Gleichschaltung is a German word with a rich history. It stands for the coerced harmonisation of all forms of public expression with the official line. That concept is currently undergoing a renaissance, but not in the “captive nations” of the East.
Every morning after arriving in his office at the Propaganda Ministry, Dr. Goebbels would devote himself to the important task of disseminating a directive to all German media outlets, outlining what position on principal issues they were expected to take on that particular day. The media were instructed not only on what to say but – of equal importance – what not to mention. The system Goebbels set up worked like a charm. Under his meticulous supervision, in public discourse an imposing harmony of opinion reigned from one end of Germany to another, undisrupted by discordant voices.
One wishes that this mechanically imposed harmony, admired as it may have been by some, had come to an end in 1945. But a YouTube bulletin (see Google’s Covid Medical Misinformation policy) disseminated a few days ago reminds us that it did not.