If You Think the Purpose of Government Propaganda Is to Make People Believe It, You're Wrong

by John Spritzler

October 16, 2018

Most people think that the purpose of government (i.e., ruling class) propaganda--the stuff we see and hear on the mass media all the time--is intended to make people believe it. NOT SO!

The actual purpose of this propaganda is something very different: to make people believe that EVERYBODY ELSE believes it.

Stop and think carefully about the difference between these two purposes.They are not at all the same!

The basic theme of the propaganda is this:

"The rulers of society--our government and corporate elite--may not be without some faults and may not be saints, but they are nonetheless working as best they can for the benefit and welfare of all of us. If they wage a war it is for our safety or to protect innocent people abroad. If they pass an unpopular law it is because it is actually necessary for the common good. Our capitalist society may not be ideal and it's unfortunate that in order to remain competitive businesses sometimes have to lay off workers or pay them less than the workers want, but capitalism is far better than any possible alternative."

Guess what? Hardly anybody actually believes this! Go ahead and ask random people if they believe this, and you'll see that they don't. In fact, if you ask random people if they think the contrary message on this button shown below is a good idea or a bad idea, the vast majority say it's a good (or a great!) idea. Watch them say so in this video of me asking random people on the streets of Boston. 91% said it's a good idea*. When I asked 50 random people the same question at a pro-Trump rallly, 86% said it was a good idea.

But if you ask people who personally don't believe the government propaganda if they think most OTHER people DO believe it, then you'll find that many people say, "Yes."

The purpose of the government propaganda is to make people think this way:

"Yes, I would love to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor (a.k.a. have an egalitarian revolution), but hardly anybody else feels that way and so it's an impossible goal and if I say I'm for it people will think I'm crazy--or worse; so I better keep my mouth shut about wanting a better more equal and democratic kind of society."

THAT's the purpose of the propaganda. And it's working. This is why there are virtually no organizations--progressive or labor or anything else--that advocate egalitarian revolution. It's not that the rank and file members wouldn't love such a revolution; they would indeed love it. It's because the rank-and-file members think that if their organization advocated egalitarian reovolution is would lose support from the general public. The fact is exactly the opposite: they'd GAIN support, as this video shows random people on the streets of Boston telling me. But people don't know this. Why not? Because the REAL purpose of the government propaganda is to prevent them from knowing it.

Part of the propaganda is not what we see and hear on the media but--even more important--what we never see and hear. We never see or hear anybody expressing an egalitarian revolutionary aspiration. When did you EVER see or hear in a newspaper or magazine or radio station--even the so-called "alternative" ones--somebody saying, in so many words, that they'd like to remove the rich from power and have no rich and no poor with real, not our current fake, democracy? Even though MOST people feel this way, this kind of talk is absolutely CENSORED in the media. The purpose of this censorship is to make people think that even though they feel that way personally, hardly anybody else does, so keep quiet about how you feel.

The ruling class knows perfectly well that most people don't like it and resent living in a dictatorship of the rich. The ruling class knows damn well that it will never persuade ordinary people--whom it routinely treats like dirt--to love the rich.

But the ruling class also knows that in order to prevent people from rising up and removing the rich from power, it doesn't need to persuade them to like the rich. It only needs to persuade them that it is impossible to remove the rich from power--that "resistance is futile." Making people feel hopeless due to being all alone in their desire to remove the rich from power is all that is required for the rich to remain in power. THAT is the purpose of the propaganda, and it is the #1 strategy of the rich for remaining in power.

What Is To Be Done?

Since the main problem is NOT that people believe the propaganda about how good the rulers/rich are, the main element of the solution (to the problem of the dictatorship of the rich) is NOT to focus on persuading people that the rulers/rich are not really good guys. No! People already know that.

The main element of the solution is to help people see that they are not alone in wanting an egalitarian revolution. THAT is what people don't know yet. But when they find out, then there will be a political sea change, as I discovered in 1969 in an event I recount here. Then we will be able to remove the rich from power, as I discuss here.

Read here about something you can do to find out for yourself if what I've said above about people not believing the government propaganda is true or not. It's the first step towards building an egalitarian revolutionary movement--gaining confidence that one is not alone in wanting such a revolution.


* One person--the woman at time point 32:13--who said it was a bad idea only said this because she thought--wrongly--that one had to believe that ALL rich people are bad people in order to think it was a good idea. I didn't realize that this was the problem when I was talking to her, but later on I did and I wrote "Some Rich People ARE Good" to clarify things for future similar conversations.

Another person--the man- at time point 32:03--who I count as NOT thinking the button's message is a good idea seemed to think it was an impossible idea and then said something about a job, which I guess means he thinks we need the rich in power to have jobs. When people who feel this way (a minority!) understand why we don't need the rich for jobs as I discuss here, then they will be more firmly on our side and not so confused about things.





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