The murderous Goebbels had it right!


As quoted by The Beast: We should have posted the quotation yesterday—yesterday, when we saw it.

That said, we took a little time off. We watched Tiger Woods in the Masters. We watched the Senate vote which confirmed the soon-to-be Justice Jackson.

We thought we'd watch a bit of Opening Day, but Opening Day became Opening Night. We also caught up on some sleep. 

Along the way, we read an essay in The Daily Beast about Marine Le Pen. Along the way, Craig Copetas hauled off and quoted Goebbels:

COPETAS (4/7/22): In the bloody riptide of Ukraine, Ernest Hemingway’s description of the genesis of a fascist is no longer shrouded in literary ambiguity. “There are many who do not know they are fascists but will find out when the time comes,” the Nobel laureate wrote in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

That time has come. Yet democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers continue to use cautious language to describe Le Pen’s candidacy—and Putin’s Ukrainian genocide. How can anyone other than a propagandist Russian troll look at wheelbarrows of bodies shot in the head and modify such shameful, palpable evidence with “alleged?” There comes a time when phrases like “reasonable to believe” and “yet-to-be-proven” are the greater obscenities.

“The rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine,” fascist marketing specialist Joseph Goebbels told his Führer. “Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.”

In all honesty, we don't know where "democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers" have been "using cautious language to describe Putin’s Ukrainian genocide." 

Still, that quotation from Goebbels did grab our attention. It seems to us that, in both its parts, it captures the headlong decline of our Potemkin-reminiscent national discourse.

The American discourse is breaking down into a set of identity wars. The American nation, such as it was, is splitting into two or three, or four or five, or maybe six different worlds. 

At times of undisguised dislocation, we'd have to agree that "the rank and file" may be eager for new Storyline—and the simpler the better. We may be eager to swallow new markers of our emerging new group identities.

That's especially true if we're handed frameworks which are "simple and repetitious." On cable news (but also elsewhere), the children are more than happy, at this time, to make it as simple as humanly possible. And last night, on our own tribe's channels, the repetition was general.

CNN was in rare form yesterday afternoon. Last evening, so was Lawrence.

We turned Tucker Carlson off after maybe two (completely ridiculous) minutes. It seems to be getting dumber and dumber, and The Onrushing Simplification isn't restricted to the tribunes who are cranking it out Over There.

At any rate, this was Opening Day, 1956. On a spur-of-the-moment whim, our sainted mother took us and our sister out to the Fens. It was a windy, cold day at the yard. At the age of 8, it was our first MLB game, though nobody called it that then.

In retrospect, we probably should have stayed home and spent some time hitting the books. But the murderous Goebbels pretty much had it right. As our nation continues to slide toward disaster, the dumbnified messaging he described really is how our discourse works!


  1. "In all honesty, we don't know where "democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers" have been "using cautious language to describe Putin’s Ukrainian genocide." "

    Yeah, dear Bob, we don't know either. Depending, of course, on who those mythical "democracy’s conventional-wisdom makers" might be.

    Tsk. Oh well, just another tale told by a [liberal] idiot full of sound and fury. What else is new.

  2. "The American discourse is breaking down into a set of identity wars. The American nation, such as it was, is splitting into two or three, or four or five, or maybe six different worlds. "

    To say that we are splitting into different worlds implies that we were once unified. But where and when has the unity between the black and white worlds ever existed in America? Where was the unity between males and female worlds? Where in America was the unity between indigenous people and the colonists? Where was the unity between LGBTQ/T people and heterosexuals? A majority who ignores coexisting minorities is not unified, it is oblivious.

    There has not been unity in America since its inception between the slave and non-slave states, now the states still objecting to inclusion of previous slaves into full citizenship in our country. The people clinging to white superiority are the ones Somerby calls "The Other" and why would he need such a designation if they were already us?

    This business of splitting into identity groups is simply a matter of putting names to divisions that not only already exist but were never absent.

  3. “Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and repetitious.”

    Somerby has mastered the repetition.

    For simplicity, he offers us: liberals=bad, The Others=good, black kids can't learn no matter what schools do, and Trump is crazy.

    Major League Baseball existed in the 1950's contrary to Somerby's claim:

    "Major League Baseball (MLB), North American professional baseball organization that was formed in 1903 with the merger of the two U.S. professional baseball leagues—the National League (NL) and the American League (AL)."

    I wonder how many black kids were there with a parent at Fenway Park in 1956? An interest in sports leads many boys into the math of scorekeeping and statistics. Somerby's mother couldn't have been all bad, if she took him to a game.

    "But baseball, and the world, heard from Robinson. Robinson's success opened the doors. Major League Baseball began hiring black players — every team except Boston. Tom Yawkey, the South Carolina businessman who owned the Sox, kept his team segregated. Finally, on July 21, 1959, the Sox called up minor leaguer Pumpsie Green."

    Just as the field was segregated until 1959, so were the stands.

    Will it ruin baseball for white people if black people want to participate too? It doesn't occur to Somerby to wonder where the black kids were on the eventful day in 1956.

  4. "But the murderous Goebbels pretty much had it right."

    Who goes around praising Goebbels these days? Who praises him for being a good propagandist?

    What is Somerby thinking these days? Is this a shoutout to his white supremacist fanboys? No liberal goes around writing paens to dead Nazis.

    This is a day when Eric Boehlert, a well known and well liked liberal blogger, author and media critic, died in a bike accident. Had Somerby been any kind of actual liberal, he might be sad about his passing. He might even have written praise for his contribution to liberal politics, as people are doing today all over the internet. Boehlert and Somerby both criticized the mainstream media's treatment of Al Gore.

    Instead, Somerby is praising Hitler's accomplice in unspeakable crimes. Who does that?

    I am beginning to think that Somerby is the Marjorie Taylor Green of blogging. He doesn't care what kind of attention he gets, as long as he gets noticed, and he will say anything tasteless and outrageous to get that attention. Because Somerby has been saying increasingly awful things and it makes no sense that he would do this, unless he has truly gone around the bend (and not in a good way).

    There is no excuse for anything he has written today.

  5. "On a visit to Europe to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the first world war, Donald Trump insisted to his then chief of staff, John Kelly: “Well, Hitler did a lot of good things.”

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    The remark from the former US president on the 2018 trip, which reportedly “stunned” Kelly, a retired US Marine Corps general, is reported in a new book by Michael Bender of the Wall Street Journal."

    This was one of the early indicators that Trump is a moron. Why does Somerby think it is any different when he praises Goebbels? Is Somerby trying to convince us that he has dementia?

  6. O"Donnell was gloating over Jackson getting on the Court, I assume there was something like it at CNN. Or you could say, the leftish were celebrating a deserved victory in some very dark times. These victories may continue to be be few. Why are these times so dark? A lot of answers would probably be provided in the other 90 percent of Carlson's show which Bob could not bring himself to endure. Just as he's been looking away from what has occurred in the Country and in the Press for at least 15 years.
    It's time for Bob to hang it up.

  7. The Murderous Goebbels is just like the Right.
    TDH headline corrected.

  8. This describes Somerby, although aimed at Joe Walsh by Driftglass:

    "And if you're the kind of spineless Both Siderist hack who reacts to every Republican atrocity with "...yeah, but the Democrats", then you obviously do not believe the GOP is a unique, existential threat to democracy."

    And beyond that, Somerby keeps quoting other bothsiderist hacks here.