Propaganda & Mass Persuasion

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"While we sit here tonight, enjoying a picture show, are you aware that thousands of people in Europe--people not unlike yourselves-- are languishing in slavery under Prussian masters?"
-Virgil Williams

The Four-Minute Men were a group of local opinion leaders who had been pulled together to maintain home-front support for the U.S. military involvement in the First World War. George Creel organized these men because he along with the CPI, which President Woodrow Wilson had established as a vast propaganda ministry were going to take over America's thoughts and ideas and make them their own. After all it was for the best of the country. I find it rather disturbing that these men had the capability and resources to be able to drown an entire country with one thought. Support the War. Wilson along with Creel and the help of the CPI were able to take over television, radio, magazines, advertisements, and everything else that reaches the public in order to change the minds of all Americans and make the support this war. It is rather disturbing to know that people with this kind of power actually have used it. It makes me wonder how much of what we as Americans think and do are because we want to or because it is what we are "told" to. The more I learn about propaganda, the more afraid of it I am.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

The Four Minute Men were volunteers and the CPI was a government bureaucracy that mobilized what was for the most part a willing population. WWI was a popular war with many Americans. Our patriotism was aroused and needed only to be channeled in the directions that the government required. The CPI worked with ideas and interests that the public already possessed. The CPI could not really "take over America's thoughts" It was not that powerful by anymeans. It worked with the the media and advertising professionals who understood how Americans thought in order to shape public opinion.

2/20/2006 10:26 PM  

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