PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Banality of Propaganda

The annals of the awful art  — Hitler’s, Mussolini’s, Japan’s and America’s during World War II — show that it does not have to be sophisticated. The Israeli president’s display of Mein Kampf  just proved that again.

Israeli soldiers in the ruins of Gaza on Oct. 31. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Patrick Lawrence
Special to Consortium News 

I watched a video clip Sunday of Isaac Herzog that takes all cakes in the way of silliness that also manages to be pernicious. In it the Israeli president holds a copy of Mein Kampf, translated into Arabic.

The video was made one day after an immense demonstration in London in behalf of a ceasefire in Gaza and the freeing of Palestinians from Israel’s long, violent repression. Here is part of what Herzog had to say:

“I want to show you something exclusive. This is Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf. It’s the book that led to the Holocaust, and the book that led to World War II. This is the book that led … to the worst atrocity of humankind, which the British fought against. 

This book was found just a few days ago in northern Gaza, in a children’s living room which was turned into a military operations base of Hamas, on the body of one of the terrorists and murderers of Hamas, and he even makes notes, he marked, and learned again and again of Hitler’s ideology of killing the Jews, of burning the Jews, of slaughtering the Jews. 

This is the real war we are at. So all those who demonstrated yesterday — I am not saying all of them support Hitler. But all I’m saying is by omitting to understand what Hamas ideology is all about they are basically supporting this ideology. ”

You can view a one–minute, 22–second version of this video clip here, or a longer, BBC version here. In both, we watch the Israeli head of state play the Holocaust card, the Hitler card, the Jewish victim card and the Hamas-as-murdering-burning-slaughtering-monsters card all at once.

I cannot identify the television network that showed the shorter version of Herzog, and I am astonished that the BBC took it seriously enough to broadcast it, but this is the Beeb these days — always on for the trans–Atlantic cause. 

[Related: What We’re Not Hearing About Oct 7]

How remarkably flimsy propaganda is in most cases, I thought after watching Herzog and taking my notes. This is true in many, many cases in the annals of the awful art — Hitler’s, Mussolini’s, Japan’s and America’s during World War II. As you look at it now, none of it is very sophisticated for the simple reason it does not have to be. 

Propaganda is about forceful impact, subtlety the last thing on the propagandist’s mind. The banal will always do. The Japanese during the Pacific war were “Japs” or “Nips,” and in the plentitude of American propaganda images they had buck teeth and pencil mustaches and wore round glasses over their evil Asiatic eyes. 

After watching the Herzog video I went in search of footage from London the previous day. There have been many demonstrations against Israel’s savage military campaign in Gaza since hostilities erupted Oct. 7, and may there be many more, but London last Saturday looks like the biggest to date. 

“Free Gaza,” “Ceasefire Now,” “Not in Our Names” — these were among the things shouted and scribbled on placards as the protest wound slowly through Central London from Hyde Park to the U.S. Embassy several miles away. The police estimated the number of protesters at 300,000. From the footage—all I have to go by—I would put it nearer half a million.

If you watch enough propaganda, contemporary or historical, you find that it does not matter even if the scripts and images betray the crudity and indignity of those producing the propaganda. The intent is solely to capture the thoughts and feelings of the unthinking majority however this needs to be done. 

Israeli Propaganda Department Is Desperate

But this project is more difficult now, in the age of digital media and an increasingly influential independent press. So it seems to me. People can see more and see it more clearly and immediately now, providing they choose to look. And more and more people are so choosing.

If the idiotic Herzog clip told us anything, it is that the Israeli propaganda department is in a desperate state, having already lost the public-relations war as the Israeli Defense Forces dig the hole deeper by the day.

After watching the Herzog video and then the London footage, I thought of a memorable passage in Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism:

“In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything was possible and that nothing was true. Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow.” 

Arendt was looking back to the Reich and Stalin’s Soviet Union when she wrote her celebrated 1951 treatise. But the thought seems never to have been thereafter far from her mind. 

