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Propaganda is necessary for the functioning and survival of human society. Discuss

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Forms in relationship to an acknowledgment of its sources.
    1. Black propaganda.
    2. Grey propaganda.
    3. White propaganda.
  3. The use of propaganda.
    1. Increase in the need for propaganda.
    2. Mass propaganda techniques as aspects of the social process.
  4. Jacques Ellul's emphasis on the link between democracy and propaganda.
    1. The people's sovereignty and replacing of religion or tradition in the legitimating of political power.
    2. The only option for the state.
  5. The 'mystical belief' that power is legitimate if it derives from the sovereignty of the people.
  6. Propaganda in democracy.
  7. Societies need for the existence of propaganda.
  8. Modern technological societies.
  9. Conclusion.
  10. Bibliography.

?Propaganda, by whatever name we may call it, has become a very general phenomenon in the modern world. Differences in political regimes matter little; differences in social levels are more important; and most important is national self-awareness.?(1) Actually, propaganda is a large scale phenomenon, predominant in every society and hard to define. To Jowett an O'Donnell, ?Propaganda is a form of communication that attempts to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist.? In the same way, De Vito, in 1986, identifies it as ?organised persuasion? and Sproule, in 1994, defines it as ?the work of large organisations or groups to win over the public for special interests through a massive orchestration of attractive conclusions packaged to conceal both their persuasive purpose and lack of supporting reasons.? (2)Consequently, we can say that propaganda constitutes a specific class of mass communication which aim is to affect public opinion and behavioural change, to send out an ideology to an audience with a related objective. In its broad sense, it includes psychological action and warfare, re-education and brain-washing, public and human relations considered as a way to ?adapt the individual to a society, to a living standard, to an activity?(3)

[...] Actually, a nation can only survive if its values are secured, its citizens loyal and unanimous and if they practice the civic virtues which is obtained through white propaganda campaigns promoting the nation, the common history and will of the people. It is a way to build and reinforce nations psychologically and ideologically, a sort of national education. The examples of the French and American revolutions are here relevant. Actually, not only to make the people resist the king and British authoritarianism , but also to instil deeply in themselves the national feeling, the leaders of the revolutionary movements used big propaganda campaign, through pamphlets, posters And the provisional proclamation on psychological action of 1957 confirms this statement: ?Neutralism on the part of a government invites subversion and places it in a perilous position. [...]


[...] The question is here to know whether propaganda is ?necessary for the functioning and survival of human society? or not. To answer it, we will focus on white propaganda, considered as a way to human societies by many thinkers; ?Propaganda is a technique of social pressure which tends to create psychological or social groups with a unified structure across the homogeneity of the affective and mental states of individuals under considerations?(6); and analyse its function on the sociological, psychological and political point of views. [...]


[...] It is thus necessary for the existence and functioning of human societies, no matter the political regime or the time. modern state, even if it is liberal, democratic and humanist finds itself objectively and sociologically in a situation in which it must use propaganda as a mean of governing. It cannot do otherwise.? By saying this, Jacques Ellul emphasises on the link between democracy and propaganda in our modern societies. ?Propaganda is needed in the exercise of power for the simple reason that the masses have come to participate in political affairs? it is one aspect of democracy and no modern society can survive and function without it. [...]

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