In response to my previous post, You can never win with a bigot – my response to “OutSyed the Box: Is The DAP A Chauvinist Party?”, a reader who signed off as Paul Warren left the following comment at Hartal MSM:
You just wasted a some bytes writing a crtic on this guy SAA. He’s an idiot to have thought that his opnions mattered. Just as he was, I am pretty sure, unable to comment on acts against non-Muslims and places of worship as well as worship right here in Malaysia itself he seems so cncerned about behaviour elsewhere
ITs more important now for decent Malaysians to ignore these kinds of bigotted writings and racist incantations and move on to forge a better Malaysia for Malaysians.
Thanks for your comment, Paul. Yes, it is tempting to brush aside SAA and other BN cyber-troopers as idiots. However, I can see some parallels between our situation in Malaysia today and Germany, during the rise of Nazism:
- Political leaders who have no qualms about demonising minorities in order to hold on to power (e.g. Nazi anti-semitism)
- Promotion (and acceptance) of racist and supremacist ideologies e.g. Aryan Supremacy and Lebensraum) as "OK" or necessary
- Media (mainstream and cybertroopers) becoming propagandists for their ideology
- The rise of organisations that threaten and intimidate other citizens with violence just to prevent them from exercising their rights (ala the brownshirts and SS)
"Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. (...) All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. (...) The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. (...) The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood."
As to the methods to be employed, he explained:
Do these similarities mean that Malaysia will inevitably become a fascist state? I don't think so, but we ignore these signs at our peril. Let's not forget that the Nazis were (also) viewed with disdain as harmless idiots, just before they were able to take Germany over.
"Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side. (...) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (...) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula."
I believe that the way to pre-empt this danger to Malaysia, is not by us becoming the mirror image of the BN cyber-trooper; using their tactics for our cause. Rather, we need to "change the game" by calmly, rationally and with goodwill towards all, engaging Malaysians from all walks of life, building social capital, exposing BN propaganda for what it is, and laying out our case for change.
"Vibrant Democracy Requires Eternal Vigilance"