Thursday, April 06, 2006

from Jon Carroll

Mass propaganda discerned that its audience...did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust that if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along that the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
- Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism
(quoted by j.c. here)

and on racism:
I am [a racist]; everyone is. We judge people by the color of their skins, as well as by their clothing, their speech patterns, their age, all sorts of stuff that has nothing to do with the content of their characters. Some of us send out little microphages to eat up the free-floating racism in our systems, but that's only partially successful. The test is not who we are but what we do. We cannot help the hard-wired fear of the Other, but we can damn well help the behavior generated by that fear.

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