Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: A New Form of Technology for the Future

Monday, February 16, 2009

A New Form of Technology for the Future

Numbers, tables and other statistics are used today for many observations. Sports is a great example. Whether we want to know how many career homeruns Hank Aaron has or what plays to run on a certain football team, we use these numbers to help us in different areas of research.

Lippmann was deemed one of the first social scientists in American history in the 1910's. This is the dawn of muckraking and yellow journalism. He joined the Socialist Party, but then left it four years later.

It is always wise to plan ahead for the future. Most of the tabloids in the papers leads citizens into a misguided view of what is going on in the world. This factor leads to chaos.

"For the first generation of twentieth-century reformers, the scientific gathering of empirical data-social surveys-had been seen as a mighty instrument of social improvement. Social surverys, they had believed, would provide the public with a social agenda for the future. To Lippmann and a growing number of others, however, the social sciences appealed less in their ability to create an informed public and more in their promise to help establish social control." (Stuart Ewen, PR!, page 64)

Social improvement was the main goal for Lippmann. These studies didn't help the problem at the time, but it was a start. If we get to the root of the problem as soon as possible, then it will stop from growing.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

empirical data, surveys and statistics were weapons in the arsenal of reform-minded social scientists (W.E.B.Dubois would be a good example.)

Lippmann was making another point here. He believed that the enormous popularity of the muck-raking genre of investigative reporting had created a monster that threatened American democracy. The mass readership of the constant progressive attacks on corporations and goverment were now seeing conspiracy and corruption behind every door. That, Lippmann felt, was dangerous and might lead to chaos and instablity rather than reform and progress.

2/23/2009 5:22 PM  

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