Kirsan Ilyumzhinov: Misinformation and lies ruin life. The only way to protect ourselves is to grow wiser.


In my opinion, it has become some kind of sophisticated fashion to lie in the media, to refute this lie and come up with a new one. Professional propagandists know that it is more difficult to refute a lie than to invent ten new ones. Propagation of distorted, if not outright false information has always been a problem for any government in any country since the time of the Babylonian kingdom. And, perhaps, since the same time, governments have been using their favourite tool to fight lies -repression.

Favourite tool, as it turned out, was completely ineffective. No matter how hard they tried in the Soviet Union to jam foreign radio stations, no matter how many distributors of "samizdat" were sent to camps, all this only led to the fact that people in the USSR stopped believing in state propaganda, but they trusted all negative rumours.

On the other hand, the question arises: who are the judges? Who will dare to determine what is the truth, half-truth or pure fiction? Of course, the state may attract authoritative experts, but there will still be a possibility of error.

Our politicians propose to fight the "hydra of false news propaganda" with censorship. It becomes a vicious circle and, apparently, if we do not find a way out of it, we will continue to swing axes at each other.

It would seem that it is high time to understand that to fight against false information by means of any repression is the same as curing consumption by bloodletting. Physicians in Victorian Britain eagerly used this method, but the outcome was sad. So why can't we give up the axe, realizing that it is of no use?

Paradoxically, the answer to this question is both simple and complex. Let’s figure it out together. Why, instead of refuting lies with facts in hand, the powers do their best to shut the mouth of those who, in their opinion, are lying?

One reason is for sure: people are more willing to believe fables than real facts. Bill Gates recently discussed this phenomenon with Israeli historian and sociologist Yuval Harari on his podcast, which he co-hosts with actress Rashida Jones.

The participants concluded that even our ancient ancestors could not always sensibly evaluate such a complex process as, say, chasing of a large animal or preparing a tribe for wintering. Involuntarily, one had to trust those who managed, albeit in words, to prove their success in these matters. Indeed, no large-scale cooperation of individuals is possible without trust.

Too often, those who were trusted were tempted to belittle or, on the contrary, exaggerate the complexity of the upcoming work, instead of explaining everything as it was. Otherwise, the tribesmen might not follow them. And when it’s over, winners are not judged. If you led followers the wrong way you can argue that the gullible listeners misunderstood the leader and that’s why he can’t be blamed.

This is how we absorb lies from our young age but, oddly enough, sometimes they help us survive.

By the way, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, who had been addressing this issue all his life, eventually concluded that "in human communication, a lie can be useful as a medicine." It turns out that any attempt to radically eradicate untruth, to erase a lie, sometimes even a noble one, will inevitably deal a crushing blow to both an individual and the whole society.

As a rule, growing up, a person learns to find a balance between reality and an admissible lie. As Harari says in a conversation with Gates: "Our mind is lazy ... we don't like the things that we don't understand."

A person who does not give his mind the trouble to figure out the essence of the matter will willingly believe in any nonsense, like chipping under the guise of vaccination, 5G mind control or officials working non-stop for the benefit of society... Nevertheless, this same person, who is so easily amenable to suggestion, will be a completely decent citizen who never causes unnecessary problems to the neighbours.

The horror lies in the fact - and this has long been understood in large corporations - that the ideal consumer is the gullible person who resignedly buys any junk at double or even triple the price. So the interests of states and corporations converged at this point. Therefore, no matter how sad it is to admit, the authorities and the opposition are not interested in developing human intelligence.

That is why both of them have only one way of dealing with rumours, lies and objectionable truth – the same old axe. A medicine that is worse than the disease. But let's leave alone the state and corporations. It is unlikely that anyone will argue with the fact that excessive gullibility is harmful.

Can you consider yourself happy if you trust everything that is said on TV or written on the Internet? I doubt it very much. But, as noted above, no one will save us from lies or stupidity: it is not profitable.

You cannot save humanity from the dominance of fakes and lies. But you can save yourself. All that you need to do is to develop your mind to become critical of information coming from outside.

Well, and as a conclusion, I will repeat with pleasure: one of the few ways to become smarter, to develop analytical skills quickly and efficiently is to play chess. As Einstein joked referring to chess: "It is training of the brain muscle." Well, and the states and corporations may continue to swing their axes.