4 | MP introduction

The propagandist has to reckon with the millions of dull
people who, as Lasswell puts it, are protected by their mental
sluggishness from more verbal forms of propaganda. There is a
type of person who, if they ever bother to go to meetings, cannot
understand what the speaker is getting at. They are appealed to
by silly slogans, barbaric stunts, buffoonery and gross exhibi-
tions which awaken them from their torpor and arouse their emo-
tions and impulses for the time being. Those who live in drab
surroundings will be impressed by a large spectacle. Parades and
marches give the participants a sense of unity and importance,
and arouse in the spectators a sense of universality.

Verbal propaganda is probably as old as mankind. Julius Cesar
records that, preliminary to a military advance, he 'caused pro-
paganda to be spread among the tribes'.[2] It was, however,only
with the industrial revolution that verbal propaganda developed
on a large scale. More than 40,000 pamphlets were issued during
the Puritan Revolution in England, some of them selling 40,000
to 120,000 copies each. The American colonies, during the War
of Independence, maintained a propaganda bureau for Europe in
Holland. The Jacobins and Napleon spread propaganda on a large
scale. It is a certain consolation that propaganda, when over-
done, produces a sort of 'emotional recoil'. Apparently, Napole-
on was the first to exhaust its possibilities. If a statement
was as 'false as a bulletin', it was as false as false could be.
In the 20th century the output of propaganda has, in connection
with the wars reached a new peak. For the preparation and the
conduct of wars the propagandist has become as indispensable
as the engineer.