Connect with us

Business

Reading Hitler 80 years after he was published in the New York Times – San Francisco Chronicle

Published

on

A 1941 edition of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” (“My Struggle”) stands at the library of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum). Last month it was discovered that the New York Times once published a puff piece on Adolf Hitler summering in his mountain retreat “in the clouds.”
Last month, a small uproar erupted on Twitter over the discovery that the New York Times once published a puff piece on Adolf Hitler summering in his mountain retreat “in the clouds.” Written shortly before the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939, the piece features casual pop-ins from Hermann Göring, already at work on the Final Solution, in between snack breaks for “gooseberry pie” and “well-done pudding.”
The online debate over the piece focused on the enduring media blind spots to the dangers of fascism — and the lingering inability to let go of the “both sides” journalism practice of uncritically giving cynical propagandists a mouthpiece, in the supposed interest of fairness.
The discussion inspired me to take my own trip through various newspaper archives. And I found something seemingly far worse than a puff piece.
Eight decades ago, on the same day Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Times published an essay by Hitler himself. Titled “The art of propaganda,” the piece is excerpted from Hitler’s autobiography, “Mein Kampf.”
Of all the things I can recommend doing on a Sunday afternoon, reading the musings of a man who wiped out several branches of your family tree ranks toward the bottom. But I couldn’t help myself.
I was expecting subtle or not-so-subtle anti-Semitism — an amplification of genocidal deception — published by the Times under the banner of free speech idealism and the naive American assumption that truth and reason inevitably wins in the so-called “marketplace of ideas.”
What I found instead was the clearest distillation I have read of what American democracy is up against in the wake of the Capitol riots and GOP efforts to disenfranchise millions of voters.
Reading Hitler made it obvious how widely the techniques of fascism are currently being deployed. And not just over the Big Lie that Trump won the election.
Notably, rather than handing Hitler a megaphone to spread deception, the Times’ piece begins with a contextualizing note — something rare in the newspaper business these days, but a solution film companies are rediscovering as they find ways to preserve racially problematic films like “Gone With the Wind.”
It reads in part:
“Germany is now waging a psychological war against this country as well as a military war in other parts of the world. That psychological war is based in the principles of the propaganda laid down by Adolf Hitler in his autobiography.”
With that caution established (something the press should do more of when covering the utterances of certain well-documented liars) what follows isn’t propaganda itself, but an unvarnished strategy document for how to use lies to gain and maintain power.
“All effective propaganda should be limited to a very few points which, in turn, should be used as slogans until even the very last man is able to imagine what is meant by such words.”
“As soon as one sacrifices this basic principle and tries to become versatile, the effect will be frittered away.”
Hitler might as well be laying a road map for the recent Republican attacks on Critical Race Theory (CRT).
A number of conservative states have “banned” the teaching of the concept in public schools in recent weeks, backed by unrelenting rhetorical attacks on the theory from conservative media outlets.
Of course, actually banning the teaching of CRT would almost certainly be unconstitutional. Instead, Republicans have created a CRT strawman, and are using that strawman to discredit an important tool for historical understanding.
Texas, for instance, doesn’t actually ban CRT, but the teaching that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.”
CRT does nothing of the sort. It is an analytical tool for determining how the racialized policies and laws of the past continue to impact life in the present.
But by manipulating the actual meaning of CRT, these bans have falsely branded the theory as a tool of anti-white racism.
This is a lie. And an obvious one at that. But lies told forcefully and consistently enough often supplant the truth.
Hitler anticipates those who recoil at the use of techniques like these. And he relishes it.
“As soon as one’s own propaganda admits even a glimpse of right on the other side, the ground for doubting one’s own cause is laid. The masses are not in a position to distinguish where the wrong of the enemy ends and their own begins. In this case they become uncertain and mistrusting, especially if their opponents do not produce the same nonsense but, instead, burden their enemy with all and the whole guilt.”
Hitler’s understanding of human manipulation isn’t gospel, of course. But it’s very clear his techniques are being widely employed. And that they’re working.
Millions of people think COVID is a fraud and vaccines are the danger. That being asked to wear a mask is tyranny.
“By propaganda even heaven can be palmed off on a people as hell and the most wretched life as Paradise.”
And Hitler didn’t even have a Twitter account.
One of society’s great protections against propaganda is the news media. But trust in the news media has never been lower. And it’s hard not to think the earnest but flawed pursuit of “both sides” fairness has played some role in undermining its credibility in the face of a propaganda onslaught.
Companies like Fox News and OANN, meanwhile, are willingly spreading and profiting from disinformation, which then takes on a life of its own online.
So what to do about it?
Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema’s approach is an example of what not to do. Sentimental notions of bipartisanship are a propagandist’s dream.
There is no compromise with the Big Lie.
Hope exists, of course, in the 81 million-person wall who voted for Biden. The wall here held, unlike in Germany.
The efforts to chip that wall away are unrelenting. It has to hold. Learning the tactics of the forces marshaled against it may be best fortification each of us can offer right now.
Matthew Fleischer is The San Francisco Chronicle’s editorial page editor. Email: matt.fleischer@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @MatteFleischer
Correction: An earlier version of this piece misspelled the first name of Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz.
Matthew Fleischer is The Chronicle’s editorial page editor. He came to the paper from the L.A. Times, where he spent six years as senior digital editor of the Opinion team – writing, editing and collaboratively planning stories to resonate with an online audience. 
Prior to joining The Times, Matthew was a staff writer for LA Weekly and an investigative reporter for the watchdog site Witness L.A., where his work helped expose the abuse and corruption in the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department that led to the convictions of Sheriff Lee Baca and Undersheriff Paul Tanaka for obstruction of justice. 
His work has been honored by the Overseas Press Club Foundation and Investigative Reporters and Editors. When he’s not writing or editing, he’s wandering, usually by foot.

