know everything, and admits when someone brings up something he hasn't considered before.
Thomas Brown
Thomas Brown Yıl önce
@vee2easy calling that a deflection Just shows your ignorance
A Lex
A Lex Yıl önce
He was Lying 😆 🤣 😂
Nick Crawford
Nick Crawford Yıl önce
Nah, there are lots of good serious people, I would even say a majority of academics are.. The problem is that just like in all human activities, there are plenty of people who play off their clout/reputation. However there is a high correlation between politically visible academics and trading off reputation unfortunately.
Coffelt6 Yıl önce
@Hermes Psychopompos Your getting to stuck on the wording versus the context, someone brought up a point he hadn't considered before and he was honest about it. Everything else you said is baseless.
Hermes Psychopompos
@Phos G. Believe me, I'm not one of those. But it's not shame to simply say "I don't know about something". Saying that simply you haven't thought of something, as if the other party is expecting from you to know everything, almost God-like. Even Socrates said, 'One I know, that I know nothing".
Desert Nurse
Desert Nurse Yıl önce
Thank you, your talk is very interesting and in vogue right now in our country. Lies are so much a part of our society today along with the monopolies in the news & our electronic segregation online. Thank you sir.
IdiotSavant Yıl önce
It's pretty common knowledge that smart people learn how to lie effectively at a young age. Telling the truth is a fools errand. Derrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
trent cravens
trent cravens Yıl önce
Hearing truth is music to the ears and the soul. Excellent.
Mert Çabas
Mert Çabas Yıl önce
Differences between selfish lies and strategic lies in his argument, as I see it, is impressive explanation on the dynamics of statecraft.
coreycox2345 Yıl önce
I am cynical that there is much "statecraft" in the modern world, Mert Cabas. Look at the UN.
Big Red
Big Red Yıl önce
How do these circumstances being described relate to the mental illness, sociopathy and or narcissistic tendencies or psychopathy in our leaders? and as a follow on question, isn't it time to stop these people having power over us?
na Yıl önce
the sad truth I realized is those who crave power end it up in powerful positions, and those who dont want power end up just as helpers in their community. It's sad, what makes a person a truly altruistic person is what makes it hard for them to get elected.
Allan R Knight
Allan R Knight Yıl önce
Until today, I had not heard about John. He talks about foreign affairs the same as I do. Very refreshing and intelligent.
Askar Kalykov
Askar Kalykov Yıl önce
> very refreshing and intelligent Are you talking about yourself? 🤣
Weina SG
Weina SG Yıl önce
讲得太好了! When he comes back in 20 years, he's gonna be talking for at least 3 hours listing the things that the recent politicians did.
Jennifer Grove
Jennifer Grove Yıl önce
Fantastic lecture, questions _and_ answers! Thank you all!
Decha Ariyaratana
Mr Mearsheimer, you reminded me of my late father taught me and my siblings three principles of life. The first one was thou shall not commit murder. The second one was thou shall not commit arson and the last one was thou shall not commit a lie, the lie that could cause harm to other. You can lie to make a compromise possible. So it’s considered as honorable, isn’t it. Thanks
coreycox2345 Yıl önce
@JJACK It reminds me of "Thou shalt not commit murder," in the context of "Would you kill Hitler?" :)
JJACK Yıl önce
Lieing could safe you from harm, thats what it taught me :)
Roses and Songs
Roses and Songs Yıl önce
@Pahat pahat Of course! I am calling crooks those who take advantage of others by not following, or obeying the same set of rules and in the case of a war, for example, if your opponent uses forbidden weapons and you don't you may actually lose that war or end up dead because you think that it's a good idea to follow the rules and he doesn't, those are the ones I call crooks.
Pahat pahat
Pahat pahat Yıl önce
@Roses and Songs , Are you saying anyone who disagree with you is a crook?
