Quotes Organized by Propaganda Principle


“The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about, are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”  G.W. Bush 8/10/06

“The aim for which we were fighting the War was the loftiest, the most overpowering, that man can conceive: it was the freedom and independence of our nation, the security of our future food supply, and our national honor…”  Adolf Hitler – Mein Kampf – Chap. 6 – Par 9

“Patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels.”  Samuel Johnson 1775

“All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 25

“The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.Hitler, op. cit., Par 29

“At first the claims of the propaganda were so impudent that people thought it insane; later, it got on people’s nerves; and in the end, it was believed.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 56

Don’t miss our blog series’:
The Nine Principles of Propaganda – begins with The Big Lie
The Nine Principles of Counterpropaganda – begins with Truth
Trump – Our Psychopathic President – Introduction
And our extensive examination of 25 years of propaganda war against Hillary Clinton – Death by Propaganda

BIG LIE – – Always choose the big lie over the small; the masses will believe it more readily.

“…the rabid, impudent bias and persistence with which this lie was expressed took into account the emotional, always extreme, attitude of the great masses and for this reason was believed. Hitler, op. cit., Par 46

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and those are the ones you have to concentrate on.”  G.W. Bush 2001 Washington D.C. Gridiron Dinner 3/31/01

Because we all tell small lies, we easily recognize them. But most people are too afraid to tell big lies; this makes us less apt to doubt them when we hear them. We think, “He couldn’t possibly say that if it wasn’t true,” or “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It must be at least partially true.” This makes us psychologically unequipped to cope with our leaders’ enormous lies. We swallow lies that cause wars, destroy lives, ruin nations, alienate the world and run up trillions in debt, yet choke on minor peccadilloes.

“Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel.”  Matthew 23:24

Here are a few recent lies promulgated by the G.W. Bush team which people still believe: Iraq attacked us; our economy is healthy; we desperately need ANWAR oil; Venezuela is our enemy; Saddam had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and we found them; Saddam’s sons fed people into wood chippers; administration actions have made us safer; we desperately need tax relief; God loves us and hates them; John Kerry lied about his Vietnam service; liberals hate Jesus and are damned; “They” hate us for our freedoms; there is no civil war in Iraq.

FOCUS – Use only one or at most two selling points.
“When there is a change, it must not alter the content of what the propaganda is driving at, but in the end must always say the same thing.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 53

Always be “on message.”

Bush had the same 1 or 2 responses to all questions; often his responses were completely unrelated to the question; even when initially relevant, they immediately morphed back to that week’s official talking points. By prohibiting follow-up questions, they easily avoided having to concoct pertinent and truthful answers.

REPEAT – Use them over and over until even your enemies know them by heart.
“It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 50

George W. Bush was described as always “on message”, as was noted as early as the 2000 primary campaign.  Other voices, Administration, GOP and right-wing corporate media such as Fox News, echoed the points. Karl Rove well earned his pay with his thorough organization of this deluge of toxic propaganda..

BLAME– Never waver, acknowledge no doubt, always blame – never credit – the other side. Debase, defame, dehumanize.
“…unloads every bit of blame on his adversary.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 42

“…made no half statements that might have given rise to doubts.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 45

The war was right, still is, always will be. Everyone else is wrong; we’ll go it alone if need be because we’re right. We stick to our “core” values, never flip-flop (aka integrate new information into previous decisions). Bush is morality and “family values” personified. Bush still claims to believe invading Iraq was a good idea:  [paraphrase]“Would you rather have Saddam still there, threatening us with the WMD’s he had the potential to build?”

PROVOKE– First attract attention, then appeal to emotions.
“The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 27

“But the masses are slow moving, and they always require a certain time before they are ready even to notice a thing, and only after the simplest ideas are repeated thousands of times will the masses finally remember them.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 52

Loud, repetitive unrelenting emotional appeals; aborted fetuses; dead soldiers; insane enemies who hate our freedoms; nuclear clouds; liberals want to kill Christmas.

CRISIS – Shades of gray don’t work: issues must be life/death, good/evil, freedom/slavery, love/hate.

“It does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie never half this way and half that way, never partially, or that kind of thing.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 44

At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views on national security. Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview – and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview…. it does make them wrong – deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong. Karl Rove 1/20/06 Rep Nat Comm.

Conservative Godliness vs. sinful liberality; national survival vs. armies of insane suicidal bombers; us vs. “them”; life or death struggle; good vs. evil; God’s Saved vs. Satan’s hordes.

EMOTIONAL SYMBOLS – Good slogans have no literal meaning, only a strong emotional appeal.

“…a slogan must be presented from different angles, but the end of all remarks must always and immutably be the slogan itself.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 53

“Ignorance is strength.    Freedom is slavery.    War is peace.” George Orwell – 1984

The best slogans have no real meaning whatsoever, only a strong and immediate emotional impact. Phrases such as stay the course, cut and run, support the troops, family values, compassionate conservatism or pro-life have the desired emotional impact, yet no certain meaning. Bush’s most successful – therefore most meaningless -slogan was War on Terror. When 9/11 occurred, the initial phrases were “war on terrorists” and “war on terrorism”, but those were quickly replaced by the soon-omnipresent “war on terror.” Terrorists can be hunted down; terrorism can be combated; terror itself is an emotion, existing only within the human heart, and can never be extinguished. Terror begets terror. By declaring ‘war on terror”, we have created a self-sustaining and perpetual war on ourselves. This perpetual state of terror, the mind-set that creates a “fog of war” and short-circuits our ability to act rationally, is exactly what the Neo-Conservatives yearned for and exactly what they achieved. Everyone, of any political persuasion, who uses this phrase, knowingly or unknowingly, is an infected carrier spreading the disease of fascist propaganda.

PANDER – Ignore intellectuals and reasonable arguments; target the unthinking masses with powerful emotional pitches.

“It must be addressed always and exclusively to the masses.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 20

“the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign…” Hitler, op. cit., Par 26

“…limited to a few points, devised exclusively for the masses, carried on with indefatigable persistence.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 56

This was Hitler’s most persistent point. Karl Rove’s acolytes adhered to it admirably. Bush’s folksy, common, “guy you’d have a beer with” charm fits this principle hand-in-glove. Whether or not Bush actually is the blithering idiot he appears to be, his anti-intellectual, “gut-reaction” persona has vast appeal to many, no matter how disastrous his actions.

“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Mencken, 1920

And don’t forget about: Latte-drinking, sushi-eating, eggheads; God-hating intellectuals; God is in the White House; “They” are all evil-doers; “Moral Values” guide our every move.

NO LIMITS – Ignore all moral limits when you believe stakes are high. Your willingness to do anything proves to the masses that your cause is right.

“At first the claims of the propaganda were so impudent that people thought it insane; later, it got on people’s nerves; and in the end, it was believed.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 56

”…that this…weapon can succeed only if it is applied on a tremendous scale, but that success amply covers all costs.” Hitler, op. cit., Par 57

That you are perceived as willing to do anything to advance your cause is sufficient emotional proof to the masses of the righteousness of your cause. Some examples are: We kill them by the millions because they force us to, we rely on false information because we’re on the brink of annihilation; we lie to you because it’s in your best interest; we spy on you to protect you; we jail you indefinitely to keep you free; we kill you to save you.

If people become aware that these time-tested principles of propaganda – the same used so successfully by the Nazis – are being used on them, can they steel their minds and hearts against this insidious menace? I don’t know. But we’d better start finding out before we complete our slide into some new and unique form of American-brand fascism.

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