3 | MP introduction

by millions of simple villagers. That a successful politician
should voluntarily deprive himself of food for weeks is so rare
a spectacle that it must excite wonder and awe.

The 'propaganda of the deed' had a place of honour among the
weapons employed by anarchists and Russian terrorists to over-
throw the existing government. The assassination of prominent
persons, they believed, would reveal the weakness of the govern-
mental machine, act as a signal for a general insurrection, cre-
ate faith in the sincerity and self-sacrifice of the revolution-
aries, and fascinate others into imitating their deeds. Letters
of blood, they thought, were easier to decipher, than letters of
black ink. Kropotkin once said that one action makes more propa-
ganda than 1,000 pamphlets.

As a last resort, big business, too, has recourse to a var-
iety of the propaganda of action. For instance, in 1914 Rocke-
feller's name stank in the nostrils of his fellow citizens. His
business began to suffer. Sweet words could no longer dispel the
stench. The Rockefellers hired Ivy Lee. Lee proposed not merely
to place before the public the affairs of the corporation in the
most favourable light, but to "shape the affairs of the corpora-
tion so that, when placed before the public, they would be appro-
ved".[1] In consequence mining conditions were improved. Standard
Oil started doing good deeds. In 20 years enormous contributions
to science and charity had washed the stains off Rockefeller's

The miracles of the saints, the Dnjepostroy, or the Don Canal,
were deeds which spoke louder than words for the faith they were
designed to support.