There are numerous templates available for the making of effective propaganda. One extremely crude approach, pioneered by the Nazis, and used to great effect but the Bush Administration in the lead-up to its calculated destruction of Iraq, is to have “authorities” and their usually quite willing media accomplices (despite their constant braying about being “fiercely independent”, this is all too often the sad reality of many reporters’ lives) repeat a falsehood so often, and with so much conviction, that it soon takes on the status of an unassailable reality in the minds of a great majority of the citizenry.
However, this approach is not without its shortcomings. While very effective in generating short-term mass support, it tends, as we have seen in the years since 2003, to falter in the long run.
Perhaps more importantly, it seldom, if ever, convinces a strong plurality of a society’s prosperous and influential educated classes, the 5-10% of the population who, whether we are prepared to admit it or not, often hold the keys to implementing and sustaining long term policy prescriptions at the national level.