Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The need for self-affirmation

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The need for self-affirmation

One good point made by Jacques Ellul in his piece, "The Characteristics of Propganda" is that propganda "...exploits the individual's need for self-affirmation." That is, effective propaganda appeals to people by telling by justifying their beliefs. This is well illustrated by the rampant exploitation of jingoism by politicans. For example, "America is the best country in the world". This both re-affirms the belief of the citizen, as well as forcing potential opponents to use similar propaganda. Whether America is or isn't the best country in the world in this case is irrelevant. Telling people what they want to hear, regardless of truth, can be an effective vehicle in manipulation.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

Mr. Moore, we all need affirmation don't we?

1/26/2006 3:56 PM  
Blogger Aneika A. McDonald said...


1/26/2006 3:57 PM  
Blogger Shawn Hewitt said...

That makes sense

1/26/2006 3:59 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

You have hit on a basic truth. It is a cliche but telling people what they want to hear is a basic part of mass persuasion. The trick is to associate what they want to hear with your ideas and objectives.

1/30/2006 11:22 PM  

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