In a conversation with a French, free-speech activist not long before her death in 1975, Arendt had yet blunter words as to what eventually comes of circumstances such as ours. “If everybody always lies to you,” she said to Roger Errera, “the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.”

Half a century before Herzog made his video and demonstrators filled the streets of London, Arendt called last weekend perfectly.

Jeremy Corbyn, the former U.K. Labour leader, third from left, leading the Ceasefire Now march in London to the U.S. Embassy, Nov. 11. (Steve Eason, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

It is a fine thing that fewer and fewer people are taken in by the psyops and propaganda blitzes of the national security state, the corporate media, and ruthless — indeed Hitleresque, I shall say it — regimes such as Israel’s.

But to live in a world in which one believes nothing of what is said is its own kind of misery. It is effectively a surrender of all public discourse and public space altogether to the malign, the indecent, the inhumane, the degraded and degrading. The truth, and along with it logical thinking and plain decency, become “alternative.” 

Is there a way to build beyond our debased circumstances? Or are we to wander indefinitely in a state of negativity, of not believing, of alienation from our own polities?  

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken with Herzog in Tel Aviv on Nov. 3. (State Department, Chuck Kennedy)

My answer is yes to the first question, no to the second: There is always a way to build a different future — this as a matter of general principle. In this case the project must begin with the reclamation of language. Rejecting the official language of those in power, as so many people now do, is a start. We must then learn again to speak the language that is not spoken, the language wherein truth resides.

In large part because of how I have spent my professional years, I am especially sensitive to the power of language as it is used in the cause either of clarity and understanding or of obfuscation and ignorance.

The language of institutions, the language of power, is made of obscuring euphemisms — “global leadership,” “collateral damage,” “regime change,” “the intelligence community,” “the rules-based order,” and so on through the bureaucratic lexicon — and of bold falsifications such as Isaac Herzog offered us last Sunday. 

Orwell described how the language of ideologues and bureaucratic mandarins devastates our ability to think clearly — precisely its purpose — in “Politics and the English Language.” Since he published his essay in Horizon in April 1946, the problem as we have it is seven decades’ worth of worse. 

This use of language has disarmed language itself, depriving it of its assertive power such that speech or writing outside the orthodoxy can be dismissed as a site of serious discourse. Language is rendered impotent as a medium of creative thought or as a prompt to new, imaginative action.

The preposterous, insulting use of “anti–Semitism” that now besets us is a case in point. The obvious intent is to impose a vast silence to obscure the crimes of apartheid Israel.  

[Related: Patrick Lawrence: Deeper Into Depravity]

 The task before us is one of restoration. It is to take language back, to renew its life, to wrest it from the deadening influence of institutions, bureaucracies, and corporate media — these having deformed language into an instrument for the enforcement of conformity. This is why every shout and placard heard or seen in London or many other cities these days is important, an act of significance and worth. 

Free Palestine Coalition protest in central London on Nov. 4. (Steve Eason, Flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Clear language is an instrument — unadorned, written and spoken plainly, colloquial in the best sense of this term but perfectly capable of subtlety and complexity. It is the language of history, not myth.

This language is spoken not in the cause of empire but always in the human cause. “Free Palestine,” “From the river to the sea”: These are two-word and six-word examples of the language I describe.   

This is the language necessary to confront power rather than accommodate it. It is language that presumes the utility of intelligence and critical thought. It is meant for the posing of many worthy questions. It is unreservedly dedicated to enlarging what is sayable in hostile response to “the great unsayable,” as I call it. 

By way of this language a more vibrant, fulfilling public discourse awaits us. By way of this language the Isaac Herzogs, Antony Blinkens and Ursula von der Leyens who pollute our public space can be reduced to what they are — liars and propagandists. The power of the language I describe will deprive the language they speak of all power.

Let us speak it, let us write it, let us scribble it on walls and sheets of cardboard. Let us know it as the most powerful tool available to those who refuse the silence Isaac Herzog sought to impose upon all those Londoners last weekend.

Portions of this piece are adapted from my new book, Journalists and Their Shadows, available from Clarity Press or via Amazon

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune, is a columnist, essayist, lecturer and author, most recently of Journalists and Their Shadows.   Other books include Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. His Twitter account, @thefloutist, has been permanently censored. 

