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INTERVIEWER: We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

"Why, of course, the people don't want war," Goering shrugged. "Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war, neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship."

"There is one difference," I pointed out. "In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars."

"Oh, that is all well and good, (Goering replies) but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country." (Italics mine)

Nothing new under the sun, indeed !
Jason N-G

Jason Neumann-Grable
Jan. 2, 2011 8:57 pm


Great, great quote! One of my very favorites (although I never read the beginning of the first paragraph of what you have included).

I sure would make this required reading of every student in a history or civics class.

Thanks for posting it!



Caleb's picture
Apr. 4, 2010 7:49 am

Welcome to Afghanistan boys! 9 years and counting. I think that after the tragedy of September 11th I and a lot of people somewhat supported attacking the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Had we left in 18 months or so it probably wouldn't even be an issue anymore. Who could have forseen Guantanamo and the "Corporatization" of the war. Having been an American for 53 years I guess I should have seen it coming...

Randy95023's picture
Oct. 20, 2010 2:13 am

Does Trump "Tweet" When His Staff Says No?

Thom plus logo Lev Parnas tells the story of how Donald Trump fired ambassador Marie Yovanovitch at least "four or five times," and that they were afraid that he would "fire her with a tweet." This is not the first time we have heard from White House insiders that the president often gives irrational or stupid orders that his staff then ignores.
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