16 | MP introduction
propagandist work. In our vanity, of course, we are only too
apt to feel that we, personally, are one of the exceptions when-
ever an apparently stupid form of social behaviour is under con-
sideration. This is rarely the case. If we suffer badly from a
sense of inferiority, we will be obsessed with a desire to dist-
inguish ourselves from the despised mass. We will resent being
lumped together with the mass. It is rather foolish to despise
the mass when one belongs to it.
(2) It is a general rule that, wherever there is one mental
trend in one direction, there is the opposite, or countertrend,
also. We hate others, but we also love them. We boast, but we
also deprecate ourselves. We are submissive, but we also assert
ourselves. We desire security, but we also wish to take risks.
When discussing propaganda, we often have to emphasise one of
the two trends, respectively. But we should always bear in mind
that the opposite trend equally exists.
(3) Finally, we should add a warning that man is not all soul.
Specialists usually overemphasise the importance of the factors
they understand. In the course of discussions about Africa, for
instance, some find the intestinal worms in the native bodies
all-important, others the economic system, others again the
tribal soul. When we talk about the influence of peoples' minds
on their behaviour, we should never lose sight of the bedrock
of economic factors which are at least as potent as the trends
of our souls.
5. Survey of the book
Starting with the clearly visible surface of our minds, we
first of all deal with the more rational aims of which men are