The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Democrats Aren’t Hitler, But . . .

Posted on | December 20, 2019 | Comments Off on Democrats Aren’t Hitler, But . . .

Trying to avoid Godwin’s Law here:

One of the basic methods of propaganda is reversal — make an accusation against your enemies that is so blatantly false as to be the exact opposite of truth. This technique has become known as “the Big Lie” because of a passage in Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf: “In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses … 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.”
Hitler claimed that “the Big Lie” was a trick of the Jews, who had used it to falsely blame the German high command for defeat in World War I; Hitler, by contrast, blamed the Jews “and their fighting comrades, the Marxists” for Germany’s defeat. Of course, Hitler’s so-called “stab-in-the-back” myth of why Germany lost in 1918 was false; the German army was simply incapable of winning once the United States entered the war on the side of the Allies, and it was the German high command’s authorization of unlimited submarine warfare that had brought America into the war. Thus even in his now widely cited description of “the Big Lie,” Hitler was engaged in the propaganda technique that he pretended to deplore — reversal, or what is known in psychology as projection.
Americans so far have been fortunately protected by our Constitution from outright totalitarianism, but this protection does not make us safe from propaganda. When I was a schoolboy in the 1970s, my teachers as early as eighth grade taught us to recognize the techniques of propaganda, including the “false dilemma” fallacy and “glittering generalities.” Evidently, not every student gets such lessons, an educational deficiency that probably explains why some people believe what is broadcast as “news” on CNN and MSNBC nowadays. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.



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