by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In a controversial passage in Plato’s Republic, Socrates introduced the idea of the “noble lie” (“gennaios pseudos”).
A majestic fiction, he says, could sometimes serve society by persuading uninformed citizens of something good for them.
Ever since, many prevaricators have used the excuse that they lied for the common good.
Take Dr. Anthony Fauci, our point man on the COVID-19 epidemic.
Fauci said he misled the country about mask-wearing during the pandemic by claiming they were of little use. But he argued that he lied in order that the public not make a run on masks, deplete the supply, and thus rob medical professionals of protective equipment.
Fauci also told “noble” lies about the likely percentage of the public needing to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. He kept raising the bar—from 60-70 percent to 75-80 percent, to 85 percent.
Apparently, Fauci feared a lower figure, even if accurate, might lull people into complacency about getting inoculated.
Fauci also lied about his own role in routing U.S. aid money to subsidize gain-of-function viral research at the Wuhan virology lab—the likely birthplace of COVID-19.
Either Fauci was hiding his own culpability or he believed the American people might not be able to fully accept that some of their own health officials were promoting the sort of research that was partially responsible for more than 700,000 American deaths.
Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas has serially lied about the number of illegal immigrants who have crossed into the United States. He falsely claimed mounted agents were whipping migrants. He fibbed about the purported lack of federal data of apprehensions, detentions, and deportations. His assertion that the border was secure was a joke.
Apparently Mayorkas believes the public would go ballistic or his own administration would be roundly despised, if he told the bitter truth about the border: by intent, the Biden Administration has deliberately left it wide open.