The difference between propaganda and education

Harold Lasswell explaining the difference between propaganda and education in 1935:

The spread of controversial attitudes is propaganda; the spread of acceptable attitudes is skills education. It is proper to speak of Communism as propaganda in Chicago and as education in Moscow.*

Today, of course, we could define propaganda and skills education in exactly the same way but the examples would be reversed.

*Quoted in Wolfgang Schivelbusch. 2006. Three New Deals. New York: Picador, 74.

This entry was posted in Cultural Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The difference between propaganda and education

  1. Minderbinder of QLD

    There are so many aspects of the Australian education system that are just plain wrong, that one despairs that it can ever be put back on a pragmatic result base. The faults and errors occur throughout the whole system but are most glaringly obvious in the philosophy, methodology, content, standards, and personnel used to get outcomes. This tragedy happens despite enormously increased expenditure, that clearly illustrates the phenomena of diminshed returns. However it cannot be changed, for even with the will of the people for change, our society has allowed the wrong system to evolve over generations. We have allowed the theoreticians, the educationists, the unionists, and the bureauocrats, to gain control over what is essentially a practical outcome system. We are seeing the inappropriate conditioning of young minds to suit the self assessed “progressives” ideologies at the expense of learning practical skills. One of the many examples that I am sure that we have all been horrified with, was where a small child obviously very overweight, was asked about nutritional values of various foods, to which she expalined that they did not talk about that in school, but she was very worried about “dangerous climate change effects”. The system needs radical surgery, however given the propaganda campaign for the ultimate “Gonski” system, there seems little chance that it will happen. Instead falling standards will be massaged away, and as long as the Unions and the Bureauocrats control the system, all will be rosy.

Comments are closed.