Roses and Songs
Roses and Songs Yıl önce
Rules, principles, laws, these ideas could only work if all of us were honest and sincere, that's the problem, what do you do if you have to confront someone who doesn't follow those rules? Throughout history we saw evil people, usually looking uneducated and dirty who followed no rules and did whatever they wanted, which usually translates in killing honest looking people just for the fun of it, true evil is usually presented as having no cause. On the other hand you have those clean looking saviors, those who will defend anyone, whether they as for it or not, having nothing to gain, hating the fight but who have the moral obligation to fight evil, wherever it may be. Their basic reasoning is always the same: First they don't negotiate with bad people, they don't even talk to them and second, they have to use some evil means to rule out a bigger evil, we heard that very often didn't we? Well, THESE are the true evil ones, those who promote justice, froodom and liberty at the point of a gun, The dirty ones, we see them coming, it's easy to stay away but the saviors? It's hard to say no to them, they show such good intentions and whatever they do, it's always to protect others from evil... but who decides what evil is and what it is not? So in the end, if bad people always break the rules and so called good people always find 'good' reasons to break them even more, what good are rules for? Your father was sincere and he gave you good principles, as long as you don't have to deal with crooks.
John Burman
John Burman Yıl önce
We get the leaders we deserve. No political statement is analysed with scepticism by the mass audience. Repetition of the same lie turns it into truth. Humanity is domesticated, controlled, blind. Only an individual has any hope of real perception, never the group.
Constitutional Patriot
When you really boil it down there is only one reason to lie and that is to get away with doing something that you shouldnt be doing
RatatRatR Yıl önce
Well, glad it wasn't you giving the lecture.
Constitutional Patriot
@D: kill for what reason?, Doing something that they shouldn't be doing at a location that doesn't accept or tolerate what they are doing, I'm not saying what people might be doing is wrong, just if they have to lie about it they probably shouldn't be doing it
D: Yıl önce
"You shouldn't be doing" is very questionable. Sometimes people lie so they're not killed..
Constitutional Patriot
@Filipe yes I did and it was just over complicating the idea that bullshitting and lying are two different things
Roses and Songs
Roses and Songs Yıl önce
The irony is mind boggling, while Reagan was saying "trust but verify" at the other end of the table Bush was promising Gorbatchev that if he opened his markets to US corporations, NATO would not go one inch further towards the east and Star Wars would be abandoned, making sure none of it had been written down anywhere. Gorbatchev obliged, of course, that's exactly what he had been wishing for. I can imagine his face when he learned that Star Wars had never worked, it was a total failure! As to NATO Bush couldn't find the darn doocuments they had signed that day... pity.
Michal Fridrich
Michal Fridrich Yıl önce
John Mearsheimer really did it. Thinking about important moral questions with huge consequences in very focused format.
max Yıl önce
@David AU-YEUNG good God, that's a huge number. my congratulations to the guys who managed to count it. And thanks for the easier question: my rough estimate is that Biden will tell 25.500 lies, but I might be wrong because I'm not good at maths- blame it on my not being Chinese.
max Yıl önce
@David AU-YEUNG how could anyone answer that question? especially if we consider the little problem that one of the two countries you mentioned has with freedom of speech.
David AU-YEUNG Yıl önce
@max so which govt lies more, China or USA?
Devetra Cason
Devetra Cason 4 yıl önce
I just finished my International relations class and I had to do an extensive paper about this. My mind set completely changed about the government. It's sad because I was just six years old when 9/11 happened and that traumatized me.
Michael Kitterman
And now you are 21 and you still don't know why they attacked the twin towers.
Robin Hood
Robin Hood Yıl önce
@Gerard Jagroo Apart from the material interests of the American military complex, we should see the spiritual sources for hatred of Russia.
ThereIsNoCat Yıl önce
Happy to see so many people speaking about what actually happened and not regurgitating propaganda.
Maarten Yıl önce
@Bored & Stroked 58 thehn tell me where I was wrong and provide academic sources instead of making just claims..
Cross Countryman
Cross Countryman Yıl önce
I think it would crucial to include the date of this talk to add an important dimension and perspective on how the time period would add content in understanding it!
Graeme Glen
Graeme Glen Yıl önce
Saddam was put in a very difficult situation: To appease the Americans he had to state he was powerless as a newborn baby. IF he did that his still very upset neighbours, the Iranians, would take note and sweep over the borders. There was also the fact that Saddam used to be a US asset till he went rogue, and he was a US asset under none other than Herbert Walker Bush.