TO MY READERS. Independent publications and those who write for them reach a moment that is difficult and full of promise all at once. On one hand, we assume ever greater responsibilities in the face of mainstream media’s mounting derelictions. On the other, we have found no sustaining revenue model and so must turn directly to our readers for support. I am committed to independent journalism for the duration: I see no other future for American media. But the path grows steeper, and as it does I need your help. This grows urgent now. If you are already a supporter, big thanks. If you aren’t, please, and in  recognition of the commitment to independent journalism I share with this publication, join in by subscribing to The Floutist, or via my Patreon account.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

41 comments for “PATRICK LAWRENCE: The Banality of Propaganda

  1. November 16, 2023 at 16:58

    A outstanding article that all people who care about the direction of travel of our political development need to read and share to anyone who will listen.

  2. Susan Siens
    November 16, 2023 at 15:38

    Yes, Drew, I no longer buy into the idiocy of “Israel’s right to exist.” It had no right to exist, it has no right to exist, and it needs to be destroyed.

  3. Em
    November 16, 2023 at 10:37

    Religion = Propaganda without Bernays Sauce

    Evangelical Christian Zionists (ECZ); back bone of the US Duopoly’s Republican party, are Judaisms real anti-Semites. ‘Israels’ Jews, obliviously close their eyes to this.
    The ECZ’s are fervently hoping, and praying daily, that the genocide presently being carried out by the Israeli state, in Gaza, on the indigenous Palestinians of western Asia is the final battle of Armageddon they have been praying for, thereby all Jews will be compelled to accept this ‘Christiinsanity’ or perish in hell, with all ’other’ non blind faith believers, for eternity.
    The ECZ’s are apparently oblivious to the very notion of “ethnic cleansing” itself!
    As for the ancient texts, of self-righteous religious believers, this phrase or its synonym is nowhere to be found in the sacred lexicon.
    However, parse the word lexicon into ‘hypertext’ contemporary computerese linguistics, and its two syllables lexia and con are more valid as truths when it comes to dealing with ‘others’.
    The same applies to all the three religions’ founding of the so-called Holyland!
    All three, no different when it comes to any non worthy ‘others’ belief systems!
    The ‘Divide and Rule’ principle has its foundation in institutional religion.

    • November 16, 2023 at 22:05

      The Evangelical Christian Zionists (ECZ) believe that a person who for whatever reason does not come to “accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior” in this present lifetime is doomed to an eternity of torment in hell. And they are fine with the genocide carried out by Israel on the indigenous Palestinians.

      Thomas Paine said: “It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.

      hxxps:// (just a little over halfway down)


      And Jesus himself had some words for those ECZ’s who are happy with genocide and eager to bring on Armageddon:

      “It must needs be that trials and tribulations will come, but woe to those by whom they come. It would be better for such to have a millstone wrung around their neck and be thrown into the sea …”
      (Luke 17:1-2)

  4. Francis Lee
    November 15, 2023 at 13:06

    In his book ‘The Psychology of Totalitarianism” which Mattias Desmet published in 2022, he outlines the current ideology of ‘Mass Formation.” He writes:

    ‘The essence of mass formation amounts to the following: ”A society saturated with individualism and rationalism suddenly tilts towards the rationally opposite condition, toward the radically irrational collectivism. To put it in Nietzschean-classical terms: Dionysus, in one fell swoop, overthrows the dictatorship of Apollo and seizes power in society. This is also immediately apparent from the following: In all major mass formations the main argument for joining is in solidarity with the collective. And those who refuse to participate are typically solidarity and lacking civic responsibility. This is one reason why the absurd elements in the story do not matter to the masses. The masses do not believe in the story not because it is accurate but because it creates a new social bond.”

    It was Mussolini also once argued that fascism is to be believed ”because it is untrue.”

