so the story isn’t in the quote, though in and of itself it’s quite remarkably fitting in our world today. the really amazing thing is that this came to me in an email (why yes, of course i’ve checked snopes), from a coworker, who is (was?) aligned with the ‘let’s go kill scary people ’cause we’re
the greatest country on earth and boy are we pissed scared’ faction that is so well-represented at my place of employment. could it be that light is being seen amongst the warmongers at my work? i have some hope, although i do remain skeptical.
and here it is:
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.”
— Hermann Goering, April 18, 1946
Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe,
President of the Reichstag,
Prime Minister of Prussia,and Second in Command of the Third Reich.