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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round Up: a historical edition (83 comments)

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  •  20th Century wars and regimes that brought them (4+ / 0-)

    demonstrate that even in the world of mass print and radio millions can be led into a "reality" created by unscrupulous manipulators. When a population is so unskilled in rational thought, ignorant, so steeped into "belief" over rational observation (all collectively covered in "gullible") and by force or habit reliant on a coherent, unified source of falsity with an agenda (the Fox habit as a modern example) we end up with people that cannot be shaken to reality short of a major shock.

    There were German and Japanese soldiers and civilians in 1945 who deeply believed, even with cities flattened and Allied troops on their doorstep they were still winning. There are descriptions of German soldiers, arrogant and convinced being marched as POWs still "believing" the Allies were tottering and starving—until they got far enough behind the lines to see innumerable motorized vehicles (even then much of the German army was horse drawn) and vast supply dumps and luxuries they could not imagine in their army. There are reports of some going from arrogance, we will be freed soon as you surrender, to utter demoralization as their propaganda dreamworld shattered on the sight of reality. The old popular movie Battle of the Bulge is so-so but with one incisive moment when a captured chocolate cake is unwrapped in a command vehicle. They, despite the U-boat (on the hunted and dying by then), got a cake from the U.S. to the Ardennes for a common soldier while such luxuries were nearly unknown by then in the Fatherland itself.

    A lesson from the last century or so is that such propaganda induced unreality cannot be broken except with strong, intelligent counter messages and even then may require pure force to smash. Japan can hold out, even negotiate after the Americans die in masses on our shores! That was a belief even among top levels and it took two mushroom clouds over previously barely damaged cities to shake that among enough to count (some still believed and even tried a palace coup).

    I often think of the Bush II official that commented "we make our own reality" in connection with the bubble in which the TP/GOP now lives. In November we'd better all be dedicated to delivering a vote that will resonate like a figurative Hiroshima and Nagasaki on that bubble. Anybody on "our side" sitting out November and not trying to GOTV and voting to deliver that message is a phony and a deserter.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 07:40:06 AM PST

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