History Main / BelievingTheirOwnLies

12th Jun '17 8:51:24 AM Imaginos1892
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However sane they may have been when they started, they've gone over the deep end and are now Believing Their Own Lies.

to:

However sane they may have been when they started, they've gone over off the deep end and are now Believing Their Own Lies.
23rd May '17 4:43:50 PM VicGeorge2011
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** In "Skin Of Evil", Captain Picard says this of Armus when he's been stranded on a planet for so long because its former residents didn't want to have anything to do with him, having shed themselves of him (quite literally).
22nd May '17 5:52:10 AM Nohbody
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[[noreallife]]



[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_memory_syndrome False memory syndrome,]] a condition in which a person's identity and relationships are affected by memories which are factually incorrect but are strongly believed. This is a common trait of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mythomania compulsive liars.]]
* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the actual difficulty and cost of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve initial objectives ([[MovingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to accurately report on conditions in the real world.
* [[ChurchOfHappyology L. Ron Hubbard]]
** Possible subversion? L-Ron himself never intended Scientology to be an ''actual'' religion. He wrote it as a '''science fiction novel'''. So this is a case of ''other people'' believing someone's lies.
*** He supposedly wrote it to win a bet with fellow sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein, on whether a sci-fi writer could actually start a "cult of personality" around their works. Supposedly, ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' was Heinlein's attempt. The story goes that Heinlein [[SpringtimeForHitler backed off when he saw that it was ''working'',]] while Hubbard [[AsYouKnow did not]]. The rumor dates from over a decade before the Manson Family murders and People's Temple incident highlighted how abusive personality cults actually were, eventually leading to the discovery that the supposedly "good" personality cults of Stalin and Mao were actually much worse than propagandists made them seem at the time. There is no proof of the bet, though there are several witnesses who overheard their discussion (or claim to have). In any case, Hubbard himself quickly acclimated to his new role as cult leader, and many of Scientology's most successful practices (especially the "Attack the Attacker" policy that causes most of the controversy) were instituted on his explicit orders. Whether Hubbard ever came to actually believe in his own lies is debatable, but he certainly came to believe that profiting off the actions of the literal cult he created was perfectly ethical, regardless of the lives they destroyed in the process, as long as it remained legal.
*** ''Literature/GoingClear'' presents pretty conclusive evidence that at some point Hubbard began using his own doctrine as a means to deal with his increasing mental instability: as the author points out, a mere scammer would have at some point taken the money and ran but instead, Hubbard spent the last years of his life obsessively coming up with new OT levels and auditing himself for hours on end. At one point, he even asked one of his followers to build him a ''suicide machine'' since he believed it would be the only way to expel a powerful thetan (an alien spirit) that had attached to Hubbard's body (the follower's machine simply blew up harmlessly).
** Hubbard asked the military to provide him with the citation records of the combat medals he'd earned in every theater of World War II. This surprised the military, as Hubbard had never served in combat, and only served in the Pacific theater.
* [[ThoseWackyNazis The Nazis]].
** To glue the new enemy to the old one, Nazi propaganda made up UsefulNotes/JosefStalin's imaginary 3rd wife -- "Rosa Kaganovich". When Yakov Dzhugashvili was captured and interrogated they asked him about his father's private life, including this imaginary "last wife", which suggests that they saw her as real. By some accounts, they even mistook Yakov himself for her son. Unusual in that this fairy tale survived longer than its authors -- after the war this "''secret'' wife" eventually turned into "Dr. Rosa Kaganovich ''Stalin''" and even "mother" of Yeltsin's wife.
** The Nazi-propagated belief that Hitler was some kind of infallible genius and [[MessianicArchetype Germany's God-appointed savior]]. As time went on and Hitler racked up achievement after achievement (rearming Germany, taking over Austria and Czechoslovakia, "solving" Germany's economic problems), he started to believe it himself. It got to the point where German officials of the era are often seen in the memoirs of those who had deal with them as completely deprived of critical thinking. Historian Ian Kershaw wrote extensively on the so-called "Hitler Myth"; he calls this moment "the beginning of the end for the Third Reich".
** The Nazi Ambassador to Britain genuinely believed that the abdication of the allegedly pro-Nazi Edward VIII and replacement by the much less friendly George VI was the result of a Jewish/Masonic conspiracy. He also believed that the abdication would precipitate a civil war between Edward's supporters and parliament. It wasn't, and it didn't.
* The so-called 'planning' for ''Unternehmen Barbarossa'' i.e. the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II. Where to start...
