9 | MP introduction

often ridiculous. Similarly, the lies of to-day are sweet and
intoxicating, the lies of yesterday repulsive like remnants of
stale beer left over from the day before. After 1918, people felt
that their war efforts and sacrifices had led them nowhere. They
wanted to know how they had been cheated. Much of the literature
on propaganda dates from that time. It was written in order to
give the victim a chance to grumble, by exposing the habitual un-
truthfulness of verbal propaganda in the recent-past.

That propaganda deceives or intends to deceive is taken for
granted. Wickham Steed defines propaganda as 'partial and delib-
erately misleading statements'. An anonymous genius defined it as
"the art of deceiving your friends without being quite able to
deceive your enemies." A. Ponsonby and others[11] collected numerous
instances of prapagandist falsification. Lumley tried to classify
the fallacies of the propagandist's arguments. He noted "four ma-
jor abuses of the laws of reasoning. They are suppression, dis-
tortion, diversion and fabrication".[12]

Going more into detail, one studied how the methods employed
vary with the social layer to which they are addressed. Intellect-
ual lies charm intellectual people. Crude and blatant lies are
better reserved for popular consumption. One type of propaganda
caters for the thoughtful and critical people, 'who think they
think', and require oceans of 'facts', wrapped into subtle reas-
onings, before their common-sense is successfully drowned. The
thinking processes of the housewife, or the devotee of football
pools, have to be directed on different lines.

All these studies provide useful material. They leave unanswer-
ed the question why people like to be lied to, why they put up