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PROPAGANDA IS FOR SUBJECTS, NOT FOR CITIZENS | 2001-09-27

Rulers use propaganda in time of war. But these same leaders had better not fall for their own propaganda or their country will be destroyed.

Propaganda is aimed at those whose only function is to obey. Their job is to be enthusiastic. It is not to make a rational decision about who is right and who is wrong, who is good and who is evil. You don't want those whose only job is to blindly obey to understand the enemy they are fighting.

In time of war, the subject whose only job is to follow orders needs no understanding of the enemy. In fact, a realistic view of the enemy is the last thing you want them to have. It is hard to hate anyone blindly if you understand him.

The opposite is true for those who must make decisions about the war. A leader who sees the whole situation can fight an enemy effectively ONLY if understands his foe. The more you have to do with strategy, the more realistic you must be about the other side.

Those who must make the decision should be the least susceptible to propaganda.

Should you and I be realistic about terrorists, or should we see them as purely anti-American, the way the media wants us to?

We have just answered that question. The answer is that, in a democracy where citizens want to be in on the decisions, citizens must be aware of any propaganda line and reject it.