Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda, in its most basic sense, presents information primarily to influence an audience.
Propaganda is often biased, with facts selectively presented (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the attitude toward the subject in the target audience to further a political, or other type of agenda. Propaganda can be used as a form of political warfare.
“There’s no doubt that one of the major issues of twentieth century history, surely in the US, is corporate propaganda. Its goal from the beginning, perfectly openly and consciously, was to ‘control the public mind,’ as they put it. The reason was that the public mind was seen as the greatest threat to the corporations.”
– Noam Chomsky
“The man who is possessed of wealth, who lolls on his sofa or rolls in his carriage, cannot judge the wants or feelings of the day-laborer. The government we mean to erect is intended to last for ages. The landed interest, at present, is prevalent; but in process of time, when we approximate to the states and kingdoms of Europe, when the number of landholders shall be comparatively small, through the various means of trade and manufactures, will not the landed interest be overbalanced in future elections, and unless wisely provided against, what will become of your government?
In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability.”
– James Madison.
Statement (1787-06-26) as quoted in Notes of the Secret Debates of the Federal Convention of 1787. Propaganda and Control of the Public Mind | Noam Chomsky (Full Lecture):
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