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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Route to Mauthausen. Polarize then Demonize. Mass Persuasion Comes First.

The Route to Mauthausen 
Polarize, Propagandize, Demonize.  Mass Persuasion. Intimidation.

Mauthausen Concentration Camp
Mauthausen KZ
Near Linz, Austria

What fosters the atrocity that the concentration camps of the Third Reich represent.

How does the idea take root.  Our view:  Psy ops, psychological operations and those have been going on for centuries.  Polarize a society with egregious abuses of persuasion and non-fact; then demonize the other side.  Use a form of guerrilla warfare to undercut the existing government so that the new power can take over, and take over the propaganda machines that keep them there. See :// and :// Guerrillas. Guerilla equivalents in WWII era.

For an example of how to take over a society, see how the United States CIA did it in Nicaragua, in subverting the Sandinistas. See://  This is not a discussion of the merits of a policy; just of methodology.

Matthausen / Mauthausen is off the usual tourist track in Austria. See Austria Road Ways: Mauthausen Konzentrationslager And once there, it is difficult to find unless you know that the tiny signs that say Mauthausen KZ mean the labor camp.  Or Mauthausen.  Translations vary. We are looking now at the extreme results of polarizing in a society. And the demonizing that follows. Children, and then teens, in little Youth programs. With the weapons and the certain kind of discipline.  And what can come after.

Go back to WWII for a start, a reminder, how people accomplished their goals with group persuasion. See :// as a start.  The most moving of Europe's concentration camps is Mauthausen. It was also possibly the worst in terms of atrocity; and - ironically - is among the least known. Find it near Linz, Austria. It will not be easy either to find, or to stomach. Signs to it are in initials - KC, or KZ, not the full name, for concentration camp. Easy to pass by. Then you get there.

Mauthausen is still in process as to its renovation, exhibits, but the structures are there, mostly.  Ideas are not completely implemented yet, there is construction and repair work ongoing, and ambiguities in structures are not all fully explained, especially for English-speakers, leaving room for imagination.  Good.
It is still being constructed-reconstructed. Even hesitantly, reluctantly - and that is understandable. After all this time, still not open and fully running.

Time passing may blunt the impact of any of the camps, especially those on mainstream tourist tracks. Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald, they are and have to be conscious places, museums carefully constructed to show this or that aspect of the horror.  Outlines of structures. Tourist centers and buses, and those will  come here as well.

Why, despite the exposure and documentation from Nuremberg to Jerusalem to the individual sites, do too many choose not to see. Go see. For an overview, see ://
Yet, being off the usual routes also protected it.  There remain many actual rooms, the actual equipment, rusted but there, it is possible to take time, choose which way to go next without arrows and packs of guided people.

Countries were invited and did set up individual memorials.  They are highly individualized for some countries, with actual portraits, names, a wall of faces, tokens. Some institutions are overwhelming in laying out what happened.  See ://  Mauthausen is people. There's someone who looks like Uncle Harry. He was an accountant, see? It says right here. And this one was a whatever. People.

Not all rooms offer English explanations,  but the concept is clear.

Find both spellings, Matthausen and Mauthausen.

Extremes. But recurrent. Always in reach.  How to teach and learn. The Fodder idea - a casual way of referencing exploitation, destruction of the big and little things that make us whole, removal of human rights. Maybe too casual, given the impact.  Some forms are so usual that they get accepted as the "is." The poor will always be with us, etc. Other forms frighten, especially by their origins with regular people gone amok, and should. Who can go so amok. We can. And did. And will again?

Route to Mauthausen.  Polarize, Propagandize, Demonize.

Polarizing takes time. It takes concentrated propaganda. And it works. There is a range in expressing it. When and how do bullying, deception and the implicit terrorism of open carry as to firearms, become a cultural  norm; and can the virus be stopped. Does the frog really sit in the warming water until dead? Feeders, always deniable, for the violent. Do we have a choice.