If You Think the Purpose
of Government Propaganda
Is to Make People Believe It,
[The longer version of this article is at https://newdemocracyworld.org/culture/purpose.pdf ]
by John Spritzler
October 16, 2018
The URL of this article for sharing it is https://www.pdrboston.org/mass-media-what-s-its-real-purpose
[Also, please read "Beware of the Gallup Poll"]
Most people think that the purpose of government (i.e., ruling class) propaganda--the stuff we see and hear on the mass media all the time--is intended to make people believe it. NOT SO!
The actual purpose of this propaganda is something very different: to make people believe that EVERYBODY ELSE believes it.
Stop and think carefully about the difference between these two purposes.They are not at all the same!
The basic theme of the propaganda is this:
"The rulers of society--our government and corporate elite--may not be without some faults and may not be saints, but they are nonetheless working as best they can for the benefit and welfare of all of us. They were freely elected by us and so they truly represent us. If they wage a war it is for our safety or to protect innocent people abroad. If they pass an unpopular law it is because it is actually necessary for the common good or to protect some people who need special protection. Our capitalist society may not be ideal and it's unfortunate that in order to remain competitive businesses sometimes have to lay off workers or pay them less than the workers want, but capitalism is far better than any possible alternative."
Guess what? Hardly anybody actually believes this! Go ahead and ask random people if they believe this, and you'll see that they don't. I did that and found that most people are egalitarians. Read here what happened when I asked thousands of random people on the street what they thought about this. And read here about how and why the Gallup Poll Co. refused my offer to pay them to find out what most people think about this.
While very few ordinary people agree with the above-described basic theme of the propaganda, when it comes to secondary themes such as the official 9/11 story--a "what actually happened" assertion about things of which ordinary people have no direct experience and must therefore rely entirely on what the authorities tell them the facts are--even here the proportion of people who don't believe the propaganda is far higher than you might think, as I discuss in detail here regarding 9/11.
If, as you watch the TV news anchors lying on and on about something, you think to yourself, "They're telling bald-faced lies; how depressing that most people believe this nonsense," then guess what? YOU have just swallowed, line, hook and sinker, the Big Lie you were intended to believe!
The purpose of the propaganda is to make those who hear it think that they are all alone in wanting an egalitarian revolution, to make them feel so hopeless that they will not even try to build an egalitarian revolutionary movement because they are sure hardly anybody else would join it. The purpose is to make people feel the way these people feel: hopeless because they are only a tiny minority.
Our rulers know that because we humans are a social species, evolved to survive only by social cooperation rather than as lone individuals, that therefore people fear being ostracized from the society in which they live. This means people fear to be perceived as going against the majority. Thus, by using the mass media to make people believe that the majority believes this or that, our rulers make people afraid to let anybody know that they disagree. The result is that practically everybody can think one thing but nobody expresses that view because they believe that everybody else holds the opposite view. Our rulers use the media this way to control us, not by making us believe the lies but by making us think that everybody else believes them.