Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"Propaganda News" is Gullible

One would hope that a site named “Propaganda News” would be wary of uncritically accepting material — but that isn’t the case. In a post titled “Social Engineering Through the Propaganda of the Republican Presidential Race,” the full alleged Goebbels quotation is given to support this argument:
When it comes to politics, everything is propaganda. By now, most of us have come to realize that there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats; however, they are too quick to assume that an outsider like Donald Trump is truly an outsider, or Ted Cruz is the next Reagan.... In order to understand this fully you have to come to accept that our nation has been marked for conquest, and when Obama said fundamental transformation, he meant transformation to a socialist/communist state, period.
If “everything” in politics is propaganda, I suppose it applies to this site as well, which the author seems to confess at the end:
By accepting Ted Cruz or Donald Trump as our presidential candidates we are signaling to the left that we are willing to surrender certain values in order to solve problems they have forced upon us. It’s that simple, we are being socially engineered. Of course, this is just my opinion.
But he seems to think his opinion is a pretty good one....

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Goebbels and Merkel?

Our fabricated quotation shows up on a variety of German sites.  Today, it appears in a comment on the Deutsche Welle web site, accusing Chancellor Merkel of imitating Goebbels.  Since it’s buried deep in the comments section, I’ll reproduce it here:

DW article Merkel Unmoved by Criticism: " "Despite all the critical findings in surveys, more than 90 percent [of German voters] say as they did before, that whoever has to flee terror, war or persecution, should have the possibility to be admitted into Germany and to find shelter. I think that's wonderful," she said."
Interesting. I thought it was closer to 90% of Germans thought the refugee crisis was poorly handled by Merkel. I guess Mrs. Merkel is using Mr. Goebbels' strategy of the "Big Lie."
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Keep repeating it Mutti. Everyone doesn't believe it yet.
 “Everyone” does seem to believe what they see on the Internet, however.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Dubious Goebbels Quotation Shows up in Canada

We’re suspicious of any organization that uncritically accepts the dubious Goebbels quotation.  It indicates a lack of an ability to evaluate information.

The latest example is the Centre for Research on Globalization, a Canadian organization.  In a post on 7 January 2016 titled “France’s Police State: The Gravediggers of the French Republic,” it uses the quotation to support the argument that French security measures are about to turn France into a police state the equal of Nazi Germany.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Dubious Goebbels Quotation on Academic Sites

Although there are tens of thousands of citations of the dubious quotation on the web, there are far fewer on academic sites (.edu).  Still, there are some.

Professor Chris H. Lewis at the University of Colorado teaches a course titled “America, the Environment, & the Global Economy.”  Among other things it promotes critical thinking, for which he gives twelve characteristics, one of which is “use credible sources.”   He cites the fake Goebbels translation.  He provides a source for his previous quotation from Hitler. He doesn’t source the Goebbels quotation.  He likes Colbert’s concept of “truthiness.” In a way, his citation is an example of “truthiness.”  People’s “gut feeling” is that it is something that Goebbels would say, so obvious that examining its accuracy is unnecessary.

A second is in a 2004 article by Peter McLaren and Gregory Martin at UCLA titled “The Legend of the Bush Gang: Imperialism, War, and Propaganda.”  It has the Goebbels quotation at the beginning of the article, with no source provided.   The article begins by noting that “fascism and war” have become the United States’s preferred methods to starve off economic collapse and relieve “the agonizing tension of its underlying contradictions.” Since in their view the United States is following fascist policies, it only makes sense to cite a leading fascist to support their point.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

German Tracking Report #2

A Google search currently finds 259 hits for the German version of the dubious Goebbels quotation: “da die Wahrheit der tödliche Feind der Lüge ist, und somit wird die Wahrheit durch die Ausbreitung der größte Feind des Staates.”  This is down slightly from the last time we checked in 2012.  A search for new pages in the last month gets no results, a good sign.  

As noted in an earlier post, none of these pages cites a German source.  The quotation  has been translated from English into German.  As noted last time, there may be more pages with slightly different wording, not surprising since there are usually a variety of alternatives when translating.

Tracking Report #10

Well, Google is providing fewer hits for the phrase “truth is the greatest enemy of the State”˘  It’s down to 45,400 hits today.  I’m not sure if the absolute number of usages is declining or if Google is simply reporting fewer cases —probably the latter.

The #1 hit on a Google search is from a site that takes the quotation from one of those unreliable Internet quotation sites, but hits #2 and #3 are from our pages.  At least anyone who has doubts about the quotation will be able to easily find our discussion of it.