"There’s a principle in hypnotism that goes like this: A person cannot be hypnotized against his will. He must be a willing subject. He must be fully cooperative.
So it goes with propaganda.
For propaganda to be effective, it requires submissive subjects.
As Professor Nicholas O’Shaughnessy wrote, propaganda is a “co-production in which we are willing participants.”
...If these are the characteristics of propaganda, then it is no exaggeration to say that we are surrounded by it today.
Most news organizations have become partisan shills and propagandists.
They provide viewers with a steady stream of videos, audio clips, images, and articles—most lacking nuance and of dubious intellectual merit—that serve the intended purpose of promoting an ideology while fueling disdain for the “opposition”.
And they have become very successful doing it.
The reason they are successful, I fear, is that:
- most people today want to be propagandized—though they would never admit it.
- Most people want to be given ideological marching orders and talking points from an authority.
- Most people have zero interest, and see little value, in engaging with arguments put forward by those who hold differing positions, unless it’s to ridicule them.
- Most people want to simply choose the news media organizations that best fit with their selected ideological camps and immerse themselves in their informational streams.
This realization is unfortunate, but not really surprising..."