EKTOPIK Yıl önce
When he says none of the officials stood to personally gain from the decision to go to war in Iraq despite many of them, Dick Chenney especially having such close ties with Halliburton and other military industrial complex corporations and he instead calls it a boneheaded blunder in a misguided effort to protect the country it becomes very hard to take this man seriously
Dewayne Baugh
Dewayne Baugh Yıl önce
I see why this guy has a platform because he's hired to lie
Sil de Fluiter
Sil de Fluiter Yıl önce
thats when I stopped listening, given that that statement was so false
Dirk Bastardrelief
Thank god for the podium. Kept him in one place on stage. When he's presenting alone on an open stage I feel like yelling, "For god's sake someone dance with this man!"
Yeah it does resemble a one man song and dance. LOL. But he is a wonderful speaker on the subject of American politics.
Ha Tran
Ha Tran Yıl önce
mensrea Yıl önce
Frank Polera
Frank Polera Yıl önce
Justine trudeau has taken lying to whole new level 🤥
Alter Ego
Alter Ego Yıl önce
One of the very few intellectuals keeping it real.
TexRex Yıl önce
@SirGoodName This lecture is trash. 45 minutes in all he stated was the obvious. On top of that he says stupid shit like the Vietnam and Iraq wars being disasters because they were based on lies. That is fucking stupid if you actually think about it maturely. He's saying if you have to lie to get your country into a war your country can't fight it well/do well in it. That makes no sense. How you fight a war can be entirely different from how you get into it. The leader instigating the war could also be genuinely mistaken about the factors in it. The problem with the Iraq war that made it a disaster is not that it was based on a lie. It's the fact that it suffered from mission creep and no clear goals and boundaries. Whether Saddam had WMDs or did not doesn't change the risk of mission creep and no clear goals and boundaries. The Iraq war was easily won but afterwards the US decided to rebuild the country and basically stay forever until all terrorists/rebels were gone. It didn't have to do that. It was also harder because there weren't enough people early on and then the surge made things much easier or at least a lot of people said it did. He's making it sound like presidents always present a detailed plan to the public of how a war will be fought and what will be done after winning. They don't. Starting a war based on true statements doesn't magically produce a good war plan. Look at it a different way. Instead of wars think of elections. Imagine this guy saying you can't be a good president/leader if you have to lie to get the job. That makes no sense too.
Chuck Rice
Chuck Rice Yıl önce
@X 7 play back at 1.25x or 1.5x no problem.......less strain and pain.....still redundancy is good.
SirGoodName Yıl önce
Antenna Wilde
Antenna Wilde Yıl önce
There is no excuse for lying to the public "for the greater good" or for "national security". If there are legitimate reasons the public will clearly understand and support the policies. Lies are deception, and there is no need for deception when a cause is true.
James Hanna
James Hanna Yıl önce
If governments can get the majority of their people to believe their lies, they believe they can do whatever they please. This is known as Democracy. The alternative to this theory is that the governments believe their people are too childish or stupid to react to the truth appropriately. Both theories are poor excuses to lie.
John Sisk
John Sisk Yıl önce
The question pertaining to the 60 minutes interview I remember quite well. I actually watched that interview on 60 minutes. It was Saddam Hussein himself in that interview. He said in that interview: "We don't have weapons of mass destruction. In fact, your intelligence agencies and your government KNOW that we don't have any weapons of mass destruction. They're simply telling you that!" This interview on 60 minutes took place well before we ever invaded Iraq. Admittedly that doesn't mean Saddam was telling the truth in that interview, though it turns out he definitely was, but it just further illuminates that we were all warned of this deliberate hoax well before we ever invaded Iraq.
D: Yıl önce
@Joshua Little Well I was there. The anger was pervasive; they wanted to kill. All they needed was justification. What's "rediculas" is your spelling.
Gosaitse Kennetseng
@Joshua Little then why u dd not show the world that u found WMD
Tendo kanyike
Tendo kanyike Yıl önce
I thoroughly enjoyed this.
“Falsehood takes the place of truth when it results in unblemished common good.”-Thirukkural.
Allan R Knight
Allan R Knight Yıl önce
I might vote for this guy if he ran for President depending on his views domestically.
