Machiavellistische Wirtschaft

PRINCETON: Wann ist es legitim, zu lügen? Kann Lügen unter Umständen sogar etwas Positives sein? In der Tradition Machiavellis wird Lügen zuweilen durch Verweis auf die übergeordneten Anforderungen politischer Staatskunst gerechtfertigt, und manchmal auch damit, dass der Staat als Inbegriff des Gemeinwohls einen höheren Grad an Moralität verkörpere. Diese Tradition steht derzeit einmal mehr im Blickpunkt, da die Frage politischer Falschheit jüngst in zahlreichen erbitterten Kontroversen wieder aufgetaucht ist.

Musste der deutsche Verteidigungsminister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg die Wahrheit sagen über den massiven Diebstahl geistigen Eigentums, der sich durch seine gesamte Doktorarbeit zog, oder ließ sich eine Lüge rechtfertigen, weil er einen wichtigen Regierungsposten ausübte? War die US-geführte Invasion von Saddam Husseins Irak 2003 illegitim, weil sie auf einer Lüge über das Vorhandensein von Massenvernichtungswaffen beruhte? Oder taten konservative US-Abtreibungsgegner Recht daran, Schauspieler mit einer Lügengeschichte in die Büros von Planned Parenthood zu schicken, um ihre Gegner in Misskredit zu bringen?

Genauso einflussreich wie die Behauptung, dass politische Unwahrheit tugendhaft sein kann, ist die ökonomische Variante des Machiavellismus. Unter bestimmten Umständen, so scheint es, können Lügen oder die Verschleierung der Wahrheit bewirken, dass es den Leuten besser geht. Auch kann die Täuschung möglicherweise eine Quelle des Trostes sein. Manchmal vermittelt uns ein Kokon der Unwahrheit ein Gefühl wohliger Zufriedenheit.

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