War PropagandaPast, Present and Future
Part 1: An In-depth Look at War Propaganda
Propaganda consists of the planned use of any form of public of mass-produced communication designed to affect the minds and emotions of a given group for a specific purpose, whether military, economic, or political.
-Linebarger, Paul Myron Anthony
In every aspect of life, there tends to be a desire to have others see things the way we see them. In theory, if we all share the same views and opinions, we can unite for common goals. Propaganda consists of a communicators objective to impose or manipulate a person, or group of people into adopting his ideals. Perhaps the most common place that Propaganda is used is during times of war. Given the choice, most people would most likely not express a love for war. Some are passionately against it, others, though not in love with the idea, support it when it’s necessary. Due to the raw nature of war and people’s reactions to it, there seems to be some force working to mask the negative feelings towards war and unite people in support of it.
With regard to war, the purpose of propaganda is to make a particular group of people forget that another group is human. By focusing on a few, simple target ideas that reinforce the notion that another group of people are harmful and inhumane, propaganda is able to unite people in an unrealistic mindset. Understandably, however, governments have a priority to nurture the morale of its people and the armed forces that represent it by intimidating the enemy with the force of natural will. The question of whether or not we choose to accept this harsh reality remains ambiguous, as there will always be two sides to the argument.
So as it stands, it is well known that “In war, truth is a relative commodity and propaganda a staple of battle.” It is clear that, despite the negative connotation that propaganda entails, prestigious world leaders admit to its necessity. “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies. (Winston Churchill) Though leaders will often admit to their use of propaganda, the tendency is to denounce it as such, reverting to euphemisms when discussing their own political agenda. For example, the American government will admit to the use of propaganda only when it is referred to as “public information”. When speaking of the enemy, however, it is essential that their tactics be deemed war propaganda.
Propaganda in totalitarian regimes is easy to recognize for its blatant and crude methods. In democratic societies, on the other hand, propaganda is often disguised. In a nation where the public is required to think and act according to the collective good of society, the use of blatant propaganda would most likely not be questioned. If it were questioned, it’s generally not within anyone’s right to express their dissatisfaction or concern of the nature of the government’s actions. In a nation with free...