This allowed the true downtrodden people an excuse to project the pain of low national self-esteem onto someone else. Without the ability to dissect and discern the truth, the emotional needs of the German people blinded them to this hidden agenda, a prelude to murder without conscience.
The Jewish minority group was positioned as second-rate people compared to the heroic German. The comparison evoked emotions necessary to carry out an agenda which removed guilt and gave permission to carry out horrible acts of violence in the name of national pride.
This is a double-edged sword enabling us to discern and dissect fact from fiction but it can also be used to distort truth through the extreme bias of those sending the seemingly innocent messages as propaganda. Editing images of innocent people being slaughtered, crying out for help is compelling giving rise to enhanced feelings of nationalism, the fuel modern day propagandists use to create radical thoughts which lead to the justification for inhumane actions no less barbaric then those of the Nazis. Being in touch with your emotions allows you an unique ability discern fact from fiction, insuring freedom of choice, morality and common sense to prevail with a media bombardment designed to solicit cooperation by exerting undo influence.
Today having the power of the Internet, social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram at our fingertips offers us the ability to assess information in real time. Being in touch with your emotions allows you an unique ability discern fact from fiction, insuring freedom of choice, morality and common sense to prevail with a media bombardment designed to solicit cooperation by exerting undo influence.
There are three kinds of propaganda: (1) White - information comes from an official source and is not disguised. (2) Grey – information is apparent but its source is hidden. (3) Black - information is not noticeably discerned and the source is completely concealed appealing to emotion not intellect.
""The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous."
- Adolf Hitler
(3) Dehumanizing or blaming - robs victims of their identity, denying their existence, making it easier to act. (4) Displacing or diffusing responsibility – people can blame a larger group saying they just “followed orders” to dismiss any responsibility for their actions. Germany losing WW I left its entire populace defeated and depressed, making the country ripe for a megalomaniac Hitler to take control.
The Psychology of Propaganda
Each generation has its political ideologies, conflicts and needs to convince its people to support the actions of their leaders to further the cause of nationalism.
Sadly history repeats itself: The Western World now faces a new radical nationalism fomented by terrorist groups of Middle East as evidenced by the 9/11 attacks, The Boston Marathon bombing and a rash of kidnappings and televised public beheadings in the name of God.
Most people believe that hatred and killing are generally wrong. But destroying something you have defined as evil necessitates a moral justification as a way to live with ourselves.
The concept of disengaging internal control
(1) Redefining the behavior – changing a perspective makes behaviors seem less reprehensible than heroic. (2) Disregarding or distorting the consequences of behavior - minimizing the pain of one’s actions creates a reduction in feelings of guilt.