Thursday, August 26, 2010

Principles aren't always principled

A Brazilian friend sent me this quote from Goebbels on the Laws of Propaganda:

* A media system wants ostensible diversity that conceals an actual uniformity.

* We strive not for truth, but effect.

* The worst enemy of any propaganda is intellectualism.

* For the lie to be believable, it should be terrifying.

* A lie repeated thousands of times becomes a truth.

I thought about this as I read a comment on a New York Times op-ed piece about how the ongoing Republican campaign to deligitimize President Obama's election isn't based on policy issues or disagreement about governing philosophy--it's based on a thick stack o' lies, shaped and executed in strict accordance with Goebbels' Laws of Propaganda.

Here's the comment:

...As a history professor at a community college [in Oklahoma], I face this everyday. Students barely tune into the news but they believe these gems you have attacked. Trying to get them to understand that there is no basis in fact for these fallacies doesn't sway them a bit. They just know it's true.

And note Goebbels point about intellectualism being the worst enemy of a propaganda campaign. That's why the Republican Propaganda Machine devotes so much effort on encouraging anti-intellectualism, as epitomized by the Quitter From Alaska.

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