“…I’m afraid that in slipping from truth where one least ought to slip, I’ll not only fall myself but also drag my friends down with me” (Republic, 451a)

“Good propaganda does not need to lie; indeed it may not lie. It has no reason to fear the truth. It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth. They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves that it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run.”  (Dr. Joseph Goebbels, 1934)

Timeline: Part 1, the  Essay, is due on Saturday; Part 2, the Peer Evaluations, is due on Sunday evening.

Overview: This assignment has two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Please make sure you complete both according to directions.

Assignment Purpose: In this course, our topic is: What flaws in the critical thinking process do individuals, groups, politicians and entire governments make so that tyrants are able to rise to power? In previous weeks, to help us answer this question, we explored (1) how Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) rose to power, and (2) what “critical thinking” is. This week we’re going to explore Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” from Book VII of his Republic (380 B.C.).

PART 1 (100 Points)


1.  Read and view Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave” in Pages.

2.  Research Dr. Joseph Goebbels (1897-1945) and the word “propaganda.”

3.  Then, in 1,250 words (5 pages), explain why on June 24, 1942, Adolf Hitler said of Goebbels, his minister of propaganda: “Dr. Goebbels was gifted with the two things without which the situation in Berlin could not have been mastered: verbal facility and intellect ….  For Dr. Goebbels, who had not found much in the way of a political organization when he started, had won Berlin in the truest sense of the word” (“Joseph Goebbels, 1897-1945”) 

4.  In the process of explaining why Hitler credited Goebbels with the Nazi victory in Berlin, explain … Why Goebbels was called “the little doctor.” Why he influenced the content of school textbooks in Germany and eventually controlled all media in Germany. What the images on the cave wall are and who the puppet masters may be in Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave.”


1. Include a minimum of four quotes from sources you research.

2. Use correct MLA format, 8th Edition; click HERE to access “MLA Format, 8th Edition,” in Pages (left menu).

3. Read the college-level essays in Chapters 1 and 3 of our textbook THIS LITTLE BOOK About How to Write a College-Level Essay. You will need to write the same kind of college-level essay, one that is NOT a Five-Paragraph Essay and that contains a variety of paragraphs.

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