by Barbara L. Minton
How did the powerful gain power over the rest of us? In a time when the power and freedom of the average American is being eroded at terrific speed, many of us wonder how this could be happening. What we may not realize it that the powerful have specific tools or principles to use to con the rest of us into surrendering our power to them. One of the most effective principles used in the last several years with great success is the Hegelian Principle.
The principle is simple, consisting of only three steps toward a preconceived goal. Once you are able to see how it works, you may want to analyze many of the events unfolding around you in terms of this principle. As the principle is often used today, it can be explained as:
Step One: Create a problem or conflict - Perceive a problem that exists and build it up out of proportion to its actual importance, or create a problem or conflict where none existed before.
Step Two: Publicize the problem and create opposition to it - Relentlessly place stories about this problem in the major media outlets. Report on it daily until it becomes a steady drumbeat and a truism for the public who then begin clamoring for a solution to this problem.
Step Three: Offer a solution - The best solutions are those that appeal to the emotions of the public and make them think something really good is being done for them, when in fact, something really bad is being done to them. This solution is one that the public never knew it needed until the conditioning of Step Two was successfully completed.
A simple example of the Hegelian Principle at work was the food industries' conning of the public to throw out their butter and run to buy margarine. It goes like this:
Step One: Food industry is geared up to provide food for soldiers during WWII. When war ends, food industry needs to turn its capacity into something it can sell during peace time. It wants to use cheap ingredients to make a high margin product and decides on the manufacture of margarine, but needs to find a way to get the public to buy it. They decide on a scheme to turn the people against butter.
Step Two: Food companies spread propaganda convincing the populace that butter is deadly to their health. Appeal to fear. Get doctors and nutritionists to help in the spreading of propaganda. Sponsor medical studies to "prove" that butter is deadly. Convince housewives who had grown up healthy while eating butter that they are placing their families in jeopardy if they serve butter.
Step Three: Food companies rush in to save the American public from having to put butter on their tables. They present margarine. Women who want their families to love them stampede to buy margarine. Voila!
One of the classic and most sinister examples of the Hegelian Principle involves the Nazi's rise to power that quickly followed the burning of the German Parliament building, the Reichstag, on the night of February 27, 1933.
Step One: Adolf Hitler, the new Chancellor of Germany, has no intention of abiding by the rules of democracy that installed him into the Chancellor position. He intends only to use those rules to legally establish himself as dictator as quickly as possible, and begin the Nazi revolution. But opposition lurks in his path.The Nazis, led by Joseph Goebbels, devise a scheme to burn down the Reichstag, the building where the elected officials of the republic meet to conduct the daily business of government, and blame it on the Communist opposition.
Step Two: Hitler acts as though he is enraged over the fire and speaks out that the German people have been too soft on the Communists, proclaiming that "every Communist official must be shot. All friends of the Communists must be locked up. And that goes for the Social Democrats and the Reichsbanner as well!" Hitler directs the newspaper's coverage of the fire. He and Goebbels put together papers full of lies about a Communist plot to violently seize power in Berlin. The newspaper proclaimed that only Hitler and the Nazis could prevent a Communist takeover.
Step Three: Hitler demands an emergency decree to overcome the crisis. There is little resistance, and the decree is signed "for the protection of the people and the State". According to the decree, "Restrictions on the personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." The Nazi dictatorship is established.
The Hegelian Principle was first described by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, a 19th century German philosopher. The principle defined a method used to produce a oneness of mind on any given issue or thought. Since its conception, it has been used repeatedly and very successfully to gain power, status, money and control. The original terms for the three steps were Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis.
Under Hegel's theory, one type of government or society (Thesis) would give rise to another that was the opposite of this type of government or society (Antithesis). This would result in conflict between the two types since they were opposites. After thesis and antithesis ideas battle each other for an extended time without either side winning, both sides become ready for change. This change (Synthesis) is then brought about by the creation of a third type of government or society.
These three steps are easily seen in the example of the Nazi rise to power, in which the Democratic government battled the Communist form of government. When the public was conditioned to ask for change, a new government system was installed.
The principle is often seen at work in the downhill slide of education toward the goal of ensuring children grow up unable to be intelligent participants in their democracy.
Step One - The federal government wants to assert control over the educational system, previously the providence of the states. As a way of doing this, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is created as a tool to gain power by doling out money to the school districts if they would accept the strings attached. Slowly but surely the pot of federal dollars that could be had is increased, while state support is undermined. Under ESEA mandates, academic programs are replaced by social programs.
Step Two - As academic programs are displaced, test scores drop, and juvenile problems increase as children become more and more illiterate, and parental and public outcry becomes louder. Teachers are made the fall guys for the illiteracy of their students. Attempts at fixing the problems involve the creation of ever more social programs, and fail to address the issue of children's failure to learn. Parents are blamed as schools make inroads into controlling the parent/child relationship by pitting parents against their own children over school issues. Education reform is officially sanctioned as Bush announces himself the education president, proclaiming that "The people have been heard. We must do something about our ailing education system."
Step Three - We are in step three now. Progressive socialist education is upon us. We are creating a generation of people incapable of thinking, reasoning, speaking and questioning. The individual will soon be extinct, having been stripped of his uniqueness and become no more than a commodity to be valued accordingly. With the loss of uniqueness goes the loss of independence and the ability to advocate for one's self. The new generation emerges as a willing participant in its own enslavement.
Hornberger, Jacob "How Hitler Became A Dictator", The Future of Freedom Foundation
About the author:
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using "alternative" treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
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