September 28, 2018
Aggressive smear campaigns against political opponents, using a coalition of the media and the opposition to destroy the character of an individual, are nothing at all new.
Even back in the 4th century BC, the techniques used on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh were well known to politicians.
Also known was the ability to cover-up real scandals like the Clinton email hoax or the fake FISA warrant used to justify spying on Trump and then opening an investigation into him. Furthermore, it was understood that political figures could be pulled out of nowhere and made into superstars in a very short time, as was the case with Barack Obama.
In Plato’s book “The Republic,” he wrote the following on the topic, after having observed the behavior among the Athenian political class.
At first I could not help but be amazed at how short a time it took this great evil power within the state to create a certain opinion even where it meant totally falsifying profound desires and views which surely existed among the public. In a few days a ridiculous episode had become a significant state action, while, conversely, at the same time, vital problems fell a prey to public oblivion, or rather were simply filched from the memory and consciousness of the masses.
Thus, in the course of a few weeks it was possible to conjure up names out of the void, to associate them with incredible hopes on the part of the broad public, even to give them a popularity which the really great man often does not obtain his whole life long; names which a month before no one had even seen or heard of, while at the same time old and proved figures of political or other public life, though in the best of health, simply died as far as their fellow men were concerned, or were heaped with such vile insults that their names soon threatened to become the symbol of some definite act of infamy or villainy. We must study this vile Jewish technique of emptying garbage pails full of the vilest slanders and defamations from hundreds and hundreds of sources at once, suddenly and as if by magic, on the clean garments of honorable men, if we are fully to appreciate the entire menace represented by these scoundrels of the press.
There is absolutely nothing one of these spiritual robberbarons will not do to achieve his savory aims.
He will poke into the most secret family affairs and not rest until his searching instinct digs up some miserable incident which is calculated to finish off the unfortunate victim. But if, after the most careful sniffing, absolutely nothing is found, either in the man’s public or private life, one of these scoundrels simply seizes on slander, in the firm conviction that despite a thousand refutations something always sticks and, moreover, through the immediate and hundredfold repetition of his defamations by all his accomplices, any resistance on the part of the victim is in most cases utterly impossible; and it must be borne in mind that this rabble never acts out of motives which might seem credible or even understandable to the rest of humanity. God forbid! While one of these scum is attacking his beloved fellow men in the most contemptible fashion, the octopus covers himself with a veritable cloud of respectability and unctuous phrases, prates about ’ journalistic duty ’ and suchlike lies, and even goes so far as to shoot off his mouth at committee meetings and congresses – that is, occasions where these pests are present in large numbers – about a very special variety of ‘honor,’ to wit, the journalistic variety, which the assembled rabble gravely and mutually confirm.
None of that could be any more prescient, could it?
It is almost as if every single aspect of our exact situation is being described in explicit detail – in a text that is nearly 2,500 years old.
Sorry, I got the source confused, due to the stress from overwork and having to eat Nigerian mudcakes due to a lack of donations from readers, who appear to believe this site is run by magic.
That quote is actually from “Mein Kampf,” written by one Adolf Hitler. Which was written in 1925 AD, as opposed to 380 BC.
It’s a better book than the Republic in my opinion, and it is at the very least more relevant to current political developments. You read it and basically the whole thing is describing in detail the modern political situation we find ourselves in (sans the boring ass parts whining about the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which I would advise you to skip, just as I advise people to skip all that boring shit about boats in Moby Dick).