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War Propaganda
Adolph Hitler

Excerpts From: Mein Kampf: Vol. 1 Ch 6

[Ed Note: Hitler did not invent propaganda; it is as old as Homo sapiens; lying to one's brethren has been identified in the great apes. Hitler just refined it to a degree beyond what his Communists teachers, could.]

"To whom should propaganda be addressed? To the scientifically trained intelligentsia or to the less educated masses?

"It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses.

[Should we be proud to be such an important object, or scared? Ed.]

"... The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.

"The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function, like the poster, consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect.

"All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction. [Hitler was not concerned with the morality of propaganda, only its use as a means to his ends--master of the world and all its citizens. Ed.]

"... The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. [This is exactly why propaganda is so effective in the mosques, and in the houses of state. It is surely also a factor in the correlation observed between monotheism and violence. Ed.] The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.

"It is a mistake to make propaganda many-sided, like scientific instruction, for instance.

"The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. [This is an insult, or should be, in our day and age. Unfortunatley, it is also all too true. We accept promises, then forget they were not carried through. We accept outlandish claims without a thought. Are we fat, dumb, and happy? Or are we simply lazy? Or maybe we do not care? None of the above, yet all the above and more, authortarians for example, who are comfortable letting people we do not even know guide the ship that will take us to new heights or begin a slide similar to the one Rome went into. Ed.] In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan. As soon as you sacrifice this slogan and try to be many-sided, the effect will piddle away, for the crowd can neither digest nor retain the material offered. In this way the result is weakened and in the end entirely canceled out.

"...the war propaganda [WW I] of the English and Americans was psychologically sound. By representing the Germans to their own people as barbarians and Huns, they prepared the individual soldier for the terrors of war, and thus helped to preserve him from disappointments. After this, the most terrible weapon that was used against him seemed only to confirm what his propagandists had told him; it likewise reinforced his faith in the truth of his government's assertions, while on the other hand it increased his rage and hatred against the vile enemy.

"... The function of propaganda is, for example, not to weigh and ponder the rights of different people, but exclusively to emphasize the one right which it has set out to argue for. Its task is not to make an objective study of the truth, in so far as it favors the enemy, and then set it before the masses with academic fairness; its task is to serve our own right, always and unflinchingly.

"... The people in their overwhelming majority are so feminine by nature and attitude that sober reasoning determines their thoughts and actions far less than emotion and feeling. And this sentiment is not complicated, but very simple and all of a piece. It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing. [100% Authoritarian mode here. Ed.]

"... Particularly in the field of propaganda, we must never let ourselves be led by aesthetes or people who have grown blas: not by the former, because the form and expression of our propaganda would soon, instead of being suitable for the masses, have drawing power only for literary teas; and of the second we must beware, because, lacking in any fresh emotion of their own, they are always on the lookout for new stimulation. These people are quick to weary of everything; they want variety, and they are never able to feel or understand the needs of their fellow men who are not yet so callous.

"... The purpose of propaganda is not to provide interesting distraction for blas young gentlemen, but to convince, and what I mean is to convince the masses. But the masses are slow-moving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the masses finally remember them.

"...All advertising, whether in the field of business or politics, achieves success through the continuity and sustained uniformity of its application. [Remember Enron? Ed.]

"...this spiritual weapon can succeed only if it is applied on a tremendous scale, but that success amply covers all costs.

Viol 2 Ch 11

Propaganda and Organization

For to be a leader means to be able to move the masses.

"... It is the task of the propagandist to recruit the followers and it is the task of the organizer to select the members.

"...The propagandist aims at inducing the whole people to accept his teaching. The organizer includes in his body of membership only those who, on psychological grounds, will not be an impediment to the further diffusion of the doctrines of the movement.

"The propagandist inculcates his doctrine among the masses, with the idea of preparing them for the time when this doctrine will triumph, through the body of combatant members which he has formed from those followers who have given proof of the necessary ability and willpower to carry the struggle to victory.

"The final triumph of a doctrine will be made all the more easy if the propagandist has effectively converted large bodies of men to the belief in that doctrine and if the organization that actively conducts the fight be exclusive, vigorous and solid.

