10/20/04

Arendt on Bush


If you wondered why Cheney persists in his
9-11/Saddam link, look at the last
sentence. These quotes were found in a Michelle Goldberg piece in
Salon.



"Before mass leaders seize the power to
fit reality to their lies, their
propaganda is marked by its extreme
contempt for facts as such, for in their
opinion fact depends entirely on the
power of man who can fabricate it."


"The chief qualification of a mass leader
has become unending infallibility; he can
never admit an error...The stubbornness
with which totalitarian dictators have
clung to their original lies in the fact
of absurdity is more than superstitious
gratitude to what turned the trick, and,
at least in the case of Stalin, cannot be
explained by the psychology of the liar
whose very success may make him his own
last victim. Once these propaganda
slogans are integrated into a 'living
organization,' they cannot be safely
eliminated without wrecking the whole
structure."


Hannah Arendt, 1951 The Origins of
Totalitarianism

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