The philosophy of Nazi propaganda


From: James R. Puz

Bruce Montplaisir recently wrote an article entitled “Vance Packard was right,” dealing with Mr. Packard’s findings regarding manipulation of the public when it came to selling products. Mr. Montplaisir has extended that concept to include our very own Congress. However, the use of brainwashing, and that’s precisely what Mr. Packard was getting at, was most effectively used more than three decades before he published his book.

Nazi Germany made a science out of the use of brainwashing propaganda so much so that it helped cause the deaths of millions of people during WWII. Capitol Hill’s use of similar tactics is no different, though we might prefer to not think of it in those same terms. But if you watch and listen to the news, from many sources, you’ll see a direct parallel, using only slightly modified forms of the Third Reich’s twisted and convincing use of simple, yet potent words.

Members of Congress, even while campaigning for re-election have used, at one time or another, the concept that “a lie told once remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.” Or you may have heard this variation: “If you tell a lie big enough, and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” Both of these come thanks to Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Chancellor Hitler’s Reich Minister of Propaganda. Sadly, we know all-to-well how effective their slogans and propaganda worked.

In our current age, there is this corollary that seems most appropriate, given the outcome of many elections over the last several decades. Dr. Goebbels describes it in a nutshell: “There is no need for propaganda to be rich in intellectual content.” And to make our voters feel pleased with themselves, Dr. Goebbels offered this to our political bureaucrats: “Propaganda works best when those being manipulated are confident they’re acting on their own free will.”

Chancellor Hitler was a bit more brutal in his assessment of the populace: “The masses are so stupid that ... the less scientific the ballast [for propaganda] and the more exclusively it considers the emotions of the masses the most complete its success.”

We’ve all witnessed elections of one sort or another where the issues were of little consequence but the emotions stirred up by warring candidates were often the deciding factors when it came to winning and losing.

Vance Packard may have been right, but so was Dr. Joseph Goebbels. And their philosophies are hard at work ... at this very moment.


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