In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act

On wikipedia.org, it is debated whether this line is a quote by George Orwell or not. Even worse: On yahoo.com, there is this question: What does “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act” mean? :|

The reason why I bring up this quote (regardless of who it was that said or wrote it) is that it illustrates the phenomenon I wrote about in my last post. If the society you live in requires you to lie, then that behavior is a widely adopted handle in that society.

Compare another quote (attributed to Viktor Frankl): “The last of human freedoms – the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.” If the circumstances are a society that tries to force you to lie, then it is nonetheless up to the individual to choose  what to do.

A similar scenario commonly quoted is the exchange between Emerson and Thoreau, after Thoreau had been jailed for not paying taxes. Apparently, Emerson asked Thoreau what he is doing in jail. Thoreau answered by asking Emerson what he is doing in society.

If your life depends on lying to people and using manipulative and deceptive practices in order to trick people into buying overpriced junk, then this behavior will sooner or later become a pillar of your world view.

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