Sunday, July 6, 2008

Name That Person

Can you tell who the following quote is referring to?

[H]e is a rhetorical genius who developed his own abilities with no help from anyone
else. One cannot imagine that [he] ever spoke differently than he does today, or that he will ever speak differently. He speaks his heart, and therefore reaches the hearts of those who hear him. He has the amazing gift of sensing what is in the air. He has the ability to express things so clearly, logically and directly that listeners are convinced that that is what they have always thought themselves.

If you said Barack Obama, you'd be half right. It is from a 1936 book by Joseph Goebbels, discussing the speaking abilities of... Adolf Hitler. Although we can look back now and see how atrocious the things were that Hitler espoused, the everyman of 1930's Germany was blinded by his rhetoric; he spoke so well that people believed unspeakabe things. And so it is today. You need to read the entire excerpt here to see how closely this fits the persona of the Obama that we see today, and who may turn out to show an altogether different face if he ever finds himself in the presidency of the United States, God forbid. Of course, Obama is not entirely as convincing as Hitler was; Hitler didn't change his position on things, he persisted until he had others convinced and exuberant about his position.

From an LDS perspective, this reminds us of the War in Heaven, which I am sure consisted of arguments such as those that we are faced with now in our society: how much freedom should be allowed us while we are on Earth? Satan, then known by another, unknown name, had such rhetorical power as to convince millions upon millions that his ideas were superior to those of our Heavenly Father. A powerful speaker is a forceful speaker, pushing the weakminded and confused individual further and further into the mindset of the speaker, until the individual no longer discerns their own ideas from those of the speaker. This is not how God works, however, but by "long-suffering and love unfeigned" as the scriptures tell us, so you can imagine how one-sided the argument may have become, or at least appeared, as our Heavenly Father lovingly and thoughtfully presented His plan for our salvation, only to then have it countered violently by Satan, in forceful tones and persuasive arguments designed to convince dominatingly instead of persuade patiently.

How would we learn if we had chosen the plan of Satan, and come to earth only to have our every movement planned out and orchestrated for us ahead of time? In contrast, we were sent to this Earth that we know - one where babies get diseases, wars are raged, and people do unspeakable things - and it is only when we think for ourselves, and always stand for truth even when it is hard, that we discover for ourselves why we have been given the commandments to follow. It is when we are weak that we decide it isn't worth arguing over what is correct... and a little untruth is allowed to exist in the world. And little untruths build up and gather together to become great untruths, and people become confused, and mighty speakers rise up with their powerful rhetoric to convince us that the only way to freedom is to give it all to them, so that they may whisk us effortlessly away from all our discomforts.

And so we end up with socialism, which begins with leaders making all of our decisions for us. You want healthcare, you say? Well, you must see Dr. Whatsit. You don't like Dr. Whatsit? Too bad! We make the decisions now! Socialism, in turn, leads to Fascism, because the people no longer have the freedoms available to them to enable them to resist: namely, the freedom to gather, the right to bear arms, and freedom of speech. For examples of Socialism, one need only look to countries like Brazil, where socialized medicine is a nightmare, and daily life is fraught with experiences like those of my wife's cousin, who married a Brazilian girl. On a trip to Brazil, they ate at a restaurant. He was given the wrong kind of soda, and so he went back to get the correct kind. The workers all told him that it was too bad, and refused to do anything about it, to which he had no recourse because Socialism does not allow for the benefit of an individual's preference: you get what you get, and if you don't like it, tough!


If you did not click through and read the article I linked to above, I would suggest you do so now. It was written in an era when Adolf Hitler seemed innocuous, but many truths were openly spoken because people were not as bent on subversing their motivations as they are now. One of these truths is spoken in the following passage, from the same article:

An organization comes from the
propaganda of the word, a movement from the organization, and
that movement conquers the state.
One could no more cut a perfect diamond with a laser than construct a more perfect description of environmentalism. The propaganda of the word has come and gone, the formation of a movement has taken place, and all that is left now if we do not cut it off in its present state is that it conquers us. The science is imperfect - many do not even agree with the conclusions that are the source of the "choices" that we have been already forced to make (which cars to drive, which light bulbs to use, etc) - but individuals and organizations with the intent to destroy our country and take away our freedoms have taken the demon by its horns and are leading us on a pathway to Hell, paved with good intentions. Don't get me wrong: conservation, itself, is not evil. It is the obsession with conservation, the belief that this thing and this thing only will be our salvation that blinds its followers.

Buyer beware.

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