(PAUL) JOSEPH GOEBBELS (German) (1897 – 1945)
The chief propagandist of the Nazi Party – was the greatest master of propaganda in the 20th century – Goebbels was the one man of genuine intellect in the Nazi leadership and the only one from an industrial background (a Rhenish Catholic artisan family). Initially Goebbels belonged to the left wing of the Nazi Party, which predominated in North and West Germany, and he retained his anti-bourgeois resentments even after going over to Hitler’s most conservative line. Hitler acklowledged his populist verve in 1927 by making him the regional party leader (gauleiter) of Berlin with its left dominated mass politics. He battled it out with the communists ‘for the conquest of the streets’ which the Traditional Right had never attended and edited ‘Der Angriff’ (The Attack) ‘for the oppressed, against the exploiters.’
He managed Hitler’s election campaigns and in 1933 becoming Minister for Propaganda and Public Enlightenment, gained centralised control over radio, press, cinema and foreign publicity. But he became a censor repressing creative artists as far as he could go. Very few (i.e. Leni Riesenstahl) escaped his net. The first mass communicator Goebbels specialised in oratory, mass rallies, posters and films. Along with Bormann he stayed with Hitler to the end.
In Retro: Much of Goebbelsian technique is a standard practice in the modern world. We make war on terror in order to achieve peace. When a President speaks in this vein one may be sure he is taking a page out of Goebbels. Goebbels was never a democrat; nor was he for pushing democratic values on other nations. He was for repression since he wanted Hitler’s authority unchallenged. Propaganda then was merely to make a lie sound as convincing as Truth. The question is: if politicians use propaganda in order to make democracy acceptable isn’t there something that they want to cover up?
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Hitler’s Third Reich was built up on the foundation of hatred. It was meant to endure for 1000 years. But it could only manage 13 years. Why? Hatred consumes much more vital resources in human and material terms so much so it cannot be cost effective. Jihadist elements who employ female suicide bombers or African militia using child soldiers are spendthrifts sacrificing their future for the present gains.
It takes money to make money. Right? How is it that those who have made money want more? Greed seems to keep man as though he has got ants in his pants. He may wheel and deal as though ants are out to get at him but do you think he would be able to amount to much? Greed consumes as hate. We see both working overtime these days.
While on the subject of greed I might speak here of two great philanthropists who lived to give away their wealth wisely and for making at least some difference to people who needed a push at a time they needed most. Carnegie and Rockefeller had greed in their blood. But life experience gave them a certain kind of infusion to make their vitality achieve something else. It was not wealth per se but by it they could put various aspects that made their lives an uneven weight of struggles, achievements, tears and happiness on a single standard. Wealth for them was the means. Consider now a man far less endowed say for example Johnny Appleseed, was not his contribution to the world as vital as anything that Carnegie could achieve with money? Johny Appleseed made the difference because of something that is rooted in life: he cared.
Life thrives on soils where wealth, science, technology, arts literature and people are all means to make the world richer. Richness comes from love that can be used in right proportions so each aspect is helped by other parts . For example, wealth funds science and research in turn leads to technological innovations. It can either lead to terrible weapons to wage war or serve as the means to wean the childish notions of man for self- aggrandizement. For the latter, arts and literature act as an ennobling incentive. In this what is the place for religion, one might ask. I shall discuss this in another post.
In this post we are considering only the aspect of life on a finite mode, where wealth is not cost effective if it is not allied with love.
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