"The truth is sometimes a poor competitor
in the market place of ideas --
complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemmas,
always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse."
George F. Kennan
(1904-2005) American advisor, diplomat, political scientist, and historian
American Diplomacy, 1900-1950 (1951)
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Reader comments about this quote:
Scripted enemies, misinterpreted abuse, fear, keeping up with the Joneses, dilemmas, vulnerability, lies, etc seem to dominate in the market place of ideas over truth when packaged correctly.
 -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, austin      
    Such is the cost of freedom and democracy. It always seems that the guys who have the truth the absolute truth impose it by tyranny compare Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and right wing nuts compare Limbaugh and then it always seems to go that the people demand and clamor for a return to the tumultous marketplace and to be free of the "truth" once again.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Sometimes the truth just doesn't pay....enough.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Waffler, are you saying that democracy, Stalin, Hitler and Limbaugh have the truth, and the only thing you are opposed to is the forcing of freedom? I know you agree with Lenin, Stalin and Hitler most of the time, but how do you throw someone into the mix that wants less government? hmm
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    What I am saying is that democracy entails the process of discovering the truth. It does not have the truth. The guys like Rush, Lenin, Stalin and Hitler and many right wing types who think they have found the truth thus declare it for evermore and no one is allowed to say anything different. What I am saying is beware of those types. I am free enough to agree with any man but does not mean I follow them. Wanting less governent is a universal sentiment so I don't throw them into anything? What does that question have to do with this discussion anyway?
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler weren't right wing but they were murderers. They also believed in socialism and that the individual lives for the State, that individual wants and desires don't matter when compared to the wants and desires of society. Of course the despot gets to decide what's good for society and how the individual must conform for the so called common good. Progressives, if anyone, believe they have all the answers and are willing to shove them down your throat (for your own good of course). They might even shoot you if you choke on it.
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
    Ken, Lenin and those guys have in common with Rush and many right-wingers in my opinion is tyrannical mentalities.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    How in the hell do Stalin, Hitler, and Lenin have anything in common with Rush??????? I have never known anyone to attack Rush in this manner that has known one thing about him except the absurd propaganda consistently spread about him.
     -- warren, olathe     
    He is a propagandist Warren pure and simple. A 400 million dollar propagandist who thinks he has the truth just like those other guys. He teaches that global warming or climate change is a fraud etc.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Waffler, You seem to not understand that Lenin, Stalin and Hitler were out to kill and enslave people and Rush trys to save people and set them free. The first three killed MILLIONS and if you don't see the difference then the only thing I can say is God Help You and Protect Us!
     -- Grandad, Tampa     
    Technically, Hitler was slightly right wing and extremely authoritarian and Stalin (probably Lenin, too) were very left-wing, but also very authoritarian (this is all according to a political compass). Stalin and Lenin are, in fact, very different from most Progressives, since most Progressives, I think, are left-wing and socially libertarian to varying degrees of extremeness.
     -- Anonymous     
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