I don’t want to do too much exposition here. Instead, I’d like you to read these two quotes, and then I’ll tell you where they come from [the highlights are mine]:
“Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (…) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (…) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (…) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood.”
“Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (…) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (…) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula.”
And now for the big reveal: both quotes come from Mein Kampf, by Adolf Hitler:
In her post today, Jill Dennison writes about the most recent White House press briefing in which certain media organizations were allowed in, and others were not. I strongly recommend reading her article for yourselves:
I know the resemblance to Hitler is a meme at the moment, but the reality underlying that meme is truly frightening. Everyone laughed at Trump prior to the election, and we’re still laughing at the little black moustache now, but it’s not really funny. Trump may be a buffoon and little better than a ‘child’ himself, but the men pulling his strings are not. Let’s hope they don’t have the last laugh.