In a free society, both public and private figures are assumed to like somethings, dislike others and be indifferent to that many more. As such, the decent and democratic thing to do is to assume that a public figure is neutral when it comes to taking a position on an issue that has never been discussed by said public figure.
Thus, when scrutinising a a public figure in a democratic environment, it is par for the course to examine such a figure’s known positions on major issues. What is beyond the pale however is to scrutinise a public figure over a subject in which such a figure has no apparent interest. In a free society, there is no obligation for anyone to form an opinion on any particular subject. This is especially the case in respect of subjects that are not at the core of mainstream social discourse.
And then I came upon an article from a liberal western publication that criticised a western celebrity for not advancing an opinion on a certain social matter. For the purposes of this piece the celebrity’s identity is not relevant and nor is the line of criticism. What is relevant is that someone took the time to criticise (in all seriousness) the very moral fabric of a stranger simply on the basis of the fact that this celebrity had not endorsed (nor condemned) a certain social trend.
Such methods have been hitherto rare in mainstream discourse in free and democratic societies. But in fascist societies, such things are common. Take for example the following fictional article which is informed by a knowledge of the way in which Nazi propagandists operated:
“Singer Nena Schilling was notably absent from the local meeting of the Hitler Youth in spite of the fact that she is a known supporter of other Bonn based youth organisations. It is becoming especially suspect that Schilling appears to go out of her way not to be photographed beside party officials even though far more talented vocalists are all too happy to devote their time to building a strong and racially pure Reich. If one were to think that this were a coincidence, it should also be noted that Schilling was notably absent from celebrations of the Führer’s recent birthday”.
Notice that in the aforementioned criticism, Schiller is not directly accused of saying or doing anything that was critical of Nazi ideology, the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or of the then Nazi controlled German state. Instead, she was criticised for what she did not say, who she happened not to be photographed with and for not going to events that according to the propagandist, she should have attended. Finally, the article offered an otherwise out of context and subjective criticism of Schiller’s vocal technique in a piece that was ostensibly about her politics rather than her musical ability.
If this sounds familiar, this was the method in which the Nazi propaganda machine once criticised maestro Wilhelm Furtwängler. Many (including this author) agree that Wilhelm Furtwängler was the finest ever conductor of European classical music and this view was generally held among the Nazi elite as it was in the wider world both during Furtwängler’s life and after his death. However, Furtwängler did little to conceal the fact that he was no supporter of the Nazi regime. Because of this, whilst he refused to leave his beloved German homeland during Hitler’s rule, he also did all that he could to avoid anything that could be seen as a public endorsement of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. As such, Furtwängler faced criticism from the Nazi propaganda machine.
That being said, in order for the propaganda to carry even some credibility, it had to tread carefully against Furtwängler due to his immense and totally justified national and international popularity as a musician. Thus, in order to shock Furtwängler in an attempt to force him to perform at more overtly pro-Nazi events, a particular article hinted that Furtwängler’s younger rival and Nazi party member Herbert von Karajan might ostensibly be a better musician. This had the desired effect of infuriating Furtwängler to the point that he agreed to ‘come out of hiding’ and perform more concerts in front of audiences whose politics he privately despised.
Bringing things up to date, take for example any common cause among the liberals who overwhelmingly control western media. A quick search through popular magazines, websites and even newspapers will surely result in the discovery of articles by liberal authors whose methods of criticism are borrowed directly from the Nazi propaganda machine. One will see criticisms of celebrities and other public figures for their failure to endorse certain causes, political parties, social movements or political figures that according to the liberals one “must” endorse in order to gain the approval of the power mad propagandists.
This of course goes against the free and democratic right to dislike all major politicians and parties, as well as the democratic prerogative to operate outside of the realm of any ideology, social cause or political movement. And thus, it because clear that whilst their specific ideologies are different, in terms of methodology, western liberals have adopted fascistic propaganda techniques in order to try and destroythe careers of public figures whose only crime is a failure to endorse part of the liberal ideology.
To put it succinctly, in a free and democratic society, neutrality is the default position. In a fascist society, neutrality is virtual treason.