Dragos CC
Dragos CC Yıl önce
So strategic lying is ok as long as long as it has a positive outcome? If Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam would've ended ok for USA, would've that make them not a lie?
Bramble_Bush Yıl önce
Great stuff.
Barmherzig Sein
Barmherzig Sein Yıl önce
Only complete democracy within a state will achieve complete peace and universal prosperity within that state. Example: Where the citizenry, not the legislators have the power to approve or veto a proposal. This can be done electronically. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts and perspectives on this TRvid site. Salomè (live in Peace), und… Mögest Du in das Licht, der Wahrheit, und dem SEIN der Schöpfung leben.
Albert Schram, Ph.D.
[03:27] lecture starts
musik102 Yıl önce
John should study Boris Johnson. He's the world champ of lying.
Mira Jimenez
Mira Jimenez Yıl önce
The days of reckoning are here for all the lies and injustices... The truth will really waken up people....
Idanthyrsus Yıl önce
It should be law that if a politician lies on hours they are executed for treason that day.
Live&Learn Yıl önce
Germany lying to the USSR before invading it, Italy lying to every country around it at about the same time, lots of other examples in that era. Relatively recently the USA lying to Russia about not expanding NATO eastwards. This can be a long list.
D: Yıl önce
@DF red line
DF Yıl önce
Well, listen to his talk in 2015? about Ukraine and the west. Mearsheimer mentions the 2008 Bucharest Summit, where he says there was a promise that Georgia and Ukraine would eventually join NATO. Maybe there was lying before, but by 2008 the US's intentions were clear.
robin anderson
robin anderson Yıl önce
The reason they lie is simple, "The Truth Hurts" R. A.
Lola Walsh
Lola Walsh Yıl önce
Fascinating. And Bush has the nerve to appear in public as a benevolent former president when he is really responsible for so many deaths. I am thankful that you explored national mythmaking and Israel.
Zulfiquer Ahmed Amin
But some leaders' lie, at stake millions life
SleepRelax Yıl önce
This was so amazing I had to save it
Well I’ll be looking forward to seeing the second edition. With CoV-19 added into it.
Harry Mills
Harry Mills Yıl önce
@Buck an8r Trump saw the vaccines as the only way out of a corner. Once he attached his name to the effort, he would never back down. That's his ego talking, more than his good sense. Trump's totally dependent on the people around him to advise him on things he really should know more about, himself, or he would've picked different advisors.
Daniel CH
Daniel CH Yıl önce
@Buck an8r there is a strategic reason. He needs you. If all the poor people are dead, there is no point having lots of money. You can't eat money.
H. H.
H. H. Yıl önce
The fact that he never even thought about people acting in the supranational interest says a lot about him.
Marc Brassé
Marc Brassé Yıl önce
You can diversify into terms like deception, spinning, white lies, bold faced lies or whatever. It is my opinion lying that lies at the basis of most human problems. Making all these distinction only clouds the subject. As does escaping difficult questions from your public by circling around their subject, for that matter. Anyway: As long as lying is seen as an admissible "social" skill the world will not change for the better.
it's difficult to create a perfect nickname
You can't stop people from lying and that's the problem. I think you are trying to oversimplify the matter to make it more digestible for yourself.
J. Swift
J. Swift Yıl önce
There is no need to obfuscate simple issues and confuse each other. There are two approaches to politics, a moral and an immoral one. The former is represented by Socrates', the latter by Machiavelli. Real politics fluctuate between these extremes.
Justin Levy
Justin Levy Yıl önce
the fact that lying in international politics didn't have a literature up to this research shows the incompetence of the field Edit: Actually I think Chomsky has been on this for decades
Deaddoc Really Deaddoc
If JFK was already planning/ordering the missiles to be removed, then his deal with Kurschev was equivalent to giving a beggar a bag of stale bread in order to make him go away. I read about this deal years ago. Missiles on the Continent were always a political chess game, as we had SAC bombers in the sky 24/7 during tense times, as well as the nuclear submarines. SAC had a base in Ankara, and the USS Nautilus was patrolling the Mediterranean Sea, before and after the Cuban Missile Crisis. It took part in the blockade of Cuba. We had several SAC bases in Europe, about a dozen in Britain, and a big one in Greenland, as well as many other places so the USSR was ringed by a huge mass of B-52s at all times.