    Moreover, Gustave Le Bon made a similar and personal experience: ”Crowds are always feminine … They are incapable of having any opinions except those imposed on them .. They are not led by rules based upon logic, but by seeking what can be impressed and seduce them … Crowds, particularly political crowds … only respond to extra-rational impulses and impressed only by images.”

    It would appear that the sleeping beast of fascism is beginning to awake from its slumbers

  5. Elka
    November 15, 2023 at 12:07

    The accusation of finding this book in “a children’s bedroom”, after the complete destruction to rubble of the area is similar to the fantastical propaganda that several passports of those who flew a plane into the Trade center appeared on the ground below. Remember that?

    • Valerie
      November 15, 2023 at 18:42

      I remember that very well Elka, although i thought it was only one. That was the day i decided the governments were lying to me. I have never looked back. And the governments have never stopped lying to me.

  6. Steve
    November 15, 2023 at 11:13

    If this story, mein Kampf, was true (which I don’t believe it was) then maybe a rational explanation would be that the Palestinians are trying to understand their oppressors better by reading the book that appears to drive their idealogy !
    Just saying, looking at what is happening, who are the actual nazis ?

    • Valerie
      November 15, 2023 at 18:50

      You are being too kind Steve. The Palestinians have no need of any rhetoric to explain what is happening to them. They have had over 70 years to understand this.

  7. Em
    November 15, 2023 at 10:44

    Nurit Peled-Elhanan on Israeli textbooks forchildren:


    • Em
      November 16, 2023 at 13:40

      For those interested in the manufacture of The Banality of Propaganda, the video is a must see; the correct youtube address should read:

      • Valerie
        November 17, 2023 at 09:52

        I’ve just watched that video Em. Absolutely unbelievable; but a very credible presentation. And isn’t this how the Nazis, to some extent, portrayed the jews.

  8. Winston Wallace
    November 15, 2023 at 10:05

    Politics, all forms of mind control, are very, very simple.

    Two examples: In talking to Democrats in the 2016 and 2020 primary cycles, the winning arguments were “She’s a Woman” (for Hillary) and “He can beat Trump” (for Genocide Joe).

    It was very hard to get past any of these arguments if you tried to talk to (D)’s about other candidates. There was very little other thought involved. These were the arguments that had convinced people to vote for World War III. Trying to tell a voter that a vote for these people was a vote for World War III, and you got the reply back, “She’s a Woman”, or “He can beat Trump.” End of discussion.

    There is very little discussion left in America about the future course of the nation. There are very little policy debates. A candidate with a plan is ridiculed. A candidate is considered to be successful if they can deliver one-liner quips at a debate. With such banality, they get the sheep to march willingly into the pen. They keep the mind control very simple to get effective obedience with the simple instructions.

    • Valerie
      November 15, 2023 at 19:03

      You hit the nail on the head Winston. I’m still laughing. I doubt your analysis was meant to be humorous, but i cannot help but see the “tragicomedy” of our existence when related to politics. As you say, sheep.

  9. Emma M.
    November 15, 2023 at 07:52

    For those who have not read it (and everyone else like myself who ought to reread it), here is the essay of George Orwell’s that was mentioned, “Politics and the English Language”:

    Something that seems to be little known about Orwell that I feel is worth mentioning about him and is hinted at in a few parts of the essay: He was a firm supporter of linguistic purity in English—for lack of a better term, as that one makes it sound as if it’s about some kind of linguistic nationalism rather than the clarity of the language—and that long lost school of thought that, if I recall correctly, was called “Anglicism” (a term that seems to have other meanings now), but had quite a number of supporters at one point (Tolkien is another famous one).

    The ruling class has, in short, been shaping the English language for a thousand years ever since William the Bastard’s time. This is why, for example, a rich family’s home is a mansion (from French) rather than a house (Germanic, i.e. a word native to English), and why “pardon my French” was once a literal apology for using French words in English. Latin and Greek have meanwhile been sprinkled into our language(by people who are generally barely literate in either of them, I must complain, since often their terms make zero sense in them), and as Orwell writes, words from all of these have been constantly replacing perfectly fine, easier-to-understand English words.

