Propaganda is a method of communication that is intended to shape the outlook of a society towards a particular source or situation that benefits an individual or the group as a whole. It also includes information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely as well as the diffusion of information that is used to influence the community’s views. Propaganda is used as a tool of manipulation, but it can also be a pervasive factor in modern day social and political organizations. “A message that is intended primarily to serve the interests of the messenger; this is the basic definition of propaganda.” The term originally emerged in 1622 when Pope Gregory XV established the Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith. At that time propaganda was about convincing large numbers of people about the veracity of a given set of ideas. Rulers throughout history, including Pericles, Alexander the Great, and Julius Caesar, used propaganda as a tool of persuasion to get citizens on their side, resulting in their success as leaders.
There are several distinctive forms of propaganda, which are used by different branches in the government or even in a single company, with the ultimate goal of swaying an opinion. One type is integration, which is important because a society cannot be successful without the unspoken support of its citizens. Governments are the main users of this because they need the support of the citizens, especially in times of war. Several rulers and leaders try to unite their country or even cities as one, which is a positive use of propaganda and can result in a more successful and advanced society. There is also racial and denial propaganda, which was used by Adolf Hitler when he discriminated against the Jewish people. When propaganda is used to dishearten and baffle enemy societies or troops it is called psychological warfare. If propaganda is not practiced accurately it could fail miserably. “Effective propaganda must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over.” Techniques of persuasion are used everywhere and for that reason they are effective. In the United States of America propaganda is sometimes thought of as a concept of lying or deception. In Latin countries where the word means something along the lines of advertising, it is not associated with negative things. Advertising is a form of propaganda that is used in the world today; it is not exactly all lies but it does not show flaws and flatus. It is a one-way story of what someone perceives history to be. Pericles, a Greek orator and leader during the Golden Age and the Peloponnesian War, used propaganda in elaborate speeches and in an extraordinary funeral oration that moved and motivated his people. Pericles was born in 493 BCE into a rich aristocratic family, like many successful rulers. He was described as an aloof Olympic figure; he was a patron of learning and the arts and masterminded the construction of the Parthenon. At the age of 13 Pericles was evacuated from Athens during the Battle of Salamis in the conflict against Persia, which exposed him to war at a young age. Pericles was elected as general thirty-two times in Athens and was loved by all his people. In 431 BCE, which was the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War he composed one of the most famous models of oratorical persuasion in history. After the first year of the war Pericles held an elaborate funeral for all those that died. He made a speech that honored the Athenians killed in battle, which helped strengthen the survivors in their continued fight. Many say that Pericles’ Funeral Oration is the one of the best expressions of the ideals of democracy ever. His speech intended to inspire his army to continue fighting though many had died. Pericles only mentions the superior qualities of his army and the advantages of the democracy that he had set up. He made their enemy city, Sparta, look like a terrible place to live because of...
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