Bobi Laforce
Bobi Laforce Yıl önce
Blair Hakamies
Blair Hakamies Yıl önce
Excellent 🌹👏
Jacob Zaranyika
Jacob Zaranyika Yıl önce
Thank you 🙏
James Whitfield
James Whitfield Yıl önce
Why do politicians lie to their domestic audience with such regularity? It would be interesting to compare the number of lies told by those in power with lies told by those seeking to oust them from power. The first objective of any politician is the acquisition of power; or, if in power, the retention of power. All statements made to domestic audiences are therefore made with that objective firmly in mind. If the economy is doing badly, then don't worry, because the government knows an upturn in the nation's fortunes is just around the corner. If crime is on the increase, then the government has a scheme that will reduce crime dramatically. The other point to bear in mind is that most problems a nation faces stem, according to the Party in power, from the failings of their political opponents when they were in power; failings that the present government have inherited and now must put right. This means that each Party blames the other for the nation's woes and nobody is ever actually responsible for them.
JDJ Yıl önce
Very clearly explained and understandable even for a layman like myself. We all know politicians are lying and yet we continue to elect them so we accept some kind of lying to happen as long as it is in our interest I presume ? Thank you uploading this.
Bojan Stare
Bojan Stare Yıl önce
@Chuck Lindenberg NO. But I don`t like changes, which leads to "American way of life". We have had somethings better and some worse in time of Yugoslavia. When we have become independet country - Slovenia, I have thought, that we`ll change what was worse and keep what was good. But with influence of west, we have got opposite instead of better life. Our social and medical system has collapsed. We have got more taxes and small weighes. Today we are in the same position as in 19th century - colony of the west. In 70-ies sholars from Sweden have come to our country tostudy our self-managment system. Our system and Swedish system were almost the same, just names were different -our socialistic and their capitalistic.
Chuck Lindenberg
Chuck Lindenberg Yıl önce
@Bojan Stare Are you?
Bojan Stare
Bojan Stare Yıl önce
@Chuck Lindenberg Are you from US?
Chuck Lindenberg
Chuck Lindenberg Yıl önce
@Bojan Stare *Iraq war wasn`t cheap for US. It cost more than all oil in Iraq.* Who are you arguing with about this? *But in every war are war profitable companies, like Blackwater.* So what? *A lot of people in Bush government were connected with those companies. One is surely Dick Cheney.* I don't care. I bet that you don't have a clue how much oil Iraq produces today though.
Bojan Stare
Bojan Stare Yıl önce
@Chuck Lindenberg Iraq war wasn`t cheap for US. It cost more than all oil in Iraq. But in every war are war profitable companies, like Blackwater. A lot of people in Bush government were connected with those companies. One is surely Dick Cheney.
Brenda Charles
Brenda Charles Yıl önce
Thanks for Sharing will read it byGod's Grace and Will
MisterAbundance Yıl önce
Never old …thanks
Wajid Ali
Wajid Ali Yıl önce
Ultimately just let us know who is responsible of the killing of Iraqis? A told us Iraq had WMD, B told us we had firm belief that Iraq had WMD, after capturing and killing innocent peoples both A and B denying that it was a misinformation. So simple to admit publically, but the question of innocent lives which had been taken just to get rid of Saddam ? What was the fault of Iraqi people? What did they wrong?
SFB Yıl önce
US Hegemony ended when Russia Entered Syria in 2015. And if that wasnt the end then certainly Russia's recent Ultimatium to US and NATO certainly is. Considering the alliance between Russia and China its quite accurate to say we now live in a multipolar world. Whether US chooses to accept this and make a lasting peace with world nations or not will depend if they continue as a 1st world power or a 3rd world despot.
Philip Yıl önce
One never knows the whole truth and so expressing a strong opinion about events seems shortsighted, even foolish.
