Sunday, July 31, 2005

So scary, so true...

If you haven't ever read the quote, Snopes offers a very good digest.

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that this thought comes from a man that at one time was arguably more popular than Hitler. I mean, he was one of the leaders that is referred to in the quote. Was he merely reflecting on better times or trying to shift blame? Whatever the reason, it is a powerful statement that still holds true today.

Tim U said...

Whoops! Hit the wrong key. Mr. Anonymous is me.

Gabe said...

When I first read the quote, and saw who was attributed to, I was quite surprised. But, according to the Wiki article, this guy wasn't quite the unabashed Machiavellian some of his peers were. I guess he's just explaining how things work.

I remember some psych experiment back in the day where people were told to apply increasingly painful electric shocks to another person that couldn't be seen...

The little I've read of Machiavelli does seem applicable in this context: if you want to observe the mountain you must stand on the ground, and vice versa. (pathetically paraphrased)