Friday, November 11, 2005

The Big Lie: In that PW post I linked yesterday, Jeff said, regarding anti-war propagandists:
For several years, these people have been testing the water, trying to gauge the size of the lies they can get away with. Unsurprisingly, they’ve come to realize that, if they all simply insist on the “truthfulness” of a given lie of their own creation and marketing, that little piece of the greater war narrative will, with the help of a compliant media, slowly ossify into “fact” . . . If the Wilson and Clarke scandals taught the left anything, it is that there are no real consequences—at least to their side—for making bad-faithed charge after bad-faithed charge.
He went on to cite disingenuous U.S.-used-chemical-weapons-in-Iraq stories to underline his point. Now Jeff has cited another example of even more blatant lies and manipulation, in which the video/audio of a U.S. helicopter attack in Fallujah was edited to make it appear to be a massacre of civilians (when in fact the whole thing shows that U.S. soldiers were painstaking in their application of rules of engagement). You have to read it to believe it.

I hate to do this, because everyone will pull Godwin's law on me, but I've got to quote Mein Kampf here, because it really does apply. (I'm talking strictly about propaganda, here, not Nazis.)

. . . in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.
Once you've looked for yourself, come back and tell me how it's not the Big Lie.


Flyer said...

I don't understand why otherwise smart people screw themselves up to believe some of the lies they do. I think it comes out of a desire to appear smarter or better informed than others around them. Idiots tend to associate with idiots and don't spend much time one-upping each other with conspiracy theories and the like. We just drink a lot.

But smart people are in social competition with each other to know more, be one step ahead of their peers. Therefore, I believe, they will believe anything they hear if it makes for a juicy bit of revelation in their social group. It works in politics as well as in high school.

Remember how some girl wouldn't be at school one day, and rumors would start to fly. She's sick. She's dead. She's pregnant and run away with the janitor. The more shocking the rumor, or lie, the more quickly it gets adopted and spread.

Hitler may have a point as well in Mein Kampf (the man certainly knew his propaganda) but I think there's a strong social aspect being overlooked.

Razor said...

Go throw another jew in the oven, Adolph!!