Various types of belief can be implanted in many people, after brain function has been sufficiently disturbed by accidentally or deliberately induced fear, anger or excitement. Of the results caused by such disturbances, the most common one is temporarily impaired judgment and heightened suggestibility. Its various group manifestations are sometimes classed under the heading of 'herd instinct,' and appear most spectacularly in wartime, during severe epidemics, and in all similar periods of common danger, which increase anxiety and so individual and mass suggestibility.
We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.
U.S. information programs are understood to include activities official and unofficial, overt and covert, undertaken to influence foreign opinion in favor of U.S. objectives or against the objectives of those opposing the U.S. These include radio; ... ; publications; movie services; libraries abroad; ... leader training; cultural activities; East-West exchanges and contacts; "political action"; "political warfare"; support of ... groups and activities; influencing of opinion makers; ...
In effect, the human being should be considered the priority objective in a political war. And conceived as the military target of guerrilla war, the human being has his most critical point in his mind. Once his mind has been reached, the "political animal" has been defeated, without necessarily receiving bullets.
We have learned to call this propaganda. A group of men, who can prevent independent access to the event, arrange the news of it to suit their purpose. That the purpose was in this case patriotic does not affect the argument at all. They used their power to make the Allied publics see affairs as they desired them to be seen.
A higher species of men which, thanks to their preponderance of will, knowledge, wealth and influence make use of democratic Europe as their aptest and most mobile tool, in order to bring into their own hands the destinies of the Earth and as artists to shape 'man' himself. Enough — the time is coming when men will unlearn and relearn the art of politics.
The American business community was also very impressed with the propaganda effort. They had a problem at that time. The country was becoming formally more democratic. A lot more people were able to vote and that sort of thing. The country was becoming wealthier and more people could participate and a lot of new immigrants were coming in, and so on. So what do you do? It's going to be harder to run things as a private club. Therefore, obviously, you have to control what people think. ... The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process, the freedom to persuade and suggest. ... Propaganda is the executive arm of the invisible government.
The point of a political speech is to persuade people of what we think right.
...in actuality the feedom of public opinion involves the preparation of public opinion, which costs money; and the freedom of the press brings with it the question of possession of the press, which again is a matter of money; and with the franchise comes electioneering, in which he who pays the piper calls the tune.
When you can't control people by force, and when the voice of the people can be heard, you have this problem—it may make people so curious and so arrogant that they don't have the humility to submit to a civil rule [Clement Walker, 1661], and therefore you have to control what people think. And the standard way to do this is to resort to what in more honest days used to be called propaganda, manufacture of consent, creation of necessary illusion. Various ways of either marginalizing the public or reducing them to apathy in some fashion.
Americans create 57% of the world's advertising while representing only 6% of its population; half of our waking hours are spent immersed in the mass media. Persuasion has always been integral to the democratic process, but increasingly, thoughtful discussion is being replaced with simplistic soundbites and manipulative messages.