International House of Dan: Nazi Propaganda for the "war on terror"

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Nazi Propaganda for the "war on terror"

Somebody on NPR misattributed a quote to Joseph Goebbels the other day, or I might have heard wrong, but in any event, I originally couldn't find the quote. It was actually from Hermann Goering, and I think it's frighteningly relevant in Mr. Bush's "war on terror":
the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
The origins of the quote are interesting, Goering said it during an exchange on war, in response to the claim that in a democracy, the people could voice their wish not to go to war.

Hitler's propaganda man, Goebbels, is not exempt from producing internal memoranda for the White House press office, though, having crafted beauties such as "during a war, news should be given out for instruction rather than information." And who could forget such classics as:
If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.
Good stuff, huh?It is attributed to Lincoln that you can't fool all the people all the time, and that may well be the case, but apparently there's no harm in trying, and apparently you can fool most of the people most of the time as long as you stay on message...


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