** Logistics department says it's ''insane'', they'll only have enough fuel to sustain combat operations for two months. Solution? [[LeeroyJenkins The entire war will last two months.]]
** Head of Logistics asks what happens if the war isn't over in two months? Head of General Staff, Halder, laughs and says [[NonAnswer "and what if it is?"]]
** Three teams work on operational plans for an offensive war with USSR. All three conclude that The Red Army will be totally destroyed within two months and that Soviet resistance will collapse at this point, allowing German forces to use the railroads to more or less ride straight to Leningrad, Moscow, Kuiybyshev, and Baku and take them all in just a month.
** One study concedes the possibility that some "limited, minor" Soviet resistance may continue from Soviet Asia, but thinks it unlikely.
** All studies predict that supply problems identified by Head of Logistics (lack of food, fuel, trains for troops) will be ameliorated by support from local populations. No studies anticipate [[LaResistance any kind of rebellion or partisan warfare.]]
*** This might have even been possible, as the people were not happy under the repressive rule of Stalin. [[HonorBeforeReason However, the Nazis implemented their own equally repressive occupation,]] [[FullCircleRevolution alienating the people and ensuring partisan resistance.]]
** Most fundamentally, no-one ever suggests that ''Barbarossa'' might fail and that the Soviet Union will respond to their 'War of Annihilation'/'Total War' with a 'Total War' of their own. In reality they end up taking ''four months'' to take the objectives (Minsk, Riga, Smolensk, Kiev) they'd expected to take in the first two months - and by then their panzer and motorised forces are down to half-strength (rather than being at or close to full-strength, as the plans had 'predicted'). Halder wins a colossal argument with Hitler (who thinks it's risky and pointless) and manages to get these depleted forces immediately thrown into an attempt to take Moscow.
** Head of Logistics protests, because they are only barely able to get enough food and fuel to the front to keep the men from starving and the panzers running, and there's very little ammo making it through. This means there is no room for spare parts for the panzers (which means that even ones with the most minor and easily-repaired damage are put out of action) or for winter equipment and clothing. Halder says that Moscow will be taken before winter sets in, and when they do then the Soviets will surrender and they can transport the clothing to them instead of ammunition and fuel.
*** Conclusion: In 1940-41 Germany pioneered a miraculous new solution to logistical constraints: ''Racial Superiority''.
* UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan.
** When UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo began to 'go south', the [[UsefulNotes/KatanasOfTheRisingSun Army and Navy]] of UsefulNotes/ImperialJapan took its constant and comprehensive lying about the losses it inflicted and raised them to new heights. While censorship and propaganda was a given in the media of Imperial Japan, especially [[UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar since the outbreak of war in 1937]], the post-1941 situation was unique in that the country's military leadership also began to ''deceive itself'' when reporting the outcome of various actions as well as its overall strength and disposition (and that of the enemy). Only a tiny handful of individuals at the very top of both services actually knew what was going on concerning any one issue like troop strength or aircraft production or food reserves - the Showa Emperor ensured that full knowledge of the war effort was known only to General Tojo and himself (and, when Tojo fell, 'just' himself). [[note]] The increasingly disastrous defeats and ineffective attacks were rewritten as glorious victories and crushing defeats inflicted upon the Allies. The army often claimed fantastic victories (when they in fact had been defeated) and assigned their commanders ludicrous objectives based upon these assumptions, and the navy and the air force again and again claimed to have sunk entire American fleets, even when they had sunk no ships at all (certain American vessels, such as the ''Enterprise'' and the ''Essex'' were claimed to have been sunk multiple times). The Japanese high command, desperate to hold off the Americans, eagerly swallowed these lies and didn't bother to confirm them before informing the other branches of the service. This had disastrous consequences for all concerned; the army would often launch attacks and hold impossible positions because the navy blustered that the American fleet had been sunk, and vice versa.