Bart Aussi
Bart Aussi Yıl önce
John starts talking at 2:58
Robert Lunn
Robert Lunn Yıl önce
If John is right about the main stream media behaving as a “ mouth piece” for the Bush Administration, it’s certainly not left. Following up, how did those against the war, like Obama, get information to form a view opposite Bush. I got the impression that these lies were justified to a degree by the professor. Looking at the cost of this tragedy, more should be said and done.
gervaris anderson
Yes, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush snr didn’t have interests in Middle East oil deposits 😒
Tom John
Tom John Yıl önce
Not everyone was bamboozled by the Bush administration about WMDs, I always try to ferret out the truth by not jumping to any conclusions but looking at any and every situation from multiple POV, good lecture and discussion…only I’m uninterested in knowing how you view liberals, types of liberalism, versus conservatism…
Edward Parsons
Edward Parsons Yıl önce
Love the view he has about the determination of the US to spread the liberal democracy around the world, Viva la difference between us and other systems of government and we can all benefit from our differences be they religious political
Edward Parsons
Edward Parsons Yıl önce
Thanks for your comments
Edward Parsons
Edward Parsons Yıl önce
The ironic nature escaped your reply say's it loudly conspiracy theories all over it, bliss!!
Edward Parsons
Edward Parsons Yıl önce
Call it what you like whether you and I elect them or they just assume the right to govern each system has merits people just like you and I will give them the right to make the rules history speaks louder than your opinion
Jules Slim
Jules Slim Yıl önce
There's no praise in differences in government. Government can and does liberally stifle will. The differences to be celebrated are among the people. Never include governments in any praise of different ideologies.
Rapax 041
Rapax 041 Yıl önce
Excellent! This is for those sheeple who blindly believe in MSM
Serg Pomytkin
Serg Pomytkin Yıl önce
I concur with the main idea -deception of own public (unlike rare cases of foregn leaders) is bad… but I bit surprised on amount of “spinning” against USA (e.g. “getting in bed with nazi” allay in cold war was german, but not fasists) and why statment “democracy leaders lying more often“ don’t require any evidence while opposite statement does. Also importance of qualifier “far from borders” in statement about preemptive agressions raising question: I’m not implying this preemptive agressions was good idea in any case, but if distance from border taken from conditions - USSR did finland and poland during WW2 and afghanistan after.. RF - georgia, ukraine and syria …
Filip Yıl önce
This is old school, now lying all the time, for fun too
Anon Ymous
Anon Ymous Yıl önce
John Mearsheimer should have known that there had been, at least for some time (before this 2012 lecture) substantial literature on the subject of lying in politics. I'm not especially familiar with the specifics, but I'm pretty certain Hannah Arendt devoted a lot of attention to this in The Human Condition, Origins of Totalitarianism, and essays in "Between Past and Future," and Judith Shklar, I'm pretty sure has written on the subject. And that's just two cases I'm a bit familiar with as a complete layman. I'm sure lots of books and articles address the topic.
Simeon Wardle
Simeon Wardle Yıl önce
Senaca in the west 2000 years ago and Sun Tzu in the east are just some esteemed philosophers on this subject in the past.
Leonard McCannon
Leonard McCannon Yıl önce
This talk is a fascinating topic but is a simple framing of an extremely complex topic that would,lead to endless debate with little consensus. Sorting out noble lies vs selfish lies has far too many variables. How complicated is it? One can have lies that are clearly selfish for the person making it, but have some plausible claims to noble outcomes. One can have lies that are reinforced by noble myths or propaganda that one deludes oneself into believing. If I choose to believe I have noble goals while I personally profit, is that an example of a noble lie? Also, one can make inadvertent lies because a political leader is relying on info from others who could willfully misinform those who would make decisions. This situation for example happens a lot in military operations where the pentagon lies about mission progress and casualties. One could probably go on and on with complicating elements,. In politics, the really difficult question is untangling this mess of motives and outcomes. Even in John’s first two examples, it’s not clear cut. In the case of republicans under George Bush and the Iraq war, one is hard pressed to argue that the administration believed they were “doing the right thing”. Dick Cheney famously was recorded expounding succinctly, and exactly the disastrous quagmire that an invasion of Iraq would represent for the nation and the region if they invaded. In hindsight, we know his analysis was entirely accurate. This was the wisdom of the US star dept and the policy makers - and yet they did it anyway. One is going to have to really stretch the concept of nobility to absurd levels to sell me on this example of a noble lie. In the second example with Kennedy, he has an easier time making a case, but it’s not without complications. One might argue hat Kennedy could have made the deal, and paid the high political cost of being very public about the decision. He may have believed the deal would be impossible to push forward if revealed - but this may have been speculation heavily weighted by self interest. If he could make the deal, but lose his presidency, does he still make the deal? THAT would have been very noble! It’s hard to judge the true motives and possible outcomes. Without that, we can’t say with confidence he did something noble. I think many people give Kennedy plenty of credit here because he had the good sense to ignore the voices who were incredibly hawkish and confrontational - as if just itching for war.
