17 | MP introduction
more or less conscious in their social efforts. It will be the
first, and comparatively the easiest, task of the propagandist
to promise that he will further these aims, and add to the income,
status, power and security of his followers.
If we could make a cross-section through the human mind we
would find immediately below the thin layer of comparatively
rational convictions and strivings a thick layer of magical be-
liefs. Men under modern conditions are no longer clearly aware
of the magical character of many of their attitudes and practi-
ces. The mode of life in an industrial community does, on the
whole, little to encourage the magical longings and habits of the
human soul. In chapter 7 we study the propagandist as the succ-
essor of a long tradition of witch-doctors, in his role of a
spell-binder who skilfully uses ancient magical modes of thought
for his own purposes.
The bulk of part 1 is devoted to sentiments and modes of be-
haviour which result from the derangement, or blocking, of
various needs or instincts. Suggestibility, hero-worship, and
tribal behaviour provide the most fertile soil for propagand-
ist efforts. We further have to pay considerable attention to
aggressive behaviour, and to the emotion of hatred which acc-
ompanies the blocking of any instinct or desire.
Men are not logical animals. They were sometimes thought to
be so in the 19th century. The Liberals imagined that superstit-
ion and nationalism would disappear if only shown to be unreas-
onable. Nothing of the kind has happened. People cling to super-
stition and nationalism, not because they are reasonable, but
because they gratify their instincts.