Raramente se reconoce que una industria fílmica y de medios masivos de comunicación de gran tamaño apoyó al Hitlerismo y al Nazismo. Fue una industria que abrazó, a sabiendas e ignorantemente, los principios y valores del Tercer Reich. También se mantiene en silencio cómo Alemania y su población había sido definida y dominada por Hollywood. Las películas estadounidenses populares habían conformado a los espectadores alemanes estableciendo una forma indirecta de hegemonía estética y normas y valores absolutos. Este proceso de condicionamiento del cine alemán función en coordinación con el líder nazi Adolfo Hitler y el ministro de propaganda Joseph Goebbels. Juntos, glorificaron Alemania y en el proceso se congraciaron con las masas. El entretenimiento a través de celebridades, los espectáculos magníficos y las estrellas patrióticas construyeron un marco de referencia de valores y narrativas simbólicas absoluto para que los alemanes lo imitaran y lo integraran a su personalidad. Estos "cuadros" (1) e "imágenes en la cabeza" eran ultranacionalistas, eurocéntricos, extremadamente reaccionarios y estaban pletóricos de narcicismo violento que glorificaba la guerra y la agresión alemana. Este tipo de filmes saturaron a la sociedad alemana.
[Seldom is it acknowledged that a massive film and media industry supported Hitlerism and Nazism. It was an industry that had embraced, knowingly and unknowingly, the values and principles of the Third Reich.Silent too is how Germany and its people had been defined and dominated by Hollywood. Popular American films had shaped German audiences, establishing an indirect form of aesthetical hegemony and absolute values and norms. This German Cinema conditioning process worked in unison with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and Propaganda MinisterJoseph Goebbels. Together, they glorified Germany and in the process won over the masses. Celebrity entertainment, magnificent spectacles, and patriotic stars constructed an absolute framework of values and symbolic narratives for Germans to emulate and also become. These "pictures-" and "images in the head"(1) were ultra-nationalistic, Eurocentric, very reactionary, and filled with violent narcissism that glorified war and German aggression. Such films saturated German society.(2)]
In "Forgetting the Past, One Military Movie at a Time," David Sirota writes how America's entertainment industry has for years also coordinated its movies with the Pentagon, and how censorship and historical selectivity is the main attraction. According to Sirota, the recent movie "Act of Valor," which stars and glorifies active-duty SEALs that go on missions to neutralize (kill) terrorists around the globe, is a prime example of how the Pentagon allows studios to use military hardware and bases at a discounted, taxpayer-subsidized rate. It is also fully funded by the Pentagon. The revolving door between Hollywood and the Pentagon, their synchronized movie and advertisement industries, portray soldiers heroically and triumphantly while encouraging audiences to forget about the past. "The predictable result," writes Sirota, "is a glut of movies that celebrate U.S. military policies and whitewash the checkered history of military adventurism." Few major movies question such policies and militant adventurism.
As mentioned earlier, Adolf Hitler and Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels shared a common interest in American films. They developed "positive censorship" encouraging the production of German movies, specifically if they viewed German Exceptionalism and the Nazis in a favorable light and selective way. Meanwhile, Goebel's "Filmpolitik" produced almost 1,500 Nazi films with only one-sixth being propagandistic, or showing strong German and Nazi tendencies. Of the entire production, half were either love stories or comedies, and a quarter were dramatic films like crime thrillers and musicals. Since producers and performers were immersed into the excitement of Nazism and the goals of the Third Reich, important themes of Nazi ideology were "distractingly" kept before the public at all times.(3) Positive censorship was dependent on market distribution principles such as supply and demand. Films appearing anti-German were immediately discarded by the public. Thus, entertainment was a mixture of escapism and indoctrination.
Hitler and Goebbels also believed inference and indirect cultural hegemony were far more productive and valuable assets than the saturation of the marketplace with contrived, forceful political indoctrination. Blockbuster entertaining movies were encouraged, since subliminal messages of the German spirit, Hitlerism, military might, and the Third Reich went unperceived by most German people. German cinema proved to be totalitarian, just like the German people were, by continually aligning itself to public polling and existing audience expectations. This distortion of reality and fiction, politics and art, dominated and confused the public's mind. Through audience's changing expectations and by changing the audience's expectations, Germans and the German film industry became extensions of each other.(4) Films like "Triumph of the Will" became extensions of Hitler and Hitlerism. Soft romantic music, awe inspiring spectacles, and symbols and flags made Germans feel god-like, invincible, the chosen people, a part of greatness and destiny.(5)
Today, many Nazi- and Hitler-like values are found in Hollywood's corporate-military dominated film industries. Violent images and pictures, laced with a good versus evil dualism that encourages perpetual feelings of fear and mistrust, are popularized in the minds of most Americans. Movieslike "Captain America: The First Avenger" and "Transformers: Dark Moon" promotes U.S. global militarism. "Hurt Locker," which is about a three-man U.S. Army team, portrays Americans as victims. Arabs and Iraqis and people of other cultures are vile and murderous terrorists. American cinema movies are also laced with pro-American Exceptionalism, militarism, racism, and sexism. This distortion of reality reconstructs a fantasy world, one dominated by corporate-military values and ideologies. This entertaining electronic empire is distractingly successful in conditioning Americans with how to think and what to think about(6). It is also extremely self-indulgent and narcissistically violent. For many, it is "their place in the sun."
Sitora wrote that the arrangement between Hollywood and the Pentagon has been wildly effective, specifically with America now questioning the efficacy of constant invasions and the morality of never-ending occupations. He also warns of troubling similarities between the Vietnam War and ongoing quagmires in Afghanistan and Iraq, including that some conflicts have no military solution at all. But the problem is deeper than a military-centric past. It is a present fascist and Nazi-like system, one that is propagated by the Pentagon and includes Hollywood, or Naziwood. It has desensitized the masses through entertaining-reality spectacles like "Act of Valor." The Military-Entertainment Complex is no longer an extension of the American people. Instead, the American people are an extension of the Naziwood and its murderous values and norms? If agenda setting maintains power and entertaining military images, with racial and invincible overtones, rule, Americans, then, have already been immersed in the ideals of neo-Nazi and neo-Hitler ideologies.(7)
Hans Frank was like many other German nationalist who was dazzled by Nazism and captivated with Hitler's aggressive foreign policies. After watching and listening to one of Adolf Hitler's made-for spectacle and entertaining-reality speeches, where Hitler often repeated the mantra, "We will have our place in the sun!", Frank wrote, "Formerly we were in the habit of saying: 'This is right or wrong.' Today we must ask the question: 'What would the Fuhrer say?'" After seeing "Act of Valor," sadly many Americans will be asking: "What would Naziwood say?" The obvious answers are: "Preemptively invade or shoot first. Ask questions later."
(Note: In part two of "Act of Valor or More Naziwood?" I will compare and discuss how Nazism and Naziwood impact youth.)
Dallas Darling (firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 WeeklyReflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side OfChristianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for
www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas' writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.)
(4) Age Of Propaganda: The Everyday Use And Abuse Of Power., pp. 351 ff.
(5) Ibid., p. 187.
(6) Ibid., p. 87.
(7) Ibid., pp. 86, 87.