Updated: Aug 17
"The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success."
~ Adolf Hitler
Today is 30th April. Its the death anniversary of that infamous man, Adolf Hitler. It is a day to remind everyone about a lot of bad things that have happened.
Hitler who wreaked havoc and caused massive destruction and immense human suffering was a democratically elected head of the German State. Then he manipulated the system to gain absolute control of Germany and German people. in the name of 'German Workers Socialist party.' abbreviated to 'NAZI' in German. Starting with just only just 6% of the population being members of the Nazi party, Hitler was able to convert all people of Germany to his cause.
In Jan 1939 American publication, TIME magazine honoured Hitler by choosing him as 'Man of the year' for 1938.
Impact he did make for the next 5 years. He triggered World War II, which changed the world order. One of the side effects was, the mighty colonial empires were nearly finished and many countries became free. The birth of Israel which finally provided a homeland to the Jewish people became a reality but only after 6 million of them had been killed in the Jewish Holocaust by Nazis and their supporters.
Hitler demonstrated a fantastic ability to brainwash people and nations, but he is not unique. The greatest masters of this brainwashing was developed and perfected by the Soviets using their propaganda and misinformation machinery. It has become the standard approach used by Socialists and Communists everywhere. They infiltrate and take control of education bodies, historical records, media organisations and strategic government bodies, as they have done in India.
We foolishly believe that, if some information is provided in the papers or on television or uttered by a celebrity, government official or department it must be true. Much of the information provided is deliberately misleading and designed with ulterior motives in mind.
This only serves to increase the power, wealth and influence of a few elites, who pretend to be the well-wishers, protectors and benefactors of the masses. As a result the masses everywhere are always misinformed and manipulated.
Not to be left behind, ideologists, religious groups, social activists, non profits, corporations, and businesses, use advertisers and media houses also make a fortune by lying and misleading the public.
So much money, power and influence is at stake that ownership of print and media organisations are often held by parties which hide the real owners many with hidden and sinister agendas.
Luckily nowadays internet and social media increasing offer other communication channels which provide alternate narratives and mostly healthy discourse and dialogue. As a result the mass media and leaders who held sway over the masses are increasingly being discredited and even ignored.
Some of the important lessons, I submit are,
The lessons are that democracy has its flaws and can be misused.
That Communism and Fascism which gives absolute power to a small group of elites is always fatal.
That if you crush the people of a defeated nation so much as did the Allies after world war I, then the people can be easily motivated rise again with bitterness to seek vengeance.
To be careful in believing leaders and media persons too readily.