287 | MP conclusion
mistaken my own 'sense' for common-sense', and my own
opinions for 'hard facts'. The following two examples are,
I hope, relatively independent of my own person predilections.
1. A propaganda of discontent seems to need an objective
basis in fact. Bantu agitators are fond of saying: "When
the first white man came to you, he had the Bible and you had
the land; but now you have the Bible, and he has the land."
A phrase like this does not invent a grievance. It just
'puts over' neatly a grievance which many feel. The formu-
lation of the grievance is the first step towards organising
the aggrieved. A serious grievance cannot be manufactured
by propaganda. The agitators would be laughed at if the
land had not in actual fact been taken away.
2. In war time, the food, the treatment of the soldiers,
the behaviour of the officers, the success or defeat in
battles are, in the long run, stronger than verbal propaganda.
The experiences of the last war are conclusive in that respect.
The efforts of propagandists were unable to disintegrate any
but demoralised troops. A wave of Austrian leaflets preceded
the Italian defeat at Caporetto, in 1917. But the brutal
inefficiency of the Cadorne administration had already broken
the ground for the Austrian propaganda. In 1918, Allied
propaganda demoralised the subject rationalities in the
Austro-Hungarian army. The propagandist attack was begun
in 1917. In May 1917 results began to make themselves felt
in desertions. Again, the discontent was already there.
Propaganda added boldness to discontent by lending it a