|Neither Ignorance Nor Brainwashing
||[Jan. 18th, 2017|12:24 am]
"No doubt, the fact that totalitarian government, its open criminality notwithstanding, rests on mass support is very disquieting. [...] A recent publication of secret reports on German public opinion during the war (from 1939 to 1944), issued by the Security Service of the SS [...] is very revealing in this respect. It shows, first, that the population was remarkably well informed about all so-called secrets--massacres of Jews in Poland, preparation of the attack on Russia, etc.--and, second, the 'extent to which the victims of propaganda had remained able to form independent opinions.' However, the point of the matter is that this did not in the least weaken the general support of the Hitler regime. It is quite obvious that mass support for totalitarianism comes from neither ignorance nor from brainwashing."|
~~ Hannah Arendt, "Preface to Part Three: Totalitarianism", Footnote 1, The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. xxiii.