Mass media — radio, newspapers, the microphones and amplifiers of mass rallies, and later television — enabled a few people to communicate “golden lies” to millions of people at the same time. The “golden lies” of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin were characterized by:
Nationalism (“we are superior to our neighbors”) eclipsed democracy, liberty, equality, and religious “golden lies.” To paraphrase Jonathan Swift, nationalism flies, and democracy, liberty, and equality come limping after them.
The demagogues’ “golden lies” were compulsory. German and Soviet citizens had no choice but to believe. All aspects of society were controlled by the great dictators