    This is why Orwell chose to always try to write in clear, simple language; why he preferred simple, clear English words over words obviously derived from French or Latin—which are almost always the words we as English speakers struggle most with, and yet at the same time are always the “educated” and “sophisticated” sounding words.

    The English language has suffered a very long struggle against the ruling and educated classes that have somehow always seemed to despise it, wanting to make it ever less clear and less understandable to the average person; so it continues today.

  10. Horatio
    November 15, 2023 at 02:21

    I can’t say the Isaac Herzog’s thoughts are unexpected. Zionism had its start well before WWI. In hindsight, one must suspect that much planning went into the project. Rational people will understand the horrors of what the Jews called the holocaust, but forget that the deaths of the Jews were only a fraction of the lives lost in WWII. Yet holocaust memorials have sprung up all over Europe and North America as if the Jews were the only victims. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that Herzog uses the Nazi card when discussing the present situation, however misplaced.

  11. peon
    November 15, 2023 at 01:35

    The source of what this language speaks and what it speaks about is outside of language. Language creates, for sure, but it describes. The forces of liberation do not need to fixate on the language of liberation as much as they live the lives of liberation. Language, of couse, is part of this, but STOPPING THE GENOCIDE is not a moral sentiment dependent upon language. It is why war criminal, professional putzes like Herzog, Blinken, Biden, Sunak, and Sunak and western, european, u.s. domination will end; whether happily or dismally, it will end.

  12. robert e williamson jr
    November 14, 2023 at 19:41

    If you would like to witness the influence of some Israeli mouth pieces check out Dana Bash on CNN last Saturday morning on CNN while she claims that every time in history a rise in anti-Semitic activities occurred the result was damage or the fail of democracy. Democracies in finding themselves in time of difficulty or trouble.

    I do wonder if she includes all the democratically elected leaders CIA has overthrown.

    Next anyone wonders about what the working definition of anti-Semitism google, “working definition of anti-Semitism.” Then let me know what you think!

    Thanks CN

    • Judith Dyer
      November 16, 2023 at 18:51

      The US State Department defines anti-semitism as ….among other things: Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.
      How did they think to come up with that, I wonder……..
      Maybe, because it’s kind of obvious to compare contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis.??

  13. Marie-France Germain
    November 14, 2023 at 19:02

    I have been rereading Arendt since the summer 2017 after the first year of the most blatant American weirding of its elections. It was obvious that year to outside observers of the USA. Things, (ie: authoritarianism) have become much worse than even after 9/11 in the United States and its influence over its “allies” in more visible and negative ways.

    It is difficult to accept that ones country, so much loved and part of you in ways you may not even understand, that your country has taken a very wrong turn and is committing actions around the world that the Internet has pulled back the curtain on. As a senior and especially now that I am retired, I have had the time to maintain geopolitical interests and wow, it hurts a lot to know my country has an evil centre and has done for a long time and kept hidden due to lack of accessibility in general to know to seek that knowledge. I’m not surprised as I have long known that the USA could roll over and flatten Canada in a heart beat so we would tend to be a little more circumspect, but I didn’t know it was downright colusion in some of the most murderous campaigns of the Americans. Now we have achieved the lows of complicity in Genocide and Crimes against Humanity. It is time to accept we have a country that has normalized the events of WWII Germany and accepted as part of those, oh so wholesome, VALUES, we espouse as Canadians. Makes one cry for the future if we cannot close this down and return our nations to seek membership in humanity as a whole, no matter the differences between us. Vive les différences! They make the world far more interesting than working 24/7 for the profits of a few as long as we’re told how much better WE are than the rest of the world.

  14. Frank Lambert
    November 14, 2023 at 18:36

    Kudos, Patrick for an excellent article on the current mindset control by the powers that be who are beholding to Israel for whatever reasons.

    I’ll keep my comment brief, and add some info to Mr. Lawrence’s narrative from a man who I respect, having read reading his articles for many years and on RT television before the American and European Gestapo took the news channel off the air for telling the truth. Judge for yourselves, CN readers.


