Propaganda is a misunderstood subject. Every day we are constantly bombarded with propaganda form a variety of sources; television, radio, newspapers, academic studies, bill boards, the Internet and many other sources. Most people are not aware of it.
Multiplication of Ideas
Propaganda comes from the word “propagate.” The word “propagate” means to multiple and spread. Propaganda is considered to be the multiplication of ideas. The Catholic Church was the first organization to use the word propaganda when in 1718 the Pope formed the”Congregato do Propaganda Fide,” which means the congregation for the spreading of the faith. It was the arm of the Catholic Church that was responsible to spread Catholism throughout the world.
In today’s world when people hear the word propaganda they think it is negative and it is lies. Before WW II many countries had a Department of Propaganda, today those propaganda departments changed identity calling themselves Department of Public Relations or Information.
In virtually every country propaganda refers to the persuasiveness from the media and advertising.
The purpose of propaganda is to influence or persuade people. Propaganda can be mind control, however the type of mind control that takes place on a conscious level.
Propaganda is also considered to be:
1) The deliberate intent to spread ideas to help or harm a group.
2) The official publication of government designed to influence or gain control of an opinion. The information may be true or false but it is always selected for its political effect.
3) Material disseminated by a group or individual fighting for a doctrine or cause, or done by people or individual who oppose a doctrine, cause or belief system.
If we look at it propaganda, it is really the spreading of beliefs. The only power that is processed by any type of propaganda is the belief behind the idea. The real power is the belief whether the idea is true or false; the only thing that matters if people have any beliefs concerning the message. The beliefs will elicit an emotional response that will spur people to take action, pick a side or form pro or con opinions.