On Propaganda

His quotations regarding propaganda show his understanding that lies are paramount, that truth must not stand in the way of getting the desired results and that the masses can be swayed by simplistic repetitions of even the biggest lies:

  • “All propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.”
  • “As soon as by one’s own propaganda even a glimpse of right on the other side is admitted, the cause for doubting one’s own right is laid.”
  • “By the skilful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
  • “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
  • “The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”

On Leadership and Politics

His quotations regarding leadership and politics show he considered truth an obstacle and compassion a great weakness. He believed that the strong had the right to govern the weak and that, to fight it, other nations would have to adopt the very methods they were fighting against:

  • “How fortunate for governments that the people they administer don’t think.”
  • “It is not truth that matters, but victory.”
  • “The great strength of the totalitarian state is that it forces those who fear it to imitate it.”
  • “The victor will never be asked if he told the truth. ”
  • “Universal education is the most corroding and disintegrating poison that liberalism has ever invented for its own destruction.”
  • “Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future.”
  • “Humanitarianism is the expression of stupidity and cowardice.”