The Negative Effects Of Propaganda In Our Society

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Propaganda is defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as ‘the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person’. Whether the effects of propaganda on society are negative or positive is subject to opinion. Propaganda has been used throughout history, taking different forms and using different techniques, and is still surrounding us and our society. Propaganda affects us by appealing to our emotions and to the conformist in all of us. For better or worse, it influences us to bend our thinking to the perspective of the propagandist, be it a perspective regarding a governmental policy, a political cause, or a corporate issue. When people hear the word ‘propaganda’, a negative image automatically seems to pop up in their heads. Propaganda generally revolves around hiding the whole story with information often being provided in a biased or misleading fashion. In the United States during World War II, propaganda was everywhere. There were posters with Uncle Sam on them telling young men to enlist in the military and go fight. There were posters with American soldiers and American flags, with the words ‘Buy War Bonds’ at the bottom. The Japanese Navy devastated Pearl Harbor, and in its wake it left the American people with a passion for vengeance. The Empire of Japan was violating widely accepted human rights in eastern Asia, and its government had been seen by the oppressed as a monster that needed to be stopped. The world was divided between two sides, the majority of the nations of the world supporting the Allied Powers. If propaganda had not been used to rally support for the war, it is possible that the war effort would not have been as powerful. Perhaps it could have been weak enough for the Axis Powers to continue building up strength all over the world. However, this does not justify propaganda as something that is absolutely ‘good’. Propaganda still has its aspects that are seen as negative. Even the example regarding World War II could be seen as negative in the eyes of an Axis supporter. However, in the eyes of the common person, it’s a good thing. There are still things seen as negative aspects of propaganda. For example, the
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