Submitted by Daniel Lattier viaThe Foundation for Economic Education,
There’s a principle in hypnotism that goes like this: A person cannot be hypnotized against his will. He must be a willing subject. He must be fully cooperative.
So it goes with propaganda. For propaganda to be effective, it requires submissive subjects. As Professor Nicholas O’Shaughnessy wrote, propaganda is a ‘co-production in which we are willing participants.’
Propaganda is typically defined as the dissemination of particularly biased information in support of a political or ideological cause. In his 1965 book Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, philosopher Jacques Ellul provided us with some of the basic characteristics of propaganda: it thwartsdialogue, it is geared toward the masses, it utilizes various media, it is continuous, it is not intended to make one think.
Disable the Brain
If these are the characteristics of propaganda, then it is no exaggeration to say that we are surrounded by it today. Most news organizations have become partisan shills and propagandists. They provide viewers with a steady stream of videos, audio clips, images, and articles – most lacking nuance and of dubious intellectual merit – that serve the intended purpose of promoting an ideology while fueling disdain for the ‘opposition’. And they have become very successful doing it.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 9, 2016.