Propaganda Technique: Big Lie

Keith Reilly By Keith Reilly, 10th Jul 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Activism

A description of the Big Lie as a technique of propaganda.

Propaganda Technique: Big Lie

The Big Lie technique is one of the most infamous propaganda techniques due to it’s association with Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

The theory behind the Big Lie is that people are more likely to believe a big lie than a small lie as people themselves tell small lies in small everyday matters, but would be embarrassed to tell people something that was outrageously untrue. As a result, they will not credit other people with having the chutzpah to tell a bold lie either. Even after the facts have exposed the lie, people will still doubt the truth of the matter and give credence to at least some parts of the lie, thinking that there has to be something to it.

Adolf Hitler outlined the theory of the Big Lie in Mein Kampf whilst accusing the Jews of using it in the aftermath of the First World War by making General Ludendorff the scapegoat of Germany’s defeat. The fact is, though, that Ludendorff was responsible for ending the war, though he concealed this from the German public and scapegoated the powerless civilian government for the loss of the war. Many German nationalists repeated this as the Social Democrats led the wartime government and they could thus accuse the Social Democrats of stabbing Germany in the back. The fact that so many prominent Social Democrats were Jews (including Walter Rathenau, who was assassinated by the right-wing FreiKorps in 1922) gave anti-Semites such as Hitler a basis for accusing Jews of having conspired to lose Germany the war.

From the above, we can see that Hitler was thereby engaging in use of the Big Lie while accusing his political enemies of doing so, and while describing the technique of the Big Lie. It is as clear an example of the technique as one could well desire.

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Adolf Hitler, Big Lie, Germany, Hitler, Lie, Ludendorff, Mein Kampf, Nazis, Propaganda, Scapegoating, Technique, Walter Rathenau

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