Andrew L. Urban
Boris Johnson at COP26 declared the climate change time to be ‘one minute to midnight’. I can’t wait to hear him at COP27; will it be 59 seconds to midnight? Or just one second…? It has been one minute to midnight as far as climate alarmism is concerned for decades. ‘Do something NOW!’ is the alarmist’s mantra, like a toddler screaming for ice cream.
The Boris, if I can call him that, is just one of the latest and most famous (previously thought to be) intelligent public figures to have shown us the astonishing decline in basic mental ability in people lobotomised by propaganda. His biography of Winston Churchill, for example, is a standout work of scholarship and writing. I fear he’d be hard pressed to write a biography of Thomas the Tank Engine these days … you know, Thomas … that symbol of thrusting male toxicity.
Boris was surrounded by them (not Tank engines) at COP26, although few of us would consider all of them as ‘previously thought to be intelligent’. Prince Charles didn’t have far to fall from public grace, but David Attenborough really saddened many of his fans who had mistaken his erudite narration on countless tv nature documentaries for a deeper wisdom. He is perhaps the saddest example of those lobotomised by propaganda, given his stature as a standard bearer for facts about nature on this planet.
According to Taoist philosophy, Those who are intelligent are not ideologues. Those who are ideologues are not intelligent.
But we could give them the benefit of the doubt: Sometimes…. Intelligent people do stupid things / Clever people make mistakes / Good people do bad things.
The propaganda lobotomy process can be and has been applied with rigour to many other aspects of our lives, from managing (or using) the pandemic to racial (and identity) politics.
To understand this phenomenon, I reached back in time to examine the methods of one of the recognised masters of propaganda, Dr Joseph Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister for Hitler’s Third Reich. Goebbles dictated an extensive diary, translated by Louis Lochner in 1948, which contain his principles of propaganda. Many of these resonate today, with relevant substitutions for wartime references. The reason I refer to this is to help identify propaganda (including fake news) amidst the storm of information vacuumed up through the internet, mass media, social media and the blather of activists. It is also worth noting that many of these ‘principles of propaganda’ are said to actually reflect Hitler’s own ideas. He may have lost the war, but he did successfully (and brutally) lobotomise his entire nation using his methods.
Hitler’s basic principles (from Jowett & O’Donnell):
- Avoid abstract ideas – appeal to the emotions.
- Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases.
- Give only one side of the argument.
- Continuously criticize your opponents.
- Pick out one special “enemy” for special vilification.
From Goebbles’s diary:
Propaganda must be planned and executed by only one authority. (eg the IPPC in climate, BLM in race)
Propaganda must affect the enemy’s policy and actions. (‘enemy’ replaced by governments)
To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting medium.
Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.
Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.
Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans;
They must evoke responses which the audience previously possesses.
They must be capable of being easily learned.
They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations.
They must be boomerang-proof.
One must ask whether such principles of propaganda are restricted to any one political group. I suggest Conservatives not so much, but Marxists abide by the same principles. The Left uses them on a daily basis as a lobotomy tool for political (and socio political) advancement. To be armed against propaganda, we must understand its weapons.