Propaganda During World War Two

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Propaganda During World War Two Needless to say, every one of the wars just mentioned was advertised as a defensive, moralistic, and completely national expedition. Bismarck even went so far as to make an unworkable treaty with Austria so that he could claim, when Austria broke it, that he was waging war in defense of the sacredness of treaties. But no one should be deceived by such propaganda. All these wars were waged in order to maintain certain groups in control in the belligerent countries. The third class of wars are those waged to turn attention from unsatisfactory conditions at home. Bismarck made three wars primarily in order to break the bourgeois ranks and overcome particularism in Germany. Napoleon III's expedition to Mexico was merely an effort to please the discontented Catholics at home. Last Spring there were indications that the American government was considering seriously the idea of a war with Japan in order to bring us out of the Depression. If the Five-Year Plan fails in Russia, and disorders break out there similar to the disorders in France in the four months preceding the declaration of war in 1792, we may expect the Russian government to try its hand at a war in order to turn attention from its failure. For this is a natural means of strengthening the hands of a government, of uniting the nation and thus preserving power. It works if you win. But the three types of motive so far considered are not nearly so frequently encountered as the fourth type, the making of war to strengthen and enrich dominating group. Once such a group is firmly in the saddle it always uses the opportunity to further strengthen its own economic and political power. In this class of wars we include all the colonial war... ... middle of paper ... ...ness in cheating other diplomats. They do what they do with a sincere belief in their own propaganda, and without realizing who it is that is kicking them about. Finally, no one can object to the theory of dominant groups on account of the fact that such groups are often very shortsighted in the matter of their real interests. It is true that they are often shortsighted; but what they conceive to be their interest is what they force the government to do. That this interest is not often that of the whole country is another matter, --and something that the late Norman Angill, in "The Great Illusion", failed to understand. . If it be true, then, that dominating groups control foreign policy and make wars to maintain their dominance, what chance is there that these groups can be persuaded to avoid war by giving up their control? The answer is, practically none.
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