5 | MP introduction

The more extensive use of verbal propaganda has been render-
ed possible by technical innovations, which facilitated commun-
ication, and gave birth to new vehicles of propaganda - news-
papers, cinemas, wireless and television. It has been rendered
necessary by the growing lack of unity in the outlook of the
innumerable ants that compose the modern Great Society. The
authority of the rulers has, as we shall see,[3] been under-
mined in many ways. They often have to persuade where formerly
they could command.

At the beginning of the war of 1914 to 1918 it became ob-
vious that verbal propaganda is a typically democratic weapon.
The generals felt that it went against everything they stood
for. On January 8th, 1915, General Falkenhayn, chief of the
German General Staff, declared that "it was inadmissible to
fight the governments of the enemy in a malicious (gehässig)
form".[4] A leaflet which encouraged the Indian troops to re-
volt was suppressed.[5] On the English side, General Plumer
showed his aversion to propaganda in the words: "No, that would
not be fair. We have to fight the fe11ows".[6] Soldiers felt that
the implications of modern propaganda clash with their code of
honour, that propaganda is not a chivalrous weapon, and that
it goes against the solidarity which continues to bind together
professional warriors, although they may fight each other for
the time being. In private they shook their heads at this new
civilian way of 'letting the mob loose'.

2. Talking and dancing

The chief task of propaganda, verbal and otherwise, is to
create, or maintain, unity within a social group. Propaganda