Every Country uses propaganda – here’s why

Every Country uses propaganda - here's why

Every Country uses propaganda – here’s why

 Propaganda creates an illusion that people believe in about their country and how the world works. They then make decisions in their lives and argue with one another based on this illusion.


MAR 15


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In high school I learned about the propaganda used during wars. I recall some of the more harmless posters used in the US that contained messages attempting to convince US citizens to buy bonds, or trade their silver in for bullets. 

These posters were used as propaganda to help the US public agree with the need for the war and all it was costing.

I also learned about propaganda used by other countries, including Russia and Germany. This propaganda though, was apparently the only kind that was bad. Why? Because it was coming from ‘the enemy,. In our own country, we are taught that only foreign governments do bad things.

This is the same sentiment no matter what country you live in. 

In this piece I want to present the idea that propaganda tunes populations into an illusion of reality, but not reality itself. This has many consequences.

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Every Country Uses Propaganda

This reality is rather obvious. And I’d bet that aside from wanting to gain control over mass public opinion, countries use propaganda so heavily on their citizens because if they don’t, another country will. 

Using propaganda gives countries control over their citizens and aligns them under one narrative, even if it’s not factual. In a world built on dominating and competitive worldviews, the cost is too great for most countries to not use propaganda, so they do. Hence we see a race to the bottom dynamic at play here.

Arguments in favor of propaganda include the idea that when it comes to life or death, getting the public on your side is important. 

But what happens when propaganda becomes the everyday tool for powerful interests to simply maintain their power? When it isn’t a question of life or death, but a question of powerful figures maintaining, and even growing, their power?

Richard Stengle is the founder of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center (GEC). He also served in Obama’s administration as the under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.

He had this to say about propaganda:

The Pulse @ThePulse_one

Richard Stengle, founder of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center. Served in Obama’s admin as the Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy & Public Affairs. “I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population.”


5:00 PM ∙ Mar 14, 2023

“Basically every country creates their own narrative and story. And my old job at the state department was what people used to joke as the chief propagandists job. I’m not against propaganda. Every country does it, and they have to do it to their own population.”

When you begin to open up to the idea that propaganda is a tool for powerful folks to get the public on their side about an idea, without telling them the truth, you start seeing the problem.

Further, it feels inherently undemocratic doesn’t it? If powerful people can withhold truth or sway public opinion with deception, does the voter truly have all the information necessary to cast a meaningful vote?

Of course not, but those in power believe the common person does not have the capacity to understand truth, and therefore propaganda becomes the means by which public opinion is shaped.

Propaganda & Democracy

As pointed out in this study out of Cambridge University by Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page called “Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens”

“When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

This suggests there isn’t a democracy in the United States. Not just because propaganda is shaping public opinion in a way that makes people’s votes uninformed, but also because there are groups of individuals who control politicians that the voter apparently put in place.

It concluded:

“The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.”

The theory that citizens and their desires are represented through the democratic process is not supported by reality.

There has been a critique of this study as seen here. But anyone who takes a close look at how our society truly operates will likely conclude that Page’s & Gilens’ findings are not far from the truth.

It pains me to see how obvious this reality is, yet still see the intellectual elite of the United States, who write for publications like The Atlantic, New York Times, and Washington Post, continue to cry out that US democracy is under threat. 

What democracy? What world are these folks living in that they cannot see the reality of the system they live within? Is it too painful to explore the notion that the once wonderful democracy of the US has long been gone?

Time and time again history and common sense suggests that people are given the option to vote as a means to uphold the illusion that they have a say. It keeps them invested in a system that doesn’t help them thrive.

In reality, the system is not designed to allow the ordinary citizen to have much say, unless of course their perception is shaped by the propaganda of that country.

“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.” – Edward Bernays, in his book Propaganda

A Space Between Worlds

We currently live in a space between worlds whereby many are waking up to the reality of propaganda, all while the system of propaganda is strengthening its hold on every last bit of power it has.

It’s a tricky place to be in because the commitment to centuries of propaganda has resulted in a loss of trust in societal institutions. Now, the general public has no reason to trust their governing institutions. They are becoming too wise, en masse, to accept the illusion their government is pulling over their eyes.

Government is then turning around and pointing the finger at every possible target but themselves, all while creating an infrastructure to snuff out dissenting voices.

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Look at the creation of companies like NewsGuard. They are an elite backed ‘fact-checking’ and platform rating system for news. NewsGuard claims to create transparent, accountable, trustworthy ratings for thousands of news outlets. 

But take a close look at their ratings and all is predictable: the mainstream gets near perfect marks, while everyone in the alternative faces harsh and unfair criticism.

I have exchanged many emails with John Gregory at NewsGuard. I imagine he’s a decent guy in real-life, but speaking to him about the business of news is like talking to a wall. There is zero room for nuance or complexity.

NewsGuard makes this claim on their website about an article we wrote in 2020:


The article in question was titled: ‘Fact-Checking The Fact-Checkers About Coronavirus & Vitamin C Treatment – Is It Really “Fake News”?’

In it we explored the clinical trial launched by Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, and explored the fact that fact-checkers were claiming that vitamin C tablets don’t help stop viruses. But in China they were not talking about tablets, they were talking about high dose vitamin C injected intravenously. 

All we did was report on what was happening in China, and made no claims. Yet NewsGuard said we were claiming ‘Vitamin C protects against COVID-19.’ How can people give credence to fact-checkers who can’t even get basic facts right?

It is more reasonable to think NewsGuard’s intention is to sew doubt about our platform than it is to arrive at truth.

The irony is, propaganda and fake news are often one in the same. In some cases governments create events and stories that are completely fabricated. In other cases they will completely change the context or mislead in order to get the end result they want. Fact-checkers and mainstream media follow along with their every move.

Aside from infrastructures of censorship, powerful figures are also calling those waking up to the deception “mentally ill” or “domestic terrorists.”

For the rest of this article please go to source link below.

By Joe Martino

Founder of Collective Evolution

I created CE 5 years ago and have been heavily at it since. I love inspiring others to find joy and make changes in their lives. Hands down the only other thing I am this passionate about is baseball.

(Source: thepulse.one; March 16, 2023; https://tinyurl.com/2eoab83s)