«In his strategy of criminalization, the totalitarian dictator destroys the conscience of his followers, just as he has destroyed his own. Think of the highly learned and polished Nazi doctors who started their professional life with the Hippocratic oath, promising to be the helping healer of man, but who later in cold blood inflicted the most horrible tortures on their concentration-camp victims.
They slaughtered innocents by the thousands in order to discover the statistical limits of human endurance. They infected other thousands as guinea pigs because the Fuhrer wanted it so. They had lost their personal standards and ethics completely and justified all their crimes through the Führers will. Political catchwords encouraged them to yield their consciences completely to the dictator.
The process of systematic criminalization requires a deculturation of the people. As one of Hitler’s gangmen said, “When I hear the word ‘civilization,’ I prepare my gun.” This is done to consistently arouse the instinct of cruelty. People are told not to believe in intellect and objective truth, but to listen only to the subjective dictates of the Moloch State, to Hitler, to Mussolini, to Stalin.
Criminalization is conditioning people to rebellion against civilized frustrations. Show them blood and bloody scapegoats, and a thousand years of acculturation fall away from them. This implies imbuing the people with hysteria, arousing the masses, homogenizing the emotions. All this tends to awaken the brute Neanderthal psyche in man. Justify crime with the glamorous doctrine of race superiority, and then you make sure the people will follow you.
Hitler knew very well what he was doing when he turned the German concentration camps over to the unleashed lusts of his storm troopers. “Let them kill and murder,” was the device. “Once they have gone so far with me, they must go on to the end.”
The strategy of criminalization is not only directed toward crushing the victims of the totalitarian regime, but also toward giving the elite hangmen—the governing gang—that poisonous feeling of power that drags them farther and farther away from every human feeling; their victims become people without human identity, merely speaking masks and ego-less robots. The strategy of criminalization is the systematic organization of the lower passions in man, in particular in those the dictator must trust as his direct helpers.
Under the pressure of totalitarian thinking, nearly every citizen identifies with the ruling gang, and many must prove their loyalty by murder and killing, or at least expressing their approval of murder and killing. The boredom of Totalitaria’s automatic patterns of living leads the deluded citizens to welcome the adventure of war and crime and self-destruction.
Each new act of torture and crime makes new bonds of fidelity and unscrupulous obedience, especially within the leading gang. In the end, driven by crime and guilt, the ruling members have to stick it out together because the downfall of the system would bring about the downfall of the entire gang, both leaders and followers.
The same thing holds true in the criminal world. Once a man has taken the first step and rejected the laws of society and joined the criminal gang, he is at war with the outside world and its moral evaluations. From that point on, the gang can blackmail him and subdue him.
In Totalitaria, the vicious circle of criminalization of the citizenry, in which the means become ends in themselves, grows into a cynical conspiracy covered with the cynical flag of decent idealism. The country’s leaders use such simple words as “the universal campaign of peace,” and the citizens rejoice and take pride in these words. Only a few among them know what deceptive deeds lie behind the flowery phrases.
Blood becomes a magic fluid, and shedding someone else’s blood becomes a virtuous and life-giving deed. Unlimited killing, as it is practiced in totalitarian systems, is related to deep, unconscious fears. The weak and emotionally sick in any society kill out of fear, in order to borrow, in a magic way, their dead victims’ strength and happiness—as well as, of course, their material possessions.»
Utdrag fra: Joost A. M. Meerloo. «The Rape of the Mind: The Psychology of Thought Control, Menticide, and Brainwashing» 1956