A Short Conversation Everyone Should Read.

This is an account of a conversation between Hermann Goering (nazi war criminal) and an allied intelligence officer in his cell during the neuremburg trials:

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 would 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, 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 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.”

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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16 Responses to A Short Conversation Everyone Should Read.

  1. I had this conversation with my history teacher my Junior year. He dismissed me as a conspiracy theorist when I said something similar to that last paragraph. Silly sheeple.

  2. I’ve never read this before. Definitely interesting and seems pretty correct in my opinion.

  3. those germans can be pretty clever D:shortest yet most insightful convo i’ve seen so far >_>

  4. treelights says:

    Technically, Congress could declare even when we vehemently tell them not to. It always seems like the constituents of a representative lose power once they are elected to office. Do you have the full transcript available, or at least able to source it, so I can read the rest of the conversation?– Soledad

  5. I had read the last paragraph quote before.  Democracy seems like it is almost more insidious because we have the illusion that we have a some control, when really we don’t.  Its true, there is no reason for the average person to want to go to war, just shows how powerful the influence of those in power can be when the population actually does want to go to war.

  6. agnophilo says:

    @treelights – Nope, sorry.@Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – You probably read a similar version of the quote, the conversation is often paraphrased as a single quote.  The original conversation is better though, because in the popular quote version it’s not clear that he’s talking about america specifically in the end.

  7. agnophilo says:

    @LifeNeedsProtection – @Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – @treelights – @Chinese_Sait0u – @TheRiverIsEverywhere – @ElliottStrange – Thought you might enjoy this, it’s to do with that quote:

  8. @agnophilo – You’re right, that was a good video. The full conversation is useful for context, though I saw the implications to America even with the shortened version.  “Hey man, what did you loose?””I lost my keys about 6 blocks back.””Why aren’t you looking over there?””The light’s better over here.”lmao

  9. I enjoyed the video, thank you for the link.And by the way, I spent the morning watching Eddie Izzard’s “Unrepeatable.” It was hilarious.

  10. agnophilo says:

    @Rain_of_Mystic_Sorrow – Watch his other vids, they’re very good.  Just search roy zimmerman.

  11. Randy7777 says:

    RYC:  Thanks for a good debate.

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