Dmitry Glukhovsky: Lying Doesn’t Hurt

By Dmitry Glukhovsky
Translated and edited by Voices of Ukraine

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 11.48.37 AMThe biggest surprise for me in this whole current situation is the rapid, no, immediate turn to savagery in our mass media. All who yesterday were at least trying to pretend they were a journalist, today pump out propaganda–frenzied, primitive, cruel propaganda. 
Our television is like a burst abscess, my once-favourite “Gazeta” and “Lenta” are glass-eyed, empty carcasses of their former selves. There is no journalism left in the country. People–seemingly normal, sane people–forget about everything and lie, lie, lie! The painted chicks on “Vesti” and “Perviy” lie, the correspondents lie, the editors lie a little and the chief editors lie big-time. 

How do they do it, I wonder? Just two months ago they were like normal people. After all, all those who today lie so desperately, so passionately, could not have been completely reborn in one month. 

It is well-known that a human being, when put into situations where they have to lie and act deviously, will try their hardest to avoid cognitive dissonance–and will try their hardest to gather evidence that would help them to justify themselves, to prove to themselves that they do not lie and do not act deviously. Rational thinking has nothing to do with this: all is decided by emotions. Liars and scoundrels cannot live while considering themselves as such. So they convince themselves of their own version of the truth. That other people lie. That they are just defending themselves and their side. And that thus they are in the right. Their position is vulnerable, fragile, and any support is important for these liars and scoundrels: after all, in their childhood, others were trying to raise them as good people, and now they have a hard time. Any praise, any recognition is important to them. 

And so we read now: Vladimir Putin has awarded orders to more than three hundred journalists for “objective coverage of the events in Crimea.” And generally in Ukraine. Orders and medals–for correspondents, show hosts, showmen, chief editors… “Alexander Nevsky,” “For Merit before the Fatherland” and “Order of Merit.” OK, for correspondents, fair enough–they went into hell while following orders. But what did Kulistikov and Soloviev get them for? 

The first thing that comes to mind is that these are not labour awards, but combat awards. Allegedly now is wartime, thus there are enemies on the other side, and so the pen must be equalled to the bayonet. À la guerre comme à la guerre. 

And then, you wonder: who started this war? Who conjured up Banderas and fascists, UNA-UNSO, who fanned hysteria among the Russian-speaking Ukrainians and Ukrainian Russians, who spent half a year telling them about a massacre in Lviv for breakfast and hangings in Kharkiv for lunch? Who turned the “Right Sector” from a bunch of street misfits, who did not even have a proper name before, into the central force of Ukrainian nationalism? And who, most importantly, pumped this nationalism full of steroids, by pouring lies all over Ukraine month after month? 
Now–yes, it’s war. Now there are dead on both sides. Now there are no more right or wrong. Now the ant hill has been set on fire, you can shake off your hands, stand back and stare while taking “an impartial stance.”

Now then: you guys set this up. The Kremlin dreamed this up, and it was set up by you. Every one of you, who did not want to change jobs. Who was afraid of a lower salary. Who simply did not know how to argue with their boss. Who convinced themselves that they are in the right. 

The “polite people”–GRU Special Forces–maybe did not kill anyone. But you did. You will not find this easy to live with. Better to lie to yourself as well, like you lied to others. Better to take the drug and forget about it. 

Your medals are not awards. It’s Putin distributing morphine to you in syringes. 
Rinse them today. And spare a thought for the dead.


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4 Responses to Dmitry Glukhovsky: Lying Doesn’t Hurt

  1. chervonaruta says:

    Reblogged this on Euromaidan PR and commented:

    Dmitry Glukhovsky: Lying Doesn’t Hurt

  2. Pingback: Dmitry Glukhovsky: Lying Doesn’t Hurt | Israel Foreign Affairs

  3. mikeakostelny says:

    At first blush, one may be tempted to say: ‘let the one who is without sin throw the first stone’ for all of us (nations included) have slipped and told a lie at one time or another, even if it were ‘a little white lie’ (so-called). But as the Russian novelist, Boris Pasternak, pointed out (referring to the Russian people): “The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, you grovel before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune”.

    LIkewise, the Chinese philosopher LIn Yutang believed that: “Society can exist only on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying, and that no one says exactly what he thinks.” Hence, we have the conception of the ‘white lie,’ the lie forced upon us by necessity one might say. But is this the case with Russia? and with the Russian people who currently voted 70% in favor of V.V. Putin as their unabashed Dictator–a man who not only lies but appears to love to lie (who publicly denied in March 2014 that ‘the little green men’ in Crimea were Russian soldiers and then in April 2014 openly confessed that they were ‘Russian soldiers’ all the time)?!

    And if so, if the Russian ‘Ministry of Truth’ (aka: ‘Department of Misrepresentation and Misinformation’, as George Orwell called it in his book, ‘1984’) must lie perforce from political expediency, can they do so with impunity? Is it possible to lie and no one ‘gets hurt’ as the children’s mantra goes: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me?”.

    Dmitry Glukhovsky has hit the proverbial nail on the head: when war is in the air, truth becomes the first casualty, and falsehood apparently is the new element that we must learn to live with–however disgusting it may be. But if we have a choice, why would we choose to live in a world like that, a world in which we cannot trust anyone anymore, a world that is like a moral earthquake, in which you don’t know where to turn anymore?! Who could enjoy living in such an environment made totally unreliable through lying?! What price do we pay for this ‘cognitive dissonance’ (or a world of ‘terminological inexactitudes’, as Churchill once called it)?!

    If the Russian political system is disconnected from reality, and calls ‘slavery to the State’ a form of Freedom or autonomy (as they did in their induction of the Crimea to the Russian Federation last month), then their grasp on reality (what is really TRUE) becomes a slippery slope. For if whatever the Russian regime in power says is ‘truth’ whether right or wrong (from political necessity), then this same line of reasoning can be used to justify stealing (the Crimea), cheating (the Crimeans of their freedoms), and senselessly killing or imprisoning (anyone who opposes Putin’s ruthless Russian regime). Hence, all of morality goes out of the window. There is no moral enforcer, no God, no ethics, no universal standard of truth, no international code of Justice, no respect for any human dignity, or human rights, or human betterment.

    Big Brother, in the person fo V.V. Putin, dispenses all truth, all the truth he thinks his people need to know, as genuine Truth is in a state of a perpetual news blackout. Whatever V.V. Putin says becomes law, becomes the reality of the Russian masses. Putin’s sweet lies become the opium of the people. For if this propaganda bubble were ever to burst, God forbid!, the people would see that all their world was nothing but lies–and they would become lost and disoriented, not knowing where to turn, as in a state of panic!

    Now we see the answer to Dmitry Glukhovsky’s intriguing query: For the overall effect of Putin’s world-wide propaganda machine (RT TV, AM TV, PRESS TV, et al) is not only that they are now no longer believed, but that they themselves become incapable of believing anyone else! That is the real ‘punishment’ of the liar, the one who loves to make a lie! At the end of the day, lying may not hurt others (who no longer believe the liar), so much as it does the liar–who unrelentingly keeps asserting what he or she knows is not so!

  4. Larissa says:

    The scenario is of Ionesco ” Rhinoceros ” , two month ago they were normal and then start to turn to ugly

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