    BTW, in my opinion, it wasn’t the reading of Mein Kampf for creating the Nazi Party and for some of the European Jews, “THe Final Solution”, but The Treaty of Versailles” impoverishing Germany which set the stage for the Third Reich to start their bloody rampage across Europe. Two “characters the not too bright Woodrow Wilson brought to France was the master propagandist, Edward Bernays and Bernard Buruch, a Wall Street financier whom some historians convinced Wilson to get us into the First World War on behalf of the bankers who lent Great Britain and France tons of money for the war, and worried that Germany prevailed, the loans wouldn’t be repaid.

    I hope this is posted for what it’s worth.

  15. Midge
    November 14, 2023 at 18:34

    If you want to know the surest route to the best press model attainable, one that can work in any country, read the chapter on mass media in The Democracy Manifesto (Lexington, 2022) which advocates for sortitive representative democracy, the system favored in ancient Greek democracies adapted to governing today’s complex societies at every level from local to national to international. Even if it never comes to pass, it at least shows what a properly democratic media would consist in. I’m sure you’ve never considered it before, but it is an important reference point for reflecting on the pseudo-democratic electoral model used in the West.

  16. bardamu
    November 14, 2023 at 18:21


  17. Henry Steen
    November 14, 2023 at 17:44

    Great phrase, “obscuring euphemisms”. In her book on Hilary, “Queen of Chaos”, Diana Johnstone used the phrase “meaningless abstractions” to describe Hilary’s language, if you can call it that. Obama, of course, is a past master. I listened to his campaign speech to a packed crowd on Congress Avenue in 2008. I found myself enraptured, and then realized, “this man is saying absolutely nothing, but he is saying it so beautifully”. It was early 2009 with the bailout of the bankers and the wrecking of the homeowners in base, then the Honduras coup during the summer of that year, that it fully became clear what we were in for. Yes, real language that conveys actual meaning is critical now. Here’s to Rashida Tlaib!

    • Blessthebeasts
      November 15, 2023 at 17:33

      I’ve always considered Obama a mediocre speaker at best. Especially when he doesn’t have a script. With all due respect, I think most people were just enraptured by him because he’s half-black.

      • Susan Siens
        November 16, 2023 at 15:34

        I know! I listened to a speech of his prior to the election because I had people tell me he was a brilliant speaker. One must have to be on powerful drugs to listen to his empty platitudes and find them to be brilliant. He said nothing and he wasn’t even mildly interesting. All during his reign I resorted to the horrifying Sarah Palin’s quote: How’s that hopey-changy thing workin’ for ya? (And I was shocked to find my so-called antiwar friends voting for him, totally devoid of interest in who surrounded him.)

  18. Michael G
    November 14, 2023 at 17:21

    “Nothing frightens those in authority so much as criticism”
    “Language – not money or force – provides legitimacy. So long as military, political, religious or financial systems do not control language, the public’s imagination can move about freely with it’s own ideas. Uncontrolled words are consistently more dangerous to established authority than armed forces. Even coercive laws of censorship are rarely effective for more than short periods in limited areas”
    “Voltaire’s Bastards” by John Ralston Saul
    “There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting it’s refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming it’s truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right”
    John Stuart Mill

  19. Joy Al-Sofi
    November 14, 2023 at 17:12

    I think we must change the dominant narrative, otherwise we just continue on the path of destruction and hatred. Given the craven behavior of the western governments, we have to look to alternatives. It might not work, but maybe it’s worth trying. I came up with this petition, one that is outside of the current narrative. I hope might have some effect in stopping the bombing in Gaza. This is not instead of whatever else we are doing to try to change this situation and stop the killing. Please sign and share if you can.

    I encourage everyone to come up with their own ideas of how to turn our species back from the abyss.

