Propaganda and How It Is Uses by United States Government

Propaganda and How It Is Uses by United States Government

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In today society, our daily lives are surrounding by ads, television, internet, the presses, and many publications. These are some of the many forms of what is called propaganda. It “is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself” (Online Wikipedia). Here, I am not talking about some superstores promotion like Wal-Mart or Costco to persuade us to buy their products. On the contrary, I am talking about how propaganda is use by United States Government to dominate the public point of view in time of wars, or alter public perception of political or none political issues. Now, let us look at some historical events where our government uses propaganda in those situations. Begin with the Philippines war, slogan like “advancing freedom”, “Christian benevolence”, and “prosperity” were use to “break” the “anti-imperial traditions” of the people in order to enable the McKinley Administration to legally conduct wars against the Filipinos “for control of the Philippine Islands” (Brewer 14). The intention of the war was that the U.S. believed the islands are strategic locations to “the markets and natural resources of Asia” (Brewer 14). However, the truth can not be disclosed to the public, and government needs public supports for the war. And so, the McKinley Administration portrait a total different image of “American expansion in the Pacific as a continuation of Manifest Destiny, comparing the Filipinos to Native Americans, calling them savage warriors or ‘little brown brothers’ (Brewer 15). Then come World War I, President Woodrow Wilson Administration established the “Creel Commission” to manipulate the so called “extremely pacifistic population” to wrath war against Germany (Chomsky 11). And at the end of the war, the same strategy of propaganda is use to “destroying unions and eliminating such dangerous problems as freedom of the press and freedom of political thought” (Chomsky 12). This was later known as the Red Scare. Although under the leadership of the President, the propaganda used are strongly support and pushed by the media and businesses for their own interest. Furthermore, there is that certain group of people in society who considered themselves as the “more intelligent members of the community” or “specialized class of responsible men” who believed only they can understand the common interests of the people (Chomsky 12, 15).

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Leading this group is “people of the John Dewey circle”, and “Walter Lippmann” (Chomsky 12, 14). These groups believed it is their destiny to “carry out the executive function” in our society where they are the thinker, the planner and the one who understand the common interests of the people (Chomsky 17). On the other hand, these groups refer to the rest of people in society as “the bewildered herd” (Chomsky 16). And as such, “the bewildered herd” is only to be “spectators” and “not participants in action” in a democracy society (Chomsky 17). Till the present day, propaganda has gone through a face-lift with a different name like “manufacture consent”, and “public relation” with the commitment “to control public mind” (Chomsky 22). No matter what it is called, propaganda is propaganda and it is deceitful, and it is a lies. And for whatever the hidden purpose, U.S. government had and is continuing using propaganda at the present time.
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