|Editor’s note: Before jumping on my throat read what the Guardian reported in 2009.
Recruited by MI5: the name’s Mussolini. Benito Mussolini
Josef Goebbels: “Think of the press as a great keyboard on which the government can play.“
This is an interesting propaganda film by Walt Disney Studios from around 1941, detailing the education and indoctrination of children by the Third Reich. What is particularly interesting to note is how simplified everything is in this film. Propaganda (even when based on truth rather than an outright falsehood) is best served in small pieces, with plenty of repetition of key concepts – what would be called “talking points” these days, although the general concept has not changed much.
The Walt Disney Studios revealed a lot about the marriage laws in the Third Reich because they had a lot of inside knowledge, considering that Walt Disney himself was one of the American financial backers of the NSDAP – most of the profits from the Wizard of Oz went into the Nazi’s coffers.
From “Hitler was a British Secret Agent” by Greg Hallett & Spymaster, page 48:
“…In the mid-1930s, almost all of the political leaders of the world expressed their admiration for the astonishing achievements of Adolf Hitler. No one contemplated the human cost until 1945 when the Concentration Camps were revealed in their magnitude.
Walt Disney gave most of the proceeds of the Wizard of Oz to the Nazis; Henry Ford paid for Hitler’s staff vehicles, and President Bush’s grandfather sold munitions to Germany thus contravening the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler wanted Fords but Henry Ford considered the PR implications and paid for Hitler’s Mercedes.
Walt Disney and other investors financed Goering’s train. Goering named it ‘America’. When the British tried to strafe it, the American Air Force sent aircraft to shoot down the British Aircraft…”
It is somewhat disconcerting to note how this propaganda film got put down the Memory Hole shortly after the end of World War Two, and how it has only recently surfaced again…
Not all propaganda is used to evil means, although more often than not it is. What we need to be aware of as a society is that both governments and corporations think nothing of using propaganda against us. Modern methods are far more sophisticated than the old newsreels of the 1940s, especially with new tools like “behaviour placement” in prime time television series (they don’t call it television programming for nothing, you know), but the basic concepts are still the same – to impart ideas and concepts that would be beneficial to the government or corporations to the general public without them realising that they are being propagandised.
The one question we have to ask ourselves is “Que Bono?” – Who benefits? Once we have spotted the propaganda before us and worked out to whose benefit it is, then we can work out the motives – for good or ill – behind it.
By: Phil Brennan, Dec 29, 2010