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Introduction

One of the most interesting features of modern reality is that while the USSR collapsed and communist ideology collapsed with it, it won in one particular area --  propaganda area -- in a sense that now Western world uses the same dirty methods to keep population in check and make them obedient to elites as Soviet propaganda. On the fundamental level Western press foreign event coverage is complete 100% replica of what Soviet newspapers did in the past. And in some cases it is even more evil and insidious that Soviet propaganda ever was.

Propaganda is normally defined as a set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large groups of people such as nations (aka public opinion). It is an attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitive thought, and direct behavior towards the goals of the propagandist. The key idea  to create an artificial reality which is completely bogus but still can help to shape public opinion.  Propagandists emphasize the elements of information that support their position and deemphasize or exclude those that do not. The word originated in Catholic church:

New Latin, from Congregatio de propaganda fide Congregation for propagating the faith, organization established by Pope Gregory XV †1623
First Known Use: 1718

Creation of artificial reality is the key of understand modern propaganda. To achieve this goal MSM should act as a coordinated, highly correlated set of voices. State Department often serves as a coordinator for foreign policy issues.

Although those categories