Sunday, September 6, 2009

Propaganda

"Good propaganda must keep well ahead of actual political events. It must act as pacemaker to policy and mold public opinion with appearing to do so. Before political aims are translated into action, the world has to be convinced of their necessity and moral justification." -Erich Ludendorff-
As I study the Great War, I dwell continuously on the impact of propaganda in the war. It kept men in certain political/military positions far longer then they should have been there and helped prolong a war that was incredibly unpropitious and destructive. Despite the damning effects of the stalled war effort as assisted by the promulgation of its key leaders, propaganda remains one of the most often used tools in leadership today. Why is that? Are people so blind that they are willing to submit themselves to a plan of action that has no basis in truth simply because it is sugar-coated? The other side of the coin, is can a leader lead without the support and backing that propaganda can bring with it? Even if I am not convinced of the "necessity and moral justification" of something - that doesn't mean it shouldn't be put into action. Nor if I am convinced does that mean the plan should be executed. The line between words, decisions, and actions is a blurred one. As a leader, how does one handle the blurriness - especially in light of knowing that your molding of the public opinion might influence a decision that is both costly and completely unjustified at the expense of a blind following.

2 comments:

Ryan said...

Propaganda works because:
1. MOST people don't think enough
2. Critiques aren't usually leaders.


*** fix the blog header; it is driving me nuts!

Ryan said...

*Critics (boy, I need my wife to constantly re-read everything I type)