Propaganda: Module One: Session Three


Propaganda - Why Does It Work?

  • Propaganda works because people want it to work.
  • If you ever saw propaganda that seemed ridiculous to you, chances are that it didn't work because you didn't want it to work. Remember the Ford Mustang ad where the lonely accountant buys a Mustang, and suddenly girls chase him down the street? Nobody thinks that will happen, right? Well, sales of Mustangs went up in correlation to the ad campaign.

Education is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of propaganda.

  • Students are inadvertently conditioned to be receptive to propaganda by their schools. How can this be?
  • It all starts with the parents' appropriate admonition, "Always listen to your teacher." Then they go to school, and here's what happens;
    Students absorb large quantities of second-hand, unverifiable information.
    Students are made to feel that they should have an opinion on every important question. Most of these issues are very complex, so the student falls prey to the propaganda of those whom they trust.
    Students feel capable of judging the merits of these opinions for themselves. In most cases they haven't learned how to evaluate these opinions.
  • It is not that schools are evil. It is an unintended byproduct of the system. The real problems come when the student leaves school. Other sources of propaganda become the "teacher." The student applies the same principles of school to other media, such as the television, radio, magazines, and so forth. The three things listed above happen to every student in every type of school. And almost every person has gone to school. So almost every member of modern society is conditioned by the school to be receptive to propaganda.
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