Beni Kramer
Beni Kramer Yıl önce
Isn’t the fruit of a lie sooner or later becoming a beneshit / nice shit? The truth is sometimes uncomfortable in the present, but in the long run, lies are disastrous and poisonous for relationships on every level. Tabula rasa would be better, if well prepared.
HappyQuails Yıl önce
I like his subtle humor : )
EnvironmentTruthWarriior Taylor
Thnx I needed this today….
Patrice Lauverjon
Because of the popularity of Arts, music and some movies, there is a vibrant home feeling for visitors in America! This well being can easily be affected by authoritarian Officials, by aggressity or violence sometimes associated with a criminal purpose! There is no doubt about the attraction of the USA whenever the aim is distractive or intellectual. This quality of life cannot be matched by China and it is very sad that BIGTEC orientated inner and foreign politics and negative practices work against that well being!
Alan hat
Alan hat Yıl önce
1:20:30 there seem to have been at least 3 independent wars all classified together as WWII. Putting them together is another of the myths you talk about. USA vs Japan was one of those 3 wars & it ended by co-opting Japan as USA's Asian arm.
Destroyer Armor
Destroyer Armor Yıl önce
Excellent talk I wish he would have talked some race issued back then. Contempt against black people is well documented. BLM is not good
Elena Drachyovs
Elena Drachyovs Yıl önce
Didnt watch the video, but the subject is 💥💥💥
Mr. Wrongthink.
Mr. Wrongthink. Yıl önce
Lying is sometimes necessary. You may need to lie to a criminal to save your life.
Mr. Wrongthink.
Mr. Wrongthink. Yıl önce
@Ed The problem with your "punishment for an unnecessary lie" idea is that someone has to decide what is necessary or not. Nobody is good enough to decide it in all cases for everyone else. The best arrangement we can hope for is to be informed and thus being able to detect a lie better. And hope the liars will get eventually exposed and discredited. Either a habitual liar friend who can't not tell a lie even in small and unimportant things, or politicians who lie mostly bad lies and thus make the community worse. It will always be just an individual judgement. For some people certain lies may be irrelevant, for others significant. And then we can hope that most of our laws are "good enough" that criminalize lies only if they deserve to be criminal. It will still be just a best attempt to create such a system that is both fair and functional. It is hard.
Mr. Wrongthink.
Mr. Wrongthink. Yıl önce
@Ed I conclude that sometimes there good lies, in plain life and politics too. There is so much imperfection in the world that sometimes the best recourse to do good is to lie.
Ed Yıl önce
@Mr. Wrongthink. Cant disagree there. Maybe its better to focus on improving the awereness for lies. Instead of trying to stop people from doing it. The amount of people falling for all kinds of obvious bs is scary. Makes it very easy for people with the wrong intentions. Well was an interesting talk, but its late for me 👋
Jeremy Ivy
Jeremy Ivy Yıl önce
We certainly have had another leader that prefers to lie, at this point. Thankfully he was a terrible liar
Kyn Chan
Kyn Chan 3 yıl önce
If politicians could tell the truth they would not be politicians. The best liars make the best politicians. If we treated each politician as a liar they would start to tell the truth to get you to do the opposite.
Daniel CH
Daniel CH Yıl önce
You'd think that. But I think it more likely that they would just lie in a different way to get you to do what they want.
Rachel M
Rachel M 6 yıl önce
interesting talk.... incidenally, on fearmongering, if you look at the definition of "terrorist" in older dictionaries you will find that a "fearmonger" is one of the definitions of terrorist.
Charles Black Baingan
Also heard somewhere a terrorist is another man's freedom fighter !
