Goebbels at the Puerta del Sol

Marco Tulio Cicero wrote in his “De Oratote”: “Historia magistra vitae est. Historia vero testis temporum, lux veritatis, vita memoriae, vital magistra, nuntia vetustatis”. History is the teacher of life. History is a genuine witness of time, light of truth, memory of life, teacher of life and messenger of antiquity. For his part, Miguel de Cervantes, defined History, in chapter IX of his Don Quixote, as “the path of truth, emulator of time, repository of actions, witness of the past, example and warning of the present, warning of things to come.”

I never imagined that in the days of spin doctors, social networks and communication consultants 6.0, the most constitutional of all constitutional parties, would resort to the “bible” of the first great “advisor” in contemporary history, the Nazi psychopath Joseph Goebbels, to intoxicate the population and contaminate public life to nausea.

No, don’t rub your eyes. He is happening again in front of our noses and we are consenting, because we have forgotten the most recent history and it is terrifying to observe how valid the theories of that monstrosity of evil continue today.

Joseph Goebbels was the father of Nazi propaganda and head of the Ministry of Popular Education and Propaganda, created by Adolf Hitler when he came to power in 1933. He had been the Nazi Party’s director of communication and the great architect of its rise to power. .

It is chilling to read his principles in the current polarized socio-political context, especially after suffering the traumatic experience of Trumpism and the resonances that this way of usurping politics has had in many other places. Let us not forget that Trump came to inspire the assault on Capitol Hill, after “convincing” tens of millions of Americans that they had “stolen” the elections from him.

As a good Falangist, which she herself has confessed to being, the speeches of Isabel Díaz Ayuso, remind me extraordinarily of those of Trump, but above all of the eleven principles of Nazi propaganda by Joseph Goebbels… Judge for yourself:

1.- Principle of simplification and the single enemy. Adopt a single idea, a single Symbol; Individualize the adversary into a single enemy.

2.- Principle of the contagion method. Gather diverse adversaries in a single category or individual; The adversaries must constitute themselves as an individualized sum.

3.- Principle of transposition. Charge your own mistakes or defects on your opponent, responding to the attack with the attack. “If you can’t deny the bad news, make up other news to distract them.”

4.- Principle of exaggeration and disfigurement. Turn any anecdote, no matter how small, into a serious threat.

5.- Principle of popularization. “All propaganda must be popular, adapting its level to the least intelligent of the individuals to whom it is directed. The larger the mass to be convinced, the smaller the mental effort to be made. The receptive capacity of the masses is limited and their understanding scarce; In addition, they are very easy to forget.”

6.- Principle of orchestration. “The propaganda must be limited to a small number of ideas and repeat them tirelessly, presented again and again from different perspectives but always converging on the same concept. Without fissures or doubts”. This is also where the famous phrase comes from: “If a lie is repeated enough, it ends up becoming the truth”.

7.- Principle of renewal. New information and arguments must be broadcast constantly at such a pace that when the adversary responds, the public is already interested in something else. The adversary’s responses must never be able to counteract the increasing level of accusations.

8.- Principle of likelihood. Build arguments from various sources, through so-called trial balloons or fragmentary information.

9.- Principle of silencing. Silence on the issues on which there are no arguments and hide the news that favors the adversary, also counterprogramming with the help of related media.

10.- Principle of transfusion. As a general rule, propaganda always operates from a pre-existing substratum, be it a national mythology or a complex of traditional hatreds and prejudices; it is about disseminating arguments that can take root in primitive attitudes.

11.- Principle of unanimity. Getting to convince many people that they think “like everyone else”, creating an impression of unanimity.

Surely dozens of interventions by Isabel Ayuso in particular and by the right and extreme right of the country in general come to mind, which fit perfectly into one of these eleven “principles”.

The fact is that in these times of hyperinformation we are more vulnerable and more manipulable than ever and some shamelessly take advantage of it. The thousands of false and/or biased information that arrive every day on our mobile phones, or on our computers, force us to contrast each of this information, with the effort that this entails, if we do not want to be authentic cannon fodder for the Ayuso on duty.

Don Miguel de Unamuno said, a few months after the coup d’état of 1936, that “What is happening in Spain is not a political problem, it is an ethical and dignity problem”, to conclude that “Spain is on the way to becoming a country of idiots. A little later, the main reference of the generation of ’98, was even more devastating, when he assured that “I do not recognize the authenticity of anyone, individual or party, group or school, and even less the exclusivity of patriotism”… Diagnoses of which was Rector of the University of Salamanca, which would be perfectly worth what we are experiencing almost ninety years later.

So, read, compare and don’t believe half of what they tell us.

Goebbels at the Puerta del Sol – The Voice of Granada