Big Lies, Always

By far the greatest share in their political “education,” which in this case is most aptly designated by the word “propaganda,” falls to the account of the press. It is foremost in performing this “work of enlightenment” and thus represents a sort of school for grown-ups.

This instruction, however, is not in the hands of the state, but in the claws of forces which are in part very inferior.

In Vienna as a very young man I had the best opportunity to become acquainted with the owners and spiritual manufacturers of this machine for educating the masses.

At first I could not help but be amazed at how short a time it took this great evil power within the state to create a certain opinion even where it meant totally falsifying profound desires and views which surely existed among the public.

In a few days a ridiculous episode had become a significant state action, while, conversely, at the same time, vital problems fell a prey to public oblivion, or rather were simply filched from the memory and consciousness of the masses.

Thus, in the course of a few weeks it was possible to conjure up names out of the void, to associate them with incredible hopes on the part of the broad public, even to give them a popularity which the really great man often does not obtain his whole life long; names which a month before no one had even seen or heard of, while at the same time old and proved figures of political or other public life, though in the best of health, simply died as far as their fellow men were concerned or were heaped with such vile insults that their names soon threatened to become the symbol of some definite act of infamy or villainy.

We must study this vile Jewish technique of emptying garbage pails full of the vilest slanders and defamations from hundreds and hundreds of sources at once, suddenly and as if by magic, on the clean garments of honorable men, if we are fully to appreciate the entire menace represented by these scoundrels of the press.

There is absolutely nothing one of these spiritual robber-barons will not do to achieve his unsavory aims.

He will poke into the most secret family affairs and not rest until his truffle-searching instinct digs up some miserable incident which is calculated to finish off the unfortunate victim.

But if, after the most careful sniffing, absolutely nothing is found, either in the man’s public or private life, one of these scoundrels simply seizes on slander, in the firm conviction that despite a thousand refutations something always sticks and, moreover, through the immediate and hundredfold repetition of his defamations by all his accomplices, any resistance on the part of the victim is in most cases utterly impossible; and it must be borne in mind that this rabble never acts out of motives which might seem credible or even understandable to the rest of humanity. God forbid!

While one of these scum is attacking his beloved fellow men in the most contemptible fashion, the octopus covers himself with a veritable cloud of respectability and unctuous phrases, prates about “journalistic duty” and suchlike lies, and even goes so far as to shoot off his mouth at committee meetings and congresses — that is, occasions where these pests are present in large numbers — about a very special variety of “honor,” to wit, the journalistic variety, which the assembled rabble gravely and mutually confirm.

These scum manufacture more than three quarters of the so-called “public opinion,” from whose foam the parliamentarian Aphrodite arises.

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