• Steven Heller

The Politics of Confusion Still Works

The techniques of disruption are not new to the Putin and Trump regimes. Soviet propaganda of the postwar years turned its media towards the war weary German’s to persuade the majority in the Western sector to favor the East in the hot-cold war that was simmering between Western and Soviet powers.

“Their main purpose was to confuse the majority with contradictory stories that will be repeated here and there until people do not know what the truth is.”

Sound familiar?

“They aim to start lies that will discourage those who hope for a free world, that will poison the trust between friendly nations, and stir up hatred between races and classes,” noted the U.S. Department of State in the “Europe and British Commonwealth Series” of 1951.

“Communism is a disease; it does not have to make sense to be successful as a disease.” This booklet (cover below) is a “user’s guide” that reveals how to effect political disruption through language. “What we call a ‘police state,’ for instance, is called in communist language a ‘people’s democracy.’ Socialist Unity is the name of the Communist Party of the Soviet zone of Germany, although the Socialist parties in the free nations of Western Europe….are bitter enemies of the Communists.” The confusion of language is deliberately a tool used to foster confusion. And confusion fosters fear, anger and uncertainty.

The visual and verbal language worked then, why shouldn’t it work now?

Communist Youth Organization (Free German Youth FDJ), echoing the Hitler Youth, demonstrate on Whitsuntide, a traditional spring Christian festival, was used by the Soviets as a propaganda march in West Berlin.

Soviet propaganda exploits Hiroshima A-blast as evidence of U.S. aggressive capabilities towards Europe.

Soviet poster implying American role in Korea was imperialism.

Dollar imperialism is an enemy of the German people.

East German “Truth” booklets on Communists on trial in the U.S. and a “Happy” Berliner who escaped the tyranny of the West.

Americans go Home!

Battle of “news signs”. West foreground, East background.

East Berlin police seize (kidnap) West German photographer.

The Nazi concentration camp of Sachsenhausen was being used to detain 16.000 “New tenents.”

Soviet propaganda calls the Berlin Airlift the beginning of the new war.

Crack troops of the East German militarized police parade “nazi-style” in the streets of Berlin

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