Is There a Point at Which Populations Recognise Propaganda for What It Is?

Just a bit of musing tonight.

Anyone who read the ‘principles’ of the use of propaganda as expressed by Goebbels might not have noticed a ‘fault-line’ which runs through the whole idea. The ‘fault-line’ is that the effect depends upon constant repetition and escalation. For example, had the Nazis merely accused Jews, Gypsies, Communists and Homosexuals of not being very nice people, ordinary German people would have been outraged by Kristallnacht, and would have called for the police to find out who the culprits were and to have them punished. Demands for public financial help for those people who had suffered would have been made.

The propaganda which preceded those events was unrelenting and became more and more hysterical. The really clever bit was to create an atmosphere where ‘everyone agreed’. Thus, no one had the nerve to speak out. Anyone who did speak out was vilified.

The second part of that paragraph is very important in the success of the propaganda, for the objective of the propaganda is to produce REAL, ACTUAL affects. I don’t know, precisely, but I would bet that the vilification of the Jews was mostly a way to confiscate their property, including physical property like buildings, but also their bank accounts, cash, valuables.

Gypsies? I don’t know, but it might make more sense to call them ‘nomads’. That is, they roamed around just surviving on whatever they could scrounge and produced nothing of value to the State. They were ‘outsiders’. If you need a slave labour-force, what better group to ‘denormalise’? What better group to raid for slaves?

Homosexuals? I really do not know. Perhaps they were included to give a spurious impression of morality to the propaganda objectives.

But we can easily see how the vilification of certain groups, like Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals, can get out of hand. The original objectives of merely dispossessing Jews of their wealth, making gypsies do some work and including homosexuals as a spurious moral ‘distaste’, which rubs off onto the other groups, become forgotten when REAL psychopaths take over the reins. You could imagine some older Nazis looking at the plans to exterminate Jews, Gypsies and Homosexuals and being appalled. You could imagine them saying, “Well… All we wanted was for the damned Jews, who have amassed vast riches, and who worked against the German nation in WW1 worldwide to cough up. All we wanted was for the gypsies to stop scrounging and do some work which benefited the nation. All we wanted from ‘deviants’ was that they stop sapping the morale of the People. It is not our fault that the whole thing has got out of hand and that these unfortunates are being exterminated. It has nothing to do with us”.

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Is that not essentially what has happened over the last 50 years with the eugenicist anti-tobacco movement? Did they not have to exaggerate and exaggerate, over and over again, in order to get attention? Did they not have to show to politicians that politicians could raise taxes on tobacco again and again and again without end because people who enjoy tobacco are hopeless addicts?

Only now is it becoming obvious that the ‘master plan’, to raise taxes with the objectives of cutting smoking and raising revenue, bashes poorer people unfairly. You do not have to be impecunious to suffer. You need only be on a rather tight budget.

There is also another consideration which is rarely mentioned. Smoking is one of the very few things which you can enjoy again and again all day long and not get, a) intoxicated, and/or, b) fat, and/or c) high. If you drive a car while intoxicated or high, you are dangerous, but you can drive while replete with nicotine and almost certainly be more aware and in control. For poorer people, (who cannot afford to go to the opera by taxi and then to a fine restaurant and indulge in haute cuisine, washed down with a fine wine), a take-away, a few beers and a few fags while watching the TV will have to suffice. Note well that there are as many rich fatties as there are poor ones. Extortionate tobacco taxes have made this simple, day-long pleasure into a pain.

And the persecution of the poorest people is absolutely deliberate. It is the only way that tobacco control can achieve its targets. Think about it. The wealthy will smoke the most expensive cigars. They are not deterred by price. Light smokers will think that paying, say, £2 for five cigs per day is not outside their budget. Only those who smoke a lot and resent paying these excessive taxes will do anything about it. But this situation is ripe for ‘unofficial entrepreneurs’ to make a few bob (or, perhaps, a lot of bob). What market do these ‘unofficial entrepreneurs’ supply? It can only be those ‘clients’ who smoke quite a lot. There, is the balance of supply and demand, or, perhaps, better, ‘there is the balance of demand and supply’.

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I think that the vast majority of UK citizens do not give a toss. If, tomorrow, pubs became open to smokers, most pub-goers would not care. They might wonder for a few days if they might be being poisoned, but they would very rapidly come to understand that smoking in pubs does not matter one jot. It is up to the publican to decide when to put the fans on and extract smoke. There was never a problem. No one ever complained. Pubs were fun and puritan-free. They are still puritan-free, but they are also customer-free.

The whole ‘smoke-free’ agenda is smoke. It has no real substance. Has the reduction in smoking over the past 40 years created people who have infinite life? Why not?

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3 Responses to “Is There a Point at Which Populations Recognise Propaganda for What It Is?”

  1. peter Says:

    I go to to Berlin pubs for a smoke ,long way to go for a fag !

    • junican Says:

      Well, yes…. But I assume that you go there for other things also. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to indoor smoking pleasures.

  2. Some French bloke Says:

    It should be noted that all the Goebbels-inspired propaganda did not collapse by itself, but through the failure of the nazi war effort. The extent and duration of a propaganda movement in times of peace is better exemplified with reference to the 60+ years of anti-tobacco hysteria we’ve been subjected to. Here’s a short, three-point “theory”:

    – The initiation stage, which is comparable to the launching of sounding balloons, is a test of public opinion at a given time. If it proves positive, the first claims and assumptions can be repeated, increasing momentum. (The titles of the first two chapters of Don Oakley’s Slow Burn can be used to illustrate this principle: (1) “In the Beginning Were the Numbers”, (2) “And the Numbers Were Fruitful and Multiplied”).
    – The second stage, escalation, occurs when the repetition of a lie proved so succesful that new lies have to be manufactured to keep the old ones going strong, but these new lies have to square with the older ones, i.e. be compatible with the inner logic of the emerging dogma.
    – The third stage is hubris (when success goes to one’s head, accompanied by a sense of invincibility), where zealots become careless, and their own worst enemies, by making ever wilder claims. At this stage the new lies even cease to be compatible, and it can be said that the zealots have “jumped the shark” (in more than one sense of the expression :)). One example would be the recourse to completely different supposed “lag times” to explain recent contradictory trends for men vs women in “tobacco-related” diseases.

    Outsiders to the TobCon citadel – whose numbers at this stage of the insanity can only be on the increase – are allowed to survey this grotesque, shaky scaffolding of fallacies, while the zealots inside the citadel fancy themselves living in some stately hall of alabaster, that all the riches they pilfered thanks to their political accomplices allowed them to erect.
    Just like the malignant growths they pretend being experts at preventing, their political, un-scientific lies are essentially opportunistic and have now reached the highly metastasized stage that is indicative of terminal cancer.

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