Bush's Tolstoy Syndrome


We finally have a clinical term to describe the bizarre intransigence of the Bush administration:

Tolstoy Syndrome is a description of a behavior of humans who ignore the truth despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. The behavior is named after a quote from Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910):

"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabrics of their life".

A related Tolstoy quote is

"The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him."

The perils of certainty. The remaining danger of Bush.