285 | MP conclusion

practical needs. As an example we may cite the views
American students had acquired about the Turks. In
more important matters, however, propagandistic assertions
can, like germs, rarely infect us unless we are susceptible
to their influence.

Certain facts, also, are stronger than propaganda. No
amount of advertising can break down resistance to a definitely
inferior product. This is true at least of all those products
which have an ascertainable effect or use value. The
restraining influence of an ascertainable use value is absent
in the case of many patent medicines. As long as the adver-
tiser considers the mental needs of his clients, he has the
field all to himself. But as far as kitchen utensils, for
instance, are concerned, the common-sense of the housewife
is not easily led astray by propaganda for any length of
time. "The ordinary man or woman who goes shopping has a
fundamental core of common-sense which no amount of 'blarney'
is likely to disturb very seriously."[2] The quality of
goods must, in the long run, justify the purchase. The
sense of value cannot be completely paralysed.

It is, of course, more difficult to detect the quality
of a policy than that of a shoecream. One might, for instance,
be tempted to substantiate the assertion that material
interests, first-hand experience, and common-sense are
serious checks on political propaganda by quoting the dis-
crepancy which existed in the U.S.A. in 1936 between news-
paper circulation and the wishes of the electorate. Of the