Propoganda – then and now

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.”[5]

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.


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

19 responses to “Propoganda – then and now

  • DawnGillDesigns

    found it. not his granddaughter, his daughter. Personally, I think it is genius.
    There’s an article in the Independent (a UK trustworthy broadsheet!!) here:

    It refers to her Facebook page, pinned to which is this:

    Amended Post (especially related to #1 below):
    Some Wise Advice Circulating:
    1. Use his name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues. I believe that everyone, regardless of their beliefs, deserves the dignity of being called by their name. However, this is a strategic tactic. While we are so focused on him we are prone to neglect the questionable policies that threaten freedom, justice and fairness advanced by the administration.
    2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone;
    3. Do not argue with those who support him and his policies–it doesn’t work;
    4. Focus on his policies, not his appearance and mental state;
    5. Keep your message positive; those who oppose peace and justice want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;
    6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;
    7. Support artists and the arts;
    8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;
    9. Take care of yourselves; and
    10. Resist!
    Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”
    When you post or talk about him, don’t assign his actions to him, assign them to “The Republican Administration,” or “The Republicans.” This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don’t like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections


    • acflory

      Brilliant post, Dawn. Thank you for finding it. I’m definitely going to start calling him ‘The Republican President’ but I’m not sure I can manage the bit about not getting angry. I try and switch off but short of shutting myself off from the internet completely, I can’t help feeling angry. I don’t like it, but I guess it’s marginally better than apathy. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    I read a post, possibly on twitter a while ago from someone in the US that is really inspiring ( Martin Luther King’s granddaughter I think?) who proposed we all stop referring to him directly, but instead call him the Republican President, which would help to emphasise that he is not alone, and she thought might help force the Republican Party to get it’s arse in gear and start to step up.. Of course, the word arse is mine; she was far more erudite! I’ll try and find it and send it to you.


  • MELewis

    Excellent analysis, Meeks! POTUS (I also avoid blowing his horn by using the name any more than needed) has clearly done more reading than we credit him for.


  • Candy Korman

    I’m embarrassed, confused, angry, unhappy, and most of all—fearful! Every day something else happens, “45” (I don’t use his name, just 45 for the 45th president) says something else that makes me crazy. Right now he’s deemed the Press to be the “enemy of the American people”; all news outlets that don’t consist of happy talk about him to be “fake news” producers; and everyone protesting is a “paid agitator.” He lives in a universe of “alternative facts” I live in the real world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I share that anger, and I like that you don’t use his name. In future I’m going to try to do what Martin Luther Jnr’s daughter recommends – refer to him only as The Republican President so the chickens come home to roost where they belong. 😦


  • The Pink Agendist, née Mr. Merveilleux

    Did you know the modern term propaganda comes from Congregatio de Propaganda Fide. A commission appointed by Pope Gregory XV to spread propaganda 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  • Scottie

    Hello Meeka. I was telling Ron about the news outlets banned today at the WH briefing. He said basically it was shades of Hitler’s Germany. Then I read your post. I won’t read it to Ron yet as he has not had supper and I don’t want him to lose his appetite. Thanks for the post. This is getting more than frustrating, it is becoming scary, very scary. Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

  • davidprosser

    Herr Trump and his cadre are making very good use of the advice regarding propaganda and by whittling the press down his will soon be the only message out there. Be strong, join with Russia.
    Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  • cindy knoke

    Yep, and people do posts about how speaking up is wrong to do. Keep speaking up!

    Liked by 1 person

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