Sunday, April 06, 2008

The lightning rods

Bryan Caplan of EconLog links to an interview (1922) in which Hitler explains in a sober and quite dispassionate manner, why he was singling out the Jews for extermination, though fully aware that they had contributed immensely to science, art, literature, economics, etc.

It is manifestly clear and has been proven in practice and by the facts of all revolutions that a struggle for ideals, for improvements of any kind whatsoever, absolutely must be supplemented with a struggle against some social class or caste.

My object is to create first-rate revolutionary upheavals, regardless of what methods and means I have to use in the process. Earlier revolutions were directed either against the peasants, or the nobility and the clergy, or against dynasties and their network of vassals, but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence of a lightning rod that could conduct and channel the odium of the general masses.

With this very thing in mind I scanned the revolutionary events of history and put the question to myself against which racial element in Germany can I unleash my propaganda of hate with the greatest prospects of success? I had to find the right kind of victim, and especially one against whom the struggle would make sense, materially speaking. I can assure you that I examined every possible and thinkable solution to this problem, and, weighing every imaginable factor, I came to the conclusion that a campaign against the Jews would be as popular as it would be successful.

There are countless instances in India when political parties have used caste, religion or language to whip up public sentiment and to appeal to the tribalism inherent in people. The propaganda of hatred offers the highest probability of success. The trick is to find the ‘right kind of victim’ to unleash and direct one’s venom on. Hitler knew this. And every politician worth his salt knows this and uses it to good effect.


Unknown said...

all we need is to genetically reengineer the "politician" and produce a cannibal.

a politician who will unleash hatred against politicians.. that would be the day!


Raj said...

sundar, don't insult cannibals.