"When the propaganda work has converted a whole people to believe in a doctrine, the organization can turn the results of this into practical effect through the work of a mere handful of men. ...[Visit Bush Doctrine and Neocons for modern American examples.]

"... The first duty of the propagandist is to win over people who can subsequently be taken into the organization. And the first duty of the organization is to select and train men who will be capable of carrying on the propaganda. [This very technique is operating very efficiently in the Middle East today. Every humiliation the peoples of Islam suffer fans the coals of violence and terror. Ed.] The second duty of the organization is to disrupt the existing order of things and thus make room for the penetration of the new teaching which it represents, while the duty of the organizer must be to fight for the purpose of securing power, so that the doctrine may finally triumph. [And here we see a mirror in Washington. See: Neocons.]

"... Put in another way, this means that in every great revolutionary movement that is of world importance the idea of this movement must always be spread abroad through the operation of propaganda. The propagandist must never tire in his efforts to make the new ideas clearly understood, inculcating them among others, or at least he must place himself in the position of those others and endeavor to upset their confidence in the convictions they have hitherto held. [Spreading American Values is one goal of the Neocon. Like Hitler, they reserve the right to unleash war unilaterally to accomplish their self-serving aims. Ed.]

"... Hence the supreme task of the organizer is to see to it that any discord or differences which may arise among the members of the movement will not lead to a split and thereby cramp the work within the movement. Moreover, it is the duty of the organization to see that the fighting spirit of the movement does not flag or die out but that it is constantly reinvigorated and restrengthened. [And we hear the drums beat daily. Ed.]

"... All great movements, whether of a political or religious nature, owe their imposing success to the recognition and adoption of those principles. And no durable success is conceivable if these laws are not observed.

"As director of propaganda for the party, I took care not merely to prepare the ground for the greatness of the movement in its subsequent stages, but I also adopted the most radical measures against allowing into the organization any other than the best material.

"... The lively and combative form which I gave to all our propaganda fortified and guaranteed the radical tendency of our movement, and the result was that, with a few exceptions, only men of radical views were disposed to become members.

"It was due to the effect of our propaganda that within a short period of time hundreds of thousands of citizens became convinced in their hearts that we were right and wished us victory, although personally they were too timid to make sacrifices for our cause or even participate in it.

[This is how it worked in an Authoritarian society. It worked then and it works now. Ed.]

"... In the place of decisions by the majority vote of the committee, the principle of absolute responsibility was introduced.

"The chairman is responsible for the whole control of the movement. He apportions the work among the members of the committee subordinate to him and for special work he selects other individuals. Each of these gentlemen must bear sole responsibility for the task assigned to him. He is subordinate only to the chairman, whose duty is to supervise the general collaboration, selecting the personnel and giving general directions for the coordination of the common work. [An Authoritarian Organization will always be such a hierarchy.]

This principle of absolute responsibility is being adopted little by little throughout the movement. ["Little by little" is the key phrase. The Neocons proceed just this way! Ed.]

"... In the course of two years I brought my views more and more into practice; so that today, at least as far as the higher direction of the movement is concerned, they are accepted as a matter of course.

"The manifest success of this attitude was shown on November 9th, 1923. Four years previously, when I entered the movement, it did not have even a rubber stamp. On November 9th, 1923, the party was dissolved and its property confiscated. The total sum realized by all the objects of value and the paper amounted to more than 170,000 gold marks."

[Ed.: Hitler was not as original as he would have us believe. But the mere fact that he brought such a holocaust upon the world demands we understand his ideas and techniques when they occur. Unfortunately, some of them are afoot in our times.]

[Ed. America comprises a pluralist society, becoming more plural with each passing day. There is room for the complacent just as there is room for the activist. There is a page for the propagandists--and teachers of scientific and democratic principles, for example--all guaranteed by the First Amendment. We can teach honesty and fair play even as we promote friendly competition. We can teach history with insight; we can teach how to think independently and how to continue learning throughout life. We can teach the values of faith without confusing it with or involving it in governance. We can teach how to select the gems out of original thoughts, and we can teach the anthropology, psychology, economics, and perspectives of extremism to guard against extremism in our times. Recognizing extremism when we see it, understanding its origins, and dealing with its propaganda, is the single most critical issue of our era.]

Mein Kampf Catalog
Vol 1, Ch 1


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