Truth

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From Political Hypocrisy: The Mask of Power, from Hobbes to Orwell and Beyond by David Runciman

Hypocrisy is a subject that lends itself to maxims--Rochefoucauld's Maxims is sometimes taken to be the definitive text on the subject--and it is to maxims that we often look to discover the timeless truth about what it is for a politician to dissemble and deceive. Truths tend to look more timeless when they come in neat little packages. But these maxims, almost by definition, are taken out of context (Rochefoucauld's book, for example, is about French courtly hypocrisy and its relationship to Jansenist philosophy). Of course, context isn't everything, and there may be times when philosophers wish to abstract away from the circumstances in which ideas were first generated. (p.14)


From Dream: Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy by Stephen Duncombe

For years progressives have comforted themselves with age-old biblical adages that the "truth will win out" or "the truth shall make you free," but waiting around for the truth to set you free is lazy politics. The truth does not reveal itself by virtue of being the truth: it must be told, and we need to learn how to tell the truth more effectively. It must have stories woven around it, works of art made about it; it must be communicated in new ways and marketed so it sells. It must be embedded in an experience that connects with people's dreams and desires, that resonates with the symbols and myths they find meaningful. The argument [in this book] is not for a progressive movement that lies outright, but rather for a propaganda of the truth. As William James once wrote: "Truth happens to an idea." (p.20)


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