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Comportamento / 14/09/2020

"A lie told a thousand times becomes true"

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"A lie told a thousand times becomes true"


The propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, Paul Joseph Goebbels, once said: "A lie told a thousand times becomes true." This fateful phrase leads us to reflect on the functions of lies or false news these days.

The propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, Paul Joseph Goebbels, once said: "A lie told a thousand times becomes true." This fateful phrase leads us to reflect on the functions of lies or false news these days.

The lies that appear on social media follow the same propaganda line as Goebbels, who used the glorification of violence and discrimination against minorities. A brief history of the Nazifascist lies shows that they were anchored in faith and myth, that they served the neuroses and psychoses of their leaders, that they lied to the people and believed in their own lies.

These strategies are repeated in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and their results are lethal. The problem is that fake news is spread on social media, as if it were a “greater good” and true, but it is being contradicted and denied by science and journalism.

In addition, there are people who take lies to the height of absurdity, which are the corrupt, swindlers and rascals who seek easy profit by striking others. And we have mitomaniae, that is, subjects who lie compulsively, however, they need psychological help.

It is evident that lies are part of human nature, exercising powerful control over individuals and groups. According to statistics there are people who lie about 200 times a day and on average once every 5 minutes and most lies circulate millions of times on the internet.

However, lies are decoded by expressions, gestures and movements, which reveal divergences between verbal and non-verbal language, including in virtual space. a psychoanalytic perspective, even the most experienced liars cannot control their unconscious, since the corporeal mind cries out for the truth.

Thus, Freud demonstrated that the truth escapes in faulty acts, jokes, dreams and traces of social life, showing that the lies are manifested on a pathological scale, because mental health is only compatible with the truth.

As a result, lies in the neurotic state are not elaborated by consciousness, since neurotics are intolerant and for unconscious reasons the lies become advantageous for them. And in the psychotic state, lies arise in the form of delusions, which lead psychotics to not recognize the strange character of their behavior.

In the philosophical sense, ethics and truth are closely linked and do not allow reality to be masked. In fact, the ancient Greeks used myths as a metaphor to speak of the psyche, which revealed thoughts and desires repressed in the unconscious of men. So, when we come across the word myth, we associate it with something that is not true and credible.

Therefore, we must not forget that during the history of mankind, lies gave rise to psychic illnesses and caused suffering and death in society. Finally, it is the duty of men and women of good will to fight for the truth, because lies will sooner or later appear, even if they are said a thousand times.


Jackson César Buonocore is a sociologist and psychoanalyst

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