Shakespeare’s Warning against Marketing Lies

“…Let me have no lying: it becomes none but tradesmen”
(Winter’s Tale, act 4, sc. 3)

Comments.  Thinking that lying be amenable to curbing is senseless. Even politicians have found a set of Orwellian alternatives to the act of lying. Why condemn as a sin what is actually a virtue? In our post-industrial society of the spectacle and of spectacular authority truth is concealed behind veils of generalized secrecy. Secrecy, by being unanswerable, has given what is false an entirely new quality. It is as if of a sudden truth had ceased to exist or reduced to the status of pure hypothesis. Unanswerable lies have succeeded in eliminating public opinion, which first lost the ability to count for something and finally dissolved altogether. Our present is manufactured by the endless circulation of information, always returning to the same short list of trivialities, authoritatively proclaimed as new discoveries. News of what is genuinely important comes rarely. A fact reflected  – if proofs were missing – by what most interests masses at large (visit the page carrying the index of masses’ unintelligence).

Tips for Use.  When the occasion presents itself try,  “”This is a typical marketing lie and I say ‘let me have no lying: it becomes none but tradesmen”.

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In the Play.  Autolycus, a liar and a thief himself, engages the clown in some banter.

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