More specifically, the first casualty is truth to power. When the concept of good and evil is brushed aside as the product of weak and/or inferior minds, it provides fertile ground for the emerging of very power-hungry and corrupt leaders. Truth becomes subservient to power, and as George Orwell said, “History is something to be created rather than learned.” In other words, the powerful, in the absence of objective truth, create it, and the scariest part is that our leaders are so confident in their powerful positions, they all too readily, confess.
" [He] said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality. [...] That’s not the way the world really works anymore. continued. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.” -- Karl Rove to Ron Suskind in New York Times Magazine on October 17, 2004We've already seen some of the most brutal regimes spring forth throughout the twentieth century--the darkest century in history. In less than 30-years’ time, these totalitarian regimes brought about two devastatingly bloody world wars. Yet, as we begin the twenty-first century, moral relativism ( the notion that there is no objective moral truth, no right or wrong) reigns supreme, rendering evil's very existence as subjective.
In a culture or society that claims there is no absolute truth, our leaders can use his Noble Peace Prize win as a platform for making the case for war as President Obama did when he told his speechwriters, "he intended to use the acceptance speech to make the case for war." But those who would claim this is morally wrong are dismissed as rigid, fundamentalist, judgmental, and/or intolerant. In fact, tolerance is the only "moral" claim that one can make without being slapped with the aforementioned labels. Of course, President Obama is not the first, nor the last leader to twist the truth into whatever he wants it to be.
So war is peace. Ignorance is strength. Freedom is slavery. This is what our leaders are telling us, and we accept it as "truth". Therefore, war, technological advances, profit, or really anything created at the expense of nature and mankind is just fine.
Granted, those who are easily seduced by the prospect of wealth and power, and who lack conscience naturally gravitate toward leadership positions, and that's why it's our job to hold those people accountable. But to what? If there are no absolutes.
"To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself. [George Orwell, 1984, Part 1, Chapter 3.]
The secret of their success? How U.S. leaders from JFK to Roosevelt and George W Bush share character traits with psychopaths
A character trait in psychopaths has been identified by scientists as a common thread in successful US presidents.
Fearless dominance, which is linked to less social and physical apprehensiveness, boosts leadership, persuasiveness, crisis management and congressional relations, according to new research.