People watching Putin, Shoigu and Lavrov make obvious and shameful lies around the world seem to be confused. How can these men lie so blatantly? Do they think the world is stupid? When Lavrov says that it is Ukraine that attacks them, or Shoigu claims that Ukraine plans to use a dirty bomb, don’t they understand how they look?
There’s a problem with people who think that tyrants are stupid, they don’t understand the high intellect and lack of morals that is required for a person to be in that position. The corrupt people like Putin, Lavrov, Shoigu and the rest of the Russian elite are remarkably smart. So when a smart person lies, one has to ask why. Why do they lie? What purpose does this serve?
To answer this question one must look at Russia and dictatorships in general. One has to understand that lies is the currency in a dictatorship and truth is what has to be purged. A dictator is always afraid of truth and never of a lie. This is because the system runs on lies. When a system runs on lies, additional lies fuel it and any truth undermines it. This is why Putin is relentless at pursuing anyone who might threaten his regime with truth and has an entire industry creating lies. Lies that are so bold and outrageous that they boggle the mind. They boggle the mind of anyone who has not learned from history and does not remember the rules for dictators: lie big and lie often. Goebles codified it and we know that Putin is a good student and admirer of Goebels.
Big lies have advantage in that they are believable because they make anyone who doubts them doubt themselves. There’s no possible way that people in power would lie so big. They wouldn’t be this stupid and thus people believe the lie.
We think that Putin is held up by his officials and his oligarchs. He is not. They are the pillars but the base is the Russian people. They worship him and he makes sure that they have all the lies poured in constant stream to keep the mirage of great Russia and great ruler alive. Any break in this fiction would topple the columns. This is why the lies have to be big and audacious. The actions against reality must also be big and audacious and they must always be coupled with a big lie that explains the action.
This is why the bombing of the residential buildings had to happen to go to war in Chechniya. This is why the claims of ethnic cleansing had to happen about Donbas to attack Ukraine. This is why to launch a nuclear warhead at Ukraine they have to lie that Ukraine is launching their own.
Putin isn’t lying to the world. The world knows reality and so does he. Putin is lying to Russia so that he can continue to rule Russia.