Via Troed Troedson I found this interview with Hermann Göring:
Interview with Gustave Gilbert in Göring’s jail cell during the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials (18 April 1946).
Göring: Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany.
That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Isn’t it scary how much truth there is to this quote, even today? It really makes me realize the importance of the leaders we chose to vote for/believe in/trust with governing our countries.
How can we – the people, the masses – be so easily swayed from love and acceptance towards hatred and violence? Why is it so hard to stay in the place of love, the space where we are one, and not divided into warring factions?