We all know that propaganda is something bad that’s done by bad people.
So, let me ask you, why do we all know that?
Back in WWI & WWII there were people dedicated to helping the American public understand how lopsided communication was being used in other countries to sway public opinion, change legislation, and ultimately get buy-in from normal people to extraordinary policies.
These communicators were focused on one thing: help the American people understand that propaganda is bad.
And they used every tool in their toolkit.
There were movies made.
There were posters.
There were spokespeople.
There were wholesome contests held in the name of freedom.
Do you see the irony?
It was a full scale propaganda effort.
The belief that propaganda is bad is the result of propaganda efforts from 70+ years ago, and we never question it.
I love the irony of people who say that propaganda never works on them because it’s a bad thing and it’s totally obvious.
Because they don’t see that THAT belief is, itself, the result of clever propagandists that are long since dead.
The most powerful effects are the ones that people don’t believe exist.
Devil’s in the details, no?
So what other beliefs do you have that were designed by a couple experts in applied psychology gathered in a smoky back room with dim lighting?
The unsettling answer is: you’ll never know.