293 | MP conclusion

objective". Further, one should avoid self-contradiction
in the same context to the same public. One can tell the
Catholics that a war is a great Catholic crusade, and the
Protestants that it is a great Protestant crusade. But one
should not mix the two appeals when addressing a mixed

The influence of pure and disinterested reason is, of
course, negligible, as far as the shaping of social events,
or even as far as their evaluation is concerned. For practical
reasons it would be worthwhile finding out how far rational
instruction renders us capable of withstanding propaganda.
There exists only one experimental study so far and it
is not very conclusive. Biddle[10] studied the resistance to
propaganda among 350 university or high school students. The
test was something like this: 1. The students read 'high-
powered propaganda material' about domestic issues of the
U.S.A., and about the relations of the U.S.A. to Europe
('Atlantic relations'). 2. For three weeks they study pamphlets
about the technique of propaganda. 3. Two weeks later, they
read propagandist material which deals with the relations of
the U.S.A. with China, Japan, and the Philippines ('Pacific
relations'). Susceptibility to this propaganda was then
measured, and compared with the susceptibility which the
students had shown to the propaganda material about the
'Atlantic relations'. In most cases the students' resistance
had increased considerably. The most gullible persons had, on
the whole, improved more than the others. Those who consciously
recognised material as propagandist had improved most of all.