The 11 principles of Nazi propaganda by Joseph Goebbels

Joseph Goebbels, the "lame and devilish dwarf" as Goering defined it, developed during his childhood a "huge inferiority complex" due to his short stature and a malformation of the foot that would condemn him to permanent lameness. This is the first great vector that forges its character. Already in his youth his sensitive nature directed him towards the letters. If we add to this the economic precariousness of his family that forced him to depend on the charity of teachers, Catholic associations, supporters, and even well-to-do girlfriends who partly paid for his studies and a love failure, we can come to understand that he defined himself as a “poor devil”, we find the second vector that continues to form his character. And the third great vector is in the religion that his fervent father breathes in him. As if all of the above were not enough, it should be added that like all his generation he grew up with the bitterness of German humiliation, reinforced by the feeling of always being a “second class” citizen in relation to his school and university colleagues, children of wealthy families.

Until now we have a mystical, resentful, lame dwarf, with a great inferiority complex, with studies in letters and who, on top of that, when he finishes his studies finds a miserable job at Dresdner Bank, which frustrates him even more, leading him to hate everyone who stands before him, including his own compatriots, women, communists, Jews and bourgeois. (What a picture).

This mystical, resentful, lame dwarf, with a great inferiority complex, only needed to become diabolical, to meet another who was worse than him, and he found him in the Nazi Party Congress of July 12, 1925. His fascination with the resentful other leads him to write: “Who is this man? Half commoner, half God. The true Christ or only Saint John? ”. This man has everything to be King. The tribune of the born commoners. The future Dictator ”. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Adolf Hitler was a messianic figure, a myth who ran the country shrouded in a halo of divinity. And if Hitler was the Messiah, Goebbels was his prophet.

Joseph Goebbels was the father of Nazi propaganda and head of the Ministry of Popular Education and Propaganda, created by Adolf Hitler on his arrival in power in 1933. Goebbels had been the director of the communicative task of the Nazi Party and the great architect of the rise to the power. Once in government and with his hands free to monopolize the state media apparatus, Goebbels banned all publications and media out of his control, and orchestrated a system of slogans to be transmitted through a centralized power of the, cinema, radio , the theater, literature and the press. He was also in charge of promoting or publicizing government announcements.

The 11 principles of Nazi propaganda created by Goebbels:

1.- Principle of simplification and the single enemy. Adopt a single idea, a single Symbol; Individualize the adversary into a single enemy.

2.- Principle of the contagion method. Gather diverse adversaries into a single category or individual; The adversaries must be made up of an individual sum.

3.- Principle of transposition. Load on the opponent his own errors or defects, responding the attack with the attack. "If you can't deny the bad news, invent others that distract them."

4.- Principle of exaggeration and disfigurement. Turn any anecdote, however small, into a serious threat.

5.- Principle of popularization. “All propaganda must be popular, adapting its level to the least intelligent of the individuals to whom it is directed. The larger the mass to convince, the smaller the mental effort must be made. The receptive capacity of the masses is limited and their understanding poor; in addition, they have great facility to forget ”.

6.- Orchestration principle. "Propaganda must be limited to a small number of ideas and repeated tirelessly, presented over and over from different perspectives but always converging on the same concept. Without fissures or doubts ”. This is also where the famous phrase comes from: "If a lie is repeated enough, it eventually becomes true."

7.- Principle of renewal. New information and arguments must be constantly broadcast at such a rate that when the opponent responds the public is already interested in something else. The adversary's responses must never be able to counter the increasing level of accusations.

8.- Principle of plausibility. Construct arguments from various sources, through so-called balloon probes or fragmentary information.

9.- Principle of silencing. Silencing on issues on which there are no arguments and disguising the news that favors the adversary, also counterprogramming with the help of related media.

10.- Principle of transfusion. As a general rule, propaganda always operates from a pre-existing substrate, be it a national mythology or a complex of traditional hatreds and prejudices; it is about spreading arguments that can take root in primitive attitudes.

11.- Principle of unanimity. To convince many people that they think "like everyone else", creating the impression of unanimity.

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