Should Government Use Propaganda to Persuade Citizens to Support its Idea of National Interest?
The definition of the word propaganda is highly debatable due to the fact that there are various forms of propaganda but a simpler way could be that propaganda is any information, ideas or rumours deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, a movement, institution, nation, etc. It can also be defined as the deliberate spreading of such information, or the particular doctrines or principles propagated by an organization or movement. Propaganda is therefore information or ideas, the spreading of such information and the means by which the ideas are spread to either help or harm individual(s) (Evonne, 74). propaganda can be in forms of adverts i.e. using strong statements to state your product as the best in the market, an appeal to convince subjects that one side is the winning side or feeding subjects with only positive ideas and omitting the contrary information.
The government should not use propaganda to persuade its citizens to support its ideas of national interests; this is because propagandas are always based on one side of opinion neglecting the contrary ideas or information which could otherwise be of equal importance to the subjects. They always aim at moving the subjects to join a crowd or common multitude just because others are doing so or due to selfishness but not on concrete reasons. This is exemplified by the World War 1 in which all nations that participated used propaganda posters not only as a means of justifying involvement in the war but also as a means of procuring men, money and resources from their citizens to sustain the military neglecting the wars effects on the people (Evonne, 78).
Propagandas are known to always focus on one perspective of a topic, supporting it at all costs while neglecting the minority’s opinion. This is a very wrong approach in today’s world where diplomacy has taken preference such that the majority should have their way while the minority have their say (Gardner, McDevitt, Hoogeveen and Scully, 160).
It is therefore very inappropriate that in a world governed by democracy where each citizen has a right to speak his/her mind and make personal decisions is influenced by propaganda from his or her own government.