source

Hamza Chohan

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Business

Realm Scans: Navigating the Uncharted Territories of Digital Discovery

Published

on

In the expansive landscape of digital exploration, there exists a realm where information becomes an adventure—Realm Scans. Beyond a mere scanning service, this digital haven is where curiosity converges with innovation, and the uncharted territories of digital discovery come to life. Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the unique dynamics of Realm Scans, navigating through the realms where information is not just scanned but transformed into a digital odyssey.

“Digital Horizons: Exploring the Essence of Realm Scans” is not just a title; it’s an exploration into the multifaceted dimensions of a scanning service that transcends the mundane. This article is an invitation to delve into the layers of technological prowess, user-centric design, and the transformative impact that defines Realm Scans in the dynamic world of digital information.

At the core of Realm Scans lies a commitment to redefining how we interact with information. “Digital Horizons” delves into the innovative features and functionalities that make Realm Scans more than just a scanning service. It’s a digital gateway where documents become gateways to exploration, and information is a portal to new discoveries.

A standout feature is the user-centric approach that defines the Realm Scans experience. “Digital Horizons” explores how user interface design, accessibility, and intuitive navigation are seamlessly integrated to create an environment where users don’t just scan documents—they embark on a digital journey of discovery.

Realm Scans is not confined by the traditional boundaries of scanning; it is a catalyst for a digital revolution. “Digital Horizons” illustrates how Realm Scans empowers users to go beyond the expected, transforming the act of scanning into a dynamic and enriching experience that transcends conventional notions.

As we navigate through the digital horizons of Realm Scans, the article becomes a celebration of the fusion between technology and user experience. It is a recognition that in the world of digital services, there are realms where functionality meets innovation, and where information is a gateway to new digital frontiers.

“Digital Horizons: Exploring the Essence of Realm Scans” is not just an article; it’s an ode to the tech enthusiasts, the information seekers, and the digital explorers who recognize the profound impact of a scanning service that goes beyond the surface. It’s an acknowledgment that in the realms of digital discovery, Realm Scans stands as a beacon, inviting users to embrace the transformative power of information in the digital age.

As Realm Scans continues to redefine the digital scanning landscape, “Digital Horizons” invites us to appreciate the nuances of a service that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary—an exploration where every scan is not just a document but a digital adventure waiting to be unfolded.

Harry Clam

Continue Reading

Trending