Andrew Lambert
Andrew Lambert Yıl önce
The fire bombing of Dresden during WW2 cannot be denied or lied about. This professor needs to check his facts about Iraq.
praetoriancorps 7 yıl önce
there is enough evidence the iraq war was about oil and other reasons. So I have to dis agree with him about it being a strategic lie but rather a selfish lie. I can't say the same about vietnam. But its still a lie and breach of trust.
Daniel CH
Daniel CH Yıl önce
@Delma Rae Perhaps Cheney was not in a position to capitalize on and invasion a decade earlier. So he warned against getting into a quagmire. The truth. A decade later, he WAS in an optimal position. Great potential personal benefit. What's a little risk for the country?
Delma Rae
Delma Rae 7 yıl önce
+praetoriancorps I agree, although its harder to see any personal gain by Bush, Cheney made mega bucks through Blackwater
Danuta Rzymkiewicz
In the other words, the goals justify the means and the most untruthful are the people leaders. The total dishonesty.
Flemming Nielsen
Flemming Nielsen 3 yıl önce
I can recommend reading "On Bullshit" by the philosopher Harry Frankfurt. There is a very essential distinction between a liar and a bullshitter; a liar actually cares about what is true, but chooses to conceal it. A bullshitter doesn't even care about what is true or false; they only care about persuading others, no matter what is true or false. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Bullshit
CCassane Yıl önce
@Zhou Bai Dinh looks like a commenter on TRvid. You'll notice that the original comment does not imply the false dichotomy you're inexplicably trying to impose here.
Zhou Bai Dinh
Zhou Bai Dinh Yıl önce
So what are you?
I would have no trouble finding leaders that lie to other countries, and I am not even talking about Stalin and Hitler.
Lorenzo ortez
Lorenzo ortez Yıl önce
I guess the leaders or anyone else who lies aren't taking Jesus seriously when he talked about who is on the outside of God's kingdom as in those who love & makes lies along with all the others who practice the evil behaviors mentioned in revelations 22:15
shanghai berti
shanghai berti Yıl önce
Oh dear what an awful world it has become
Martti Suomivuori
What a brilliant cynic.
rick4electric Yıl önce
28:22 - And of course the Allies were Angel's and had nothing to do with forcing Germany into a war! It's so true that the winners get to write the history!
Nicolas TRANG
Nicolas TRANG Yıl önce
“I have never heard a leader lie and enjoy it besides Hitler".... well he had to wait four more years... His book needs an update
Chuenwei Hsu
Chuenwei Hsu 2 yıl önce
The most arguable issue with China, Taiwan, and Japan is the Diao Yu Tai Islands. Based on history and geographic connection and distance, this island belongs to Taiwan, but according to all US government and newspapers it belongs to Japan. This dispute would expand Japanese territory. That is a calculated lie.
PJ Yıl önce
I mean, what he says that people do is 💯 correct, but not everyone, but maybe governments, false religions, political parties, so called intellectuals, clergy, media, local governments, etc....
Étienne de La Boétie
I wish I could study with Mearsheimer.
Nobody4president 3 yıl önce
I do not ask that you place hands upon the tyrant to topple him over, but simply that you support him no longer; then you will behold him, like a great Colossus whose pedestal has been pulled away, fall of his own weight and break into pieces.
coreycox2345 4 yıl önce
We are though, @rainstorm357
rainstorm357 4 yıl önce
Me too!
S_bijanto J T
S_bijanto J T Yıl önce
The deputy, the assistant, or the advisors not "whispering" the leader the truth. They're not having an update information about the subject.
brettdavenport23 Yıl önce
When he avoided that ladies questions at 56:00 I need to know!!!!! Il cry
Enough Rope
Enough Rope Yıl önce
I would love to hear his view on the rise of the Chinese Orwellian police state and its propensity to lie.
Lolstalgic Yıl önce
@supercharger Taiwan is an independent country and will never fall into the hands of Xinnie the Pooh! Long Live Taiwan! 🇹🇼
WadiFok Yıl önce
"There's no way that a great scoiety could function without a great deal of spinning and concealment, but lying on the other the hand..... let's see, how shall I put this tactfully.... rhymes with "Resident Grump"?
'The Game is Rigged': Richard Wolff