  20. November 14, 2023 at 16:54

    as Vaclev Havel wrote, to live in truth:

    “… you do not become a “dissident” just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. You are thrown into it by your personal sense of responsibility, combined with a complex set of external circumstances. You are cast out of the existing structures and placed in a position of conflict with them. It begins as an attempt to do your work well, and ends with being branded an enemy of society. […]

    By breaking the rules of the game, he has disrupted the game as such. He has exposed it as a mere game. He has shattered the world of appearances, the fundamental pillar of the system. He has upset the power structure by tearing apart what holds it together. He has demonstrated that living a lie is living a lie. He has broken through the exalted facade of the system and exposed the real, base foundations of power. He has said that the emperor is naked. And because the emperor is in fact naked, something extremely dangerous has happened: by his action, the greengrocer has addressed the world. He has enabled everyone to peer behind the curtain. He has shown everyone that it is possible to live within the truth. Living within the lie can constitute the system only if it is universal. The principle must embrace and permeate everything. There are no terms whatsoever on which it can co-exist with living within the truth, and therefore everyone who steps out of line denies it in principle and threatens it in its entirety.

    • lidia
      November 15, 2023 at 10:04

      Havel is a NATO lackey, and invented “humanitarian air bombing”

      • Susan Siens
        November 16, 2023 at 15:36

        Thank you, lidia, for telling the truth. Nothing truly changed in Czech Republic, the same authoritarianism, the same sexual exploitation of children, and the worst of the Communists became bankers and real estate agents.

    • Tony
      November 16, 2023 at 07:59

      Havel was a strong advocate of NATO expansion after the end of the Cold War.

      I do not think that has worked out too well

      ( NATO: The Safeguard of Stability and Peace In the Euro-Atlantic Region by Vaclav Havel).

  21. James White
    November 14, 2023 at 16:50

    Mr. Netanyahu is a formidable leader and intellect. But don’t ever tell me this is my war. Zelensky already tried that ruse. My country ought to stay far away from both of these stupid wars. But we have feeble, chicken-hawk cowards like Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell in the Senate. And a drooling, dithering fool in the White House. Fortunately for the sane among us, the money printing machine has paused. And it shows little sign of starting up again. So far, so good, Mike Johnson. Illegitimi non carborundum.

  22. Tony
    November 14, 2023 at 16:24

    Herzog is a Labour Party politician. He is utterly shameless.

    That book may well have been printed in Saudi Arabia. But he is not going to criticise Israel’s new friend.

  23. November 14, 2023 at 15:47

    The problem is language control, ‘narrative control”. Truth is always available; tyranny buries it, stifles it, replaces it with rot. Diseased Capitalism is the fatal cancerous tyranny of the world that produces only money and murder.


  24. Bill
    November 14, 2023 at 15:34

    brilliant work thankyou

    • November 14, 2023 at 21:21


  25. MrDMK
    November 14, 2023 at 15:25

    In further news: The paparazzi have pictures of Israeli President Isaac Herzog going into a Downtown Tel Aviv Library. Then heading into the Non-Fiction “HI” section. Picking up, and then checking out, a book of similar size and color one hour before a presentation about Palestinian behavior.

  26. Valerie
    November 14, 2023 at 15:06

    After watching the Herzog video clip, the following quote attributed to Plato, immediately came to my mind:

    “An empty vessel makes the loudest sound, so they that have the least wit are the greatest babblers.”

    • firstpersoninfinite
      November 14, 2023 at 23:58

      Well said. Great article, Patrick Lawrence. And I can’t believe the size of that crowd! Needless to say, when Herzog brings out the Nazi comparison, the argument he is making is already lost. Either Godwin’s Law applies here or else it has no meaning. It’s like the United States arguing that the slaughter of Native Americans in the nineteenth century was only done to protect democracy. Wait – we still do make that argument. Orwell lit the match – it is up to us to keep language alive and uninfiltrated by corporate power and the military/industrial complex. When the government funds someone to die for no reason in a foreign country – refuse to believe them or their cause.

      • Valerie
        November 15, 2023 at 12:19

        “And I can’t believe the size of that crowd!”

        Amazing, fpi. Those huge Palestinian flags. Oh yes Ms. Ex home secretary braverman. It was a “hate march”. No, it was a “love/solidarity march”. Language is important. And i’m so glad you have been sacked. No chance of you being sent to Rwanda though, as the Supreme Court has rejected your despicable plan.

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