One of the most powerful ways to protect yourself from being influenced by American propaganda is to know and learn the lessons of history. There are many quotes about propaganda that should be widely known but are not.
“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”
― George Orwell
Listen to what the titans of history have to say about the future of America if we will not break out of the thought farm and search for the truth.
Share or pass along to your friends and family who may never have heard of such men.
The education system, commercials, films, academia, NGO’s, news media complex, TV programming and the like, all surround us with vivid images and propaganda techniques served up in a comprehensive system of group think. If you are not familiar with the men below, you are failing a major history test. Their thoughts from the early 20th century are highly relevant to the condition in which we as citizen of the United States find ourselves.
Edward Bernays- This figure is widely considered to be the father of public relations industry. He wrote the book Propaganda and Crystalizing Public Opinion. His view of the masses as unable to truly participate in a democracy and as needing to be lead by an elite minority was interestingly NOT featured prominently in a NYT article that appeared after his death.
The entire PR industry of propaganda, spin and “creating news” were first defined in WWI, perfected in the corporate world and transferred to politics as fast as men of power could integrate the techniques.
This goes so much deeper than “The 7 Techniques of Propaganda” which is about the only thing the government schools teach the plantation kids. It is the history of men like George Creel, Edward Bernays and Ivy Lee that students should be studying.
A propaganda quote from Joseph Goebbels’ would be historically interesting but recognizing how thinkers on this side of the pond intended to use the new technologies are much more eye-opening, blowing away the illusion that propaganda is not used in the United States. While we have roundly criticized other countries use, ignorance of our true history or naiveté are the only two reasons for concluding that we are guiltless.
George Orwell-Author, journalist, commonly ranked as one of the most influential English writers of the 20th century who opposed totalitarianism with two of his most famous books, 1984 and Animal Farm. There are numerous significant propaganda quotes in 1984 and Animal Farm
Aldous Huxley-Wrote the satire Brave New World and then about twenty years later wrote Brave New World Revisited. He was well connected with elite thinkers in Europe. He was also apparently deeply concerned that society might become enslaved through the complex use of the corporate media and/or mood-altering substances.
HL Mencken-Thinker, journalist once wrote this about American democracy and the difficulty of selecting first rate men.
“The larger the mob, the harder the test. In small areas, before small electorates, a first-rate man occasionally fights his way through, carrying even the mob with him by force of his personality. But when the field is nationwide, and the fight must be waged chiefly at second and third hand, and the force of personality cannot so readily make itself felt, then all the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre—the man who can most easily adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum.
The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”
Propaganda Quotes From Famous People:
“Propaganda may be defined as the conscious attempt to create attitudes and induce actions with reference to some predetermined end. The term is employed to include both the process of propagandizing and the things that are propagated, which are ideas, opinions, and policies.The propagandist always has some end in view; he seeks to attain the end by means that are often devious and sometimes concealed; and this end is not the good of the person or group to whom the propaganda is addressed when all things are taken into consideration.”
“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”
― John F. Kennedy
“Just because something isn’t a lie does not mean that it isn’t deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.”
“All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”
“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
“The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles.”
― Jeff Cooper, Art Of The Rifle
“That’s the whole point of good propaganda. You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for. Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.”
“We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN.”
―B. W. Powe, Towards A Canada Of Light
“The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan.”
“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”
―Edward L. Bernays, Propaganda
“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”
―Noam Chomsky, Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda
“Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it.”
“The real struggle is not between East and West, or capitalism and communism, but between education and propaganda.”
“The plain fact is that education is itself a form of propaganda – a deliberate scheme to outfit the pupil, not with the capacity to weigh ideas, but with a simple appetite for gulping ideas ready-made. The aim is to make ‘good’ citizens, which is to say, docile and uninquisitive citizens.”
― H.L. Mencken
“The idea that the State is capable of solving social problems is now viewed with great scepticism – which foretells a coming change. As soon as scepticism is applied to the State, the State falls, since it fails at everything except increasing its power, and so can only survive on propaganda, which relies on unquestioning faith.”
“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or the propaganda might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies – the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.
In the past most people never got a chance of fully satisfying this appetite. They might long for distractions, but the distractions were not provided. Christmas came but once a year, feasts were “solemn and rare,” there were few readers and very little to read, and the nearest approach to a neighborhood movie theater was the parish church, where the performances though frequent, were somewhat monotonous. For conditions even remotely comparable to those now prevailing we must return to imperial Rome, where the populace was kept in good humor by frequent, gratuitous doses of many kinds of entertainment – from poetical dramas to gladiatorial fights, from recitations of Virgil to all-out boxing, from concerts to military reviews and public executions. But even in Rome there was nothing like the non-stop distractions now provided by newspapers and magazines, by radio, television and the cinema. In “Brave New World” non-stop distractions of the most fascinating nature are deliberately used as instruments of policy, for the purpose of preventing people from paying too much attention to the realities of the social and political situation. The other world of religion is different from the other world of entertainment; but they resemble one another in being most decidedly “not of this world.” Both are distractions and, if lived in too continuously, both can become, in Marx’s phrase “the opium of the people” and so a threat to freedom. Only the vigilant can maintain their liberties, and only those who are constantly and intelligently on the spot can hope to govern themselves effectively by democratic procedures. A society, most of whose members spend a great part of their time, not on the spot, not here and now and in their calculable future, but somewhere else, in the irrelevant other worlds of sport and soap opera, of mythology and metaphysical fantasy, will find it hard to resist the encroachments of those would manipulate and control it.”
― Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited
“It is possible to argue that the really influential book is not that which converts ten millions of casual readers, but rather that which converts the very few who, at any given moment, succeed in seizing power. Marx and Sorel have been influential in the modern world, not so much because they were best-sellers (Sorel in particular was not at all a widely read author), but because among their few readers were two men, called respectively Lenin and Mussolini.”
“In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
“Utopianism’s equality is intolerant of diversity, uniqueness, debate, etc., for utopianism’s purpose requires a singular focus. There can be no competing voices or causes slowing or obstructing society’s long and righteous march. Utopianism relies on deceit, propaganda, dependence, intimidation, and force. In its more aggressive state, as the malignancy of the enterprise becomes more painful and its impossibility more obvious, it incites violence inasmuch as avenues for free expression and civil dissent are cut off. Violence becomes the individual’s primary recourse and the state’s primary response. Ultimately, the only way out is the state’s termination.”
―Mark R. Levin, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America
“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution”
― Aldous Huxley