It ain’t just a river in Egypt, y’all. Denial is a psychological condition in which a person rejects a fact or truth that is too painful, or that they are unwilling to hear.

Denial is a common trait amongst certain kinds of personalities, including Cluster B personality disorders like narcissism and sociopathy. It can be infuriating in its utter irrationality, as people deny obvious truths that can be plainly seen.

Denial in psychological warfare

It’s also a central trait of both totalitarian regimes, and of the cultures that eke themselves out under autocratic boots. It calls to mind George Orwell’s famous quote from 1984:

β€œThe Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”

Propaganda and Big Lies, central to authoritarianism and fascist movements around the world, are themselves denials or variations on denial, coverups, and untruths. These tactics of psychological and hybrid warfare are in use today, by Russia, China, Iran and other world powers who seek to undermine the United States and the strength of democracy.

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