Stay with me on this story. It’s not big in itself, but telling.
So a lefty politician is running for mayor in the Taiwan city of Taoyuan. He belongs to the lefty party DPP—it’s rival is the KMT. Not that different from Democrats and Republicans. The DPP/Democrats are to the left, and so are the KMT/Republicans, but less so. (The minor differences between the two there are, as here, made to seem like awesome uncrossable canyons.)
The lefty politician is named Lin. Turns out Lin cheated on his Masters degree, plagiarizing somebody else’s work. The cheating became known, the university which awarded the degree investigated, confirmed the cheating, and rescinded the degree.
The university is the country’s biggest, nicknamed Taida, and like all universities, lefty. Meaning it couldn’t have given them any pleasure in smacking Lin. But they still retain some idea of protecting their “brand”, and really had no choice.
Enter the country’s President, confirmed bachelorette DPP party boss Tsai English Language (yes, that’s her name). An ex-academic. She governs exactly as you’d guess a lefty academic would govern. The DPP excels at fortifying elections.
Anyway, Tsai didn’t want to lose Lin to the scandal. So she cursed the university, and supported Lin. Here, finally, is the point of our little story. “Party members who have read copies of Lin’s thesis,” she said, “choose to believe his innocence.”
Did you see? Choose to believe his innocence.
In other words, party members know he is guilty, but will choose to believe, and must be seen choosing to believing, and therefore daring you to disbelieve, his innocence.
Tsai defined an Official Truth from which the party may not dissent (though she left wiggle room for some to claim they hadn’t yet read Lin’s thesis, which anyway is useless unless they also read the plagiarized work). Party members must assent to this Official Truth to remain party members in good standing. Tsai is a hard ass and will see to that.
Like I said, a minor incident, which will have little influence on anybody’s life. But a perfect encapsulation of the ancient truth that might makes “right.”
We then ask ourselves, where have we seen this before?
As you know, to become a made member of the Italian mafia (and others), a man has to murder somebody. The killing rule wasn’t completely strict until after the Donnie Brasco affair, which is when undercover cop Joe Pistone pretended to be loyal to the mob. He was almost made in spite of not being seen murdering anybody. Now, to avoid that kind of embarrassment, the rule is strict.
Murder is a crime everybody knows is wrong. Murder in service to the Party (a.k.a. mob) commits you to the Party. You break your soul when you murder. The Party knows what you did. You have nowhere else to go. You are stuck.
Plagiarism, and lying about it, are not, of course, equivalent to murder, or anywhere close to it. Plagiarism or lying about it, if they are discovered, will not necessarily bar you from success, as our own President Biden (caught in the same way as Lin) can tell you. But that you have to lie, and be seen to lie, still corrodes your soul. It still commits you, although nowhere near as strongly, to the Party.
Once you murder it’s easy to believe you are irredeemable. You figure you have nothing left to lose. You may as well kill again. Or lie again. Or steal. Or commit any crime you think you can get away with. In service to the Party.
Just one lie is not enough to reach the total commitment our elites and rulers have to the Party, to the regime. So they engage is a series of lies, and insist other elites and rulers parrot those lies.
The Party lies about men becoming women. Once you tell that lie, you find yourself pretending not to be horrified a quack slices the tits off of little girls. The Party lies that women make good soldiers. Once you tell that lie, you find yourself designing tactical bras and forcing them to be worn. The Party lies about a “climate crisis”. Once you tell that lie, you may as well have your rich friend sell to the government monorails powered by the sun.
The Party lies that ugly is beautiful. Once it does, it has to say a man dressed in garbage is art.
Everybody knows that lying is wrong. The bigger the lie, the darker the stain. And the more you are committed to the Party. The more you are willing to do evil.
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.