[[/note]] Although decades of 'reading between the lines' meant the Japanese people ''knew'' things were going to hell, the true extent to which the country was on the verge of total socio-economic-demographic collapse and military defeat (i.e. a few months)[[note]]the country had been a large importer of food before 1944. The food shortages resulting from the Allied blockade were a death sentence for hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in the upcoming winter of 1945-6. ''Operation Downfall'', and the millions of deaths it entailed, was also just a couple of months from being implemented.[[/note]] It still came as a shock to many upon the Empire's surrender.
** Hell, [[KnowWhenToFoldEm when the Emperor declared surrender,]] several of his generals were so certain they could still "''win''" that they plotted his assassination. ''This was '''after''' Nagasaki.''
** Imperial Japan also highlights the problem with governments doing this so reflexively that they forget a fundamental truth: You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, ''but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.'' The people get so used to it that they become experts at reading between the lines. As another troper already pointed out, the problem with the Japanese government proclaiming that every battle with the enemy resulted in a "great victory" was that any Japanese citizen with access to a map could plainly see that every "great victory" ''was getting closer and closer to the home islands.'' Food was getting hard to find. Supplies were being rationed. Where were all those American bombers coming from? Why wasn't damage from the bombing being repaired right away? Why aren't our soldiers and sailors coming home after these "great victories" to celebrate? [[RealityEnsues Towards the end of the war, every thinking Japanese citizen was fully aware of how much trouble their country was in.]]
* Korsakov's Syndrome. It's a form of amnesia brought on by excessive alcohol abuse. To cover up for their forgetting, patients will invent information that sounds highly plausible to everyone else and eventually come to believe it themselves.
* There is an epigram assigned to Lenin that may or may not be apocryphal which goes "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
** This saying has also been attributed to Trotsky, Stalin and Josef Goebbels.
*** BeamMeUpScotty: It actually comes from Joseph Goebbel's Propaganda Principle of orchestration.
---->"Propaganda must be limited to a small number of ideas and be repeated tirelessly, presented over and over again from different perspectives but always converging on the same concept. No cracks or doubt". Indeed, the 'original' phrase would be more along the lines of "the bigger the lie, the harder it is to disprove".
** The phrase "The bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it." also appears in Hitler's ''Literature/MeinKampf''.
* Human memory is plastic, malleable. Combine this with the fact that people aren't actually that observant, and a "memory" will warp and shift over time as the story of it gets altered to 1) be more consistent with itself (wait, X couldn't have happened before Y, so Y must have happened first), 2) be more consistent with other things the person believes (wait, wasn't Dave in Aruba? It must have been Bob), and 3) remain consistent with the person's beliefs about himself (I'd ''never'' say something like that. I must have said something else.). It can reach the point where siblings will each remember a highly specific event which could only have happened to one of them.
** The above is one reason eyewitness testimony and even ''confessions'' aren't 100% reliable, even when the person providing it is trying to be sincere. Then consider that the results of quite a few court cases were (and still are) due almost entirely to eyewitness testimony and confessions. [[FridgeHorror Including cases where the defendants' lives were on the line.]]
* UsefulNotes/HenryVIII. His massive ego and self-righteous conviction changed him from Europe's 'golden prince' to the tyrant we remember today. He managed to convince himself that he was the rightful head of the church, that Anne Boleyn had cheated on him with several men, and that some of his closest advisors (Cardinal Wolsey, Thomas Moore, and Thomas Cromwell) were conspiring against him. All of these lies were very self-serving, but he fought for them with such conviction because he persuaded himself that they were true, and very few around him dared to contradict him.
-->'''David Starkey:''' Oh dear, people don't understand Henry at all, do they? The best and most convincing liars believe their own lies. Henry had an amazing gift of persuading himself that whatever is convenient is true.
* Some psychologists have postulated this as the reason why sociopaths feel no guilt or remorse over the lies they tell--they've twisted things around so much that in their mind, they might genuinely think that they're telling the truth or at the very least, are in the right regarding the situation in question.
[[/folder]]
9th May '17 2:49:03 PM AdelePotter
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Added DiffLines:

* ''Literature/EverythingEverything'': It turns out that [[spoiler:Madeline isn't actually sick; her mother simply decided she was and had to be kept in her house at all times, despite having three other doctors tell her that it wasn't true. Once the truth comes out, Madeline's mother keeps right on insisting Madeline is ill, and it's apparent that on some level, she believes it, despite the ever-growing evidence to the contrary. It's implied that this is a result of both fearing losing Madeline, and not wanting to face the fact that she essentially stole eighteen years of her daughter's life for nothing.]]
30th Apr '17 5:14:49 PM larry4163
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*** This might have even been possible, as the people were not happy under the repressive rule of Stalin. However, the Nazis implemented their own equally repressive, [[FullCircleRevolution alienating the people and ensuring partisan resistance.]]

to:

*** This might have even been possible, as the people were not happy under the repressive rule of Stalin. [[HonorBeforeReason However, the Nazis implemented their own equally repressive, repressive occupation,]] [[FullCircleRevolution alienating the people and ensuring partisan resistance.]]
30th Apr '17 5:02:47 PM larry4163
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*** He supposedly wrote it to win a bet with fellow sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein, on whether a sci-fi writer could actually start a "cult of personality" around their works. Supposedly, ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' was Heinlein's attempt. The story goes that Heinlein backed off when he saw that it was ''working'', while Hubbard [[AsYouKnow did not]]. The rumor dates from over a decade before the Manson Family murders and People's Temple incident highlighted how abusive personality cults actually were, eventually leading to the discovery that the supposedly "good" personality cults of Stalin and Mao were actually much worse than propagandists made them seem at the time. There is no proof of the bet, though there are several witnesses who overheard their discussion (or claim to have). In any case, Hubbard himself quickly acclimated to his new role as cult leader, and many of Scientology's most successful practices (especially the "Attack the Attacker" policy that causes most of the controversy) were instituted on his explicit orders. Whether Hubbard ever came to actually believe in his own lies is debatable, but he certainly came to believe that profiting off the actions of the literal cult he created was perfectly ethical, regardless of the lives they destroyed in the process, as long as it remained legal.

to:

*** He supposedly wrote it to win a bet with fellow sci-fi author Robert A. Heinlein, on whether a sci-fi writer could actually start a "cult of personality" around their works. Supposedly, ''Literature/StrangerInAStrangeLand'' was Heinlein's attempt. The story goes that Heinlein [[SpringtimeForHitler backed off when he saw that it was ''working'', ''working'',]] while Hubbard [[AsYouKnow did not]]. The rumor dates from over a decade before the Manson Family murders and People's Temple incident highlighted how abusive personality cults actually were, eventually leading to the discovery that the supposedly "good" personality cults of Stalin and Mao were actually much worse than propagandists made them seem at the time. There is no proof of the bet, though there are several witnesses who overheard their discussion (or claim to have). In any case, Hubbard himself quickly acclimated to his new role as cult leader, and many of Scientology's most successful practices (especially the "Attack the Attacker" policy that causes most of the controversy) were instituted on his explicit orders. Whether Hubbard ever came to actually believe in his own lies is debatable, but he certainly came to believe that profiting off the actions of the literal cult he created was perfectly ethical, regardless of the lives they destroyed in the process, as long as it remained legal.



** Hell, when the Emperor declared surrender, several of his generals were so certain they could still win that they plotted his assassination. ''This was '''after''' Nagasaki.''
** Imperial Japan also highlights the problem with governments doing this so reflexively that they forget a fundamental truth: You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, ''but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.'' The people get so used to it that they become experts at reading between the lines. As another troper already pointed out, the problem with the Japanese government proclaiming that every battle with the enemy resulted in a "great victory" was that any Japanese citizen with access to a map could plainly see that every "great victory" ''was getting closer and closer to the home islands.'' Food was getting hard to find. Supplies were being rationed. Where were all those American bombers coming from? Why wasn't damage from the bombing being repaired right away? Why aren't our soldiers and sailors coming home after these "great victories" to celebrate? Towards the end of the war, every thinking Japanese citizen was fully aware of how much trouble their country was in.

to:

** Hell, [[KnowWhenToFoldEm when the Emperor declared surrender, surrender,]] several of his generals were so certain they could still win "''win''" that they plotted his assassination. ''This was '''after''' Nagasaki.''
** Imperial Japan also highlights the problem with governments doing this so reflexively that they forget a fundamental truth: You can fool some of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time, ''but you can't fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.'' The people get so used to it that they become experts at reading between the lines. As another troper already pointed out, the problem with the Japanese government proclaiming that every battle with the enemy resulted in a "great victory" was that any Japanese citizen with access to a map could plainly see that every "great victory" ''was getting closer and closer to the home islands.'' Food was getting hard to find. Supplies were being rationed. Where were all those American bombers coming from? Why wasn't damage from the bombing being repaired right away? Why aren't our soldiers and sailors coming home after these "great victories" to celebrate? [[RealityEnsues Towards the end of the war, every thinking Japanese citizen was fully aware of how much trouble their country was in.]]
30th Apr '17 4:14:41 PM larry4163
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** Logistics department says it's ''insane'', they'll only have enough fuel to sustain combat operations for two months. Solution? The entire war will last two months.
** Head of Logistics asks what happens if the war isn't over in two months? Head of General Staff, Halder, laughs and says "and what if it is?"

to:

** Logistics department says it's ''insane'', they'll only have enough fuel to sustain combat operations for two months. Solution? [[LeeroyJenkins The entire war will last two months.
months.]]
** Head of Logistics asks what happens if the war isn't over in two months? Head of General Staff, Halder, laughs and says [[NonAnswer "and what if it is?"is?"]]



** All studies predict that supply problems identified by Head of Logistics (lack of food, fuel, trains for troops) will be ameliorated by support from local populations. No studies anticipate any kind of rebellion or partisan warfare.
*** This might have even been possible, as the people were not happy under the repressive rule of Stalin. However the Nazis implemented their own equally repressive, alienating the people and ensuring partisan resistance.

to:

** All studies predict that supply problems identified by Head of Logistics (lack of food, fuel, trains for troops) will be ameliorated by support from local populations. No studies anticipate [[LaResistance any kind of rebellion or partisan warfare.
warfare.]]
*** This might have even been possible, as the people were not happy under the repressive rule of Stalin. However However, the Nazis implemented their own equally repressive, [[FullCircleRevolution alienating the people and ensuring partisan resistance.]]
28th Apr '17 9:39:19 PM MAI742
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* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties and requirements of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve initial objectives ([[MovingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to accurately report on conditions in the real world.

to:

* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties actual difficulty and requirements cost of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve initial objectives ([[MovingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to accurately report on conditions in the real world.
28th Apr '17 9:38:31 PM MAI742
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* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties and requirements of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve initial objectives ([[ShiftingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to accurately report on conditions in the real world.

to:

* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties and requirements of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve initial objectives ([[ShiftingTheGoalposts ([[MovingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to accurately report on conditions in the real world.
28th Apr '17 9:38:01 PM MAI742
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* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties and requirements of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve stated objectives, rather than incredibly obvious backfires, so this reduces the pressure to be correct.

to:

* A general tendency of institutions is a trend towards 'Groupthink' and the production of reports that directly reflect the ideological convictions of their funders, rather than objective reality. Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke hold that this has gradually become true of the 'Foreign Policy Establishment' in the USA - which promoted the analysts who contended that the wars in Vietnam and Iraq could be won easily and cheaply, and marginalised or ostracised those who pointed out the real-life difficulties and requirements of doing so. They condemn the highly political nature of appointments to, and rapid turnover at, the top echelons for sharply reducing incentives to accurately analyse objective reality. Moreover the USA is so powerful that its foreign policy failures take years to manifest and often take the form of merely failing to achieve stated objectives, initial objectives ([[ShiftingTheGoalposts which can be readjusted]]), rather than incredibly obvious catastrophic backfires, so this further reduces the pressure to be correct.accurately report on conditions in the real world.
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