Propaganda and Deliberative Persuasion: The Implications of Americanized Mass Media for Established and Emerging Democracies
Deliberative persuasion is at the heart of the world’s two oldest modern democracies-the United States and Poland. By deliberative persuasion, I mean argument, debate, discussion, and a careful appraisal of the pros and cons of a course of action. The goal of this persuasion is to lay bare the important concerns involved in an issue and to develop a social consensus on the appropriate course of action. Deliberative persuasion stands in stark contrast to propaganda that served as the basis for social control in ancient dictatorships such as the Egyptian and Mayan regimes (Marcus, 1992) to the more recent oppressive governments of Nazi Germany (Doob, 1950; Rutherford, 1978) and the Soviet Union (Benn, 1989). Propaganda can be defined as the use of messages (often short and heavily image-laden) that play on emotions and prejudice to get the target to think and do exactly what the propagandist desires.