“Propaganda is necessary for the functioning and survival of human society.” Discuss
The term Propaganda assumed immense significance during the First World War but it is known that societies have made use of propaganda whenever there were common interests. In his book Propaganda and Empire, McKenzie (1984) has highlighted the extreme importance of the 19th century ideological constructs. He has suggested that the durability of the term has assisted the development of hurdles in the economic progress of the UK during the 20th century. This aspect has become an important part of debates in the post colonial period. While investigating and evaluating the foundation of such ideologies, McKenzie (1984) examined children’s literature, school text books exhibitions, radio, films and theater. He concluded that as a consequence of imperial propaganda, the middle classes were able to achieve economic advantages under the garb of idealistic processes. In this process, morality was substituted by mercenary motives and enhanced adventure and romance for military and political aggressions. Thus, it became a significant change of past imperialist urges that matched the revised concepts of colonial settings (Lambert, 1938). Across the entire middle ages till the modern period, there has been immense reliance on propaganda and no society has refrained from it. For instance the constant conflicts amongst the monarchy and parliament in Britain has been a historic struggle whereby propaganda has always been used. Propaganda has been used as a weapon in the American independence movement, while it was also liberally used during the French Revolution. The maximum use of propaganda was made during the First World War, and both communists and fascists were aggressively involved in revolutionary propaganda after the war ended. After having captured power, both sections attempted to grab territories that extended further than their national boundaries, through the use of propaganda. In the modern world, man’s creativity has perfected means of communication that extends the impact of ideas and information in quickly spreading the required appeals. Nevertheless, the technological developments can be constructively used for the creation of peace and international welfare. However, leaders such as Mussolini and Hitler chose to use this medium for inhuman and selfish objectives and thereby created a negative picture of propaganda in the modern world (Herman and Chomsky, 1988). The development of politics in the modern world has stimulated the impacts of propaganda and is now considered an essential element of political campaigns in democratic systems. Propaganda now appears to be an essential part of the democratic process because the candidates seeking nominations are expected to appeal to the voting constituencies through strong promises and planned programs. After being elected, politicians have to appeal to the electorate for their opinion on suitability and dependability of their efforts and policies. It thus becomes necessary for political parties to engage in propaganda to justify and explain their course of action to the public. During peace time, democratic governments mostly engage in propaganda in making people aware of the available services and in creating popular support for themselves. Recent developments such as globalization have expanded the scope of propaganda because under circumstances of mass consumption and mass production, propaganda techniques have transformed in creating involvement of different entities such as employees, consumers, interest groups and the public at large (Farrell and Smith, 1967). Hate propaganda creates harm to people by negatively impacting their dignity and feeling of self worth. In addition, it harms society as a whole as it obliterates social accord and leads to discriminatory practices and violence, thereby leading to the creation of a hostile atmosphere amongst those that are besieged in the...
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Farrell, J. C. Smith, Asa P. (1967). Image and Reality in World Politics, New York, Columbia University Press.
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Jowett, G. S. and Victoria O’Donnell. (2011) . Propaganda and Persuasion, Sage Publications.
Katz, D. (1954). Public opinion and propaganda, Holt, Rinehart and Winston
Lambert, R. (1938). Propaganda, T. Nelson and sons, ltd. New York
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