Abraham Lincoln was a man who could put emotions, concepts and home truths into words everyone could grasp, but his famous and oft quoted "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time" seems, these days, to be less true. Watching the circus that is currently taking place in Venezuela I wonder whether the balance is changing when it comes to "fooling all of the people all of the time."
Hugo Chavez has ruled his country through three terms as President and was elected for a fourth, but then, without reference to the electorate, appointed a 'caretaker' because he was terminally ill. He was elected by popular vote - Venezuela has a lot of poor people and a small number of very, very wealthy ones - and promptly nationalised a lot of the countries assets. He then set about creating several 'projects' to 'uplift the poor' and has ridden a wave of popularity ever since which has seen to his re-election again and again. But the people he claimed to be helping are still poor, the nations economy is in deep trouble and corruption among those he appointed to implement his Marixst/Socialist policies is well out of control. Yet the majority are still devoted to him ...
The North Korean government provides another example. Here is a nation that is so deep in poverty its ordinary people are starving, yet the "party" and the military have it all. Their populace are told, all day and every day, that they must continue this imbecilic armed truce situation "because the US is using South Korea as a springboard for attempts to destroy their Marxist paradise. And the bulk of the populace seems to accept it.
Then there is the current situation with Islam. The vast majority of Muslims accept the line that Israel is a US tool to destabilise and undermine their faith - I've had some interesting conversations on that one - and that all "Jews" living in Israel arrived there post 1945. This, of course, feeds into the idea that Israel must be destroyed in order to 'restore Palestine.' It underpins the credo by which Muslim fundamentalists live.
What strikes me most forcibly in each of the above is that the majority in each case - and in some everyone involved - actually believes the 'party line.' They make no attempt to check facts, or to examine sometimes obvious evidence which would immediately expose the lies they are being fed. But they prefer to be fooled apparently.
I can only wonder what Abe would have said.