09 August 2007

Propaganda In Action 7

This final film clip from Nazi Germany is a live-action one, and is the most disturbing of all, as it comes from Fritz Hippler's 1940 "documentary", "Der Ewige Jude"(The Eternal Jew), a thoroughly nasty piece of anti-Semitic propaganda as one is likely to find.

In this clip, a brief history of Jewish settlement and immigration patterns is given, and is compared to that of rats, with, so the documentary states, much the same destructive effects on human society.

Also found here is an assertion that Jews infiltrate their way into their various host societies, and copy the ways and mores of their hosts, all in the interest of eventually taking over those societies(that last part isn't directly stated in this clip, but it's certainly implied).

The "documentary" builds its case for anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic measures both through the distorted use of history and statistics, and through footage of Jews, especially Polish Jews, on the streets of their ghettoes, and dressed up in Western European, middle-class, clothing in a film studio, or wherever that footage was shot.

"Der Ewige Jude" exemplifies the kind of eugenicist-racist form of anti-Semitism, as opposed to the traditional European religious form,that had taken hold in much of Europe and the Americas, beginning in the mid-19th Century, but reaching its zenith in the early and mid-20th Centuries, when this was made.

It also, like its kin below, helped lay the ideological ground-work for the German public's acceptance of anti-Semitism as state policy, and, eventually for the deportations and destruction of much of European Jewry in the death camps of Poland.

What this clip has in common with all of the clips displayed here, besides being made in the same time period, is the use of visual, aural and spoken rhetoric, combined with exaggerated and deliberately distorted interpretations of history, to make its case for a set of policies and actions that, if plainly stated, would be indefensible in the extreme.

Propaganda, no matter who makes and issues it, is dangerous to any even relatively free society, because of its use of deliberate distortions,half-truths, partial truths, and outright lies, to sell a particular product, service, ideology, or course of policy and action.

Whether overt, as the examples shown here thus far are, or insidious, propaganda seeks to influence public debate and courses of action based on that debate by steering the former into a direction that will benefit one person or group at the expense of others, and get the latter to cheerfully support whatever actions that person or group takes, no matter what the consequences.

Propaganda is a form of elaborate con-job, in which not just one person, or a small group of people, but a society, or set of societies as a whole, are the marks, just ripe for being taken to the cleaners.

In the case of Nazi Germany, its people weren't only taken to the cleaners, they were driven to the poor-house and then some.

That's why, especially in a country at war, as we are now, it's important to get one's information from a variety of sources, so as to at least have some basis of comparing the information that one gets from one or another source.

Otherwise, it's just too easy to be conned.

Be seeing you.

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