I’ve been noodling on some stuff about the role of lying in political philosophy. These days the case is made most often that Leo Strauss favored lying about the reality of things because the masses couldn’t handle the truth. Of course, other philosophers were explicitly guilty of this charge. Nietzsche and Sorel come immediately to mind. Anyway, I was curious if anybody’s read anything straightforward, not too jargony, on the whole issue. Did it all start with Plato’s noble lie? Did all of the others who advocated such measures invoke Plato? Where does the common assumption that lying to the public is immoral come from? How do these issues break ideologically? I have my own ideas on this stuff, but if there’s a really good essay or chapter along these lines, I’d love to know about it. If philosophically-minded bloggers want to take this up as an issue for discussion, that’d be great too. I’m probably gonna write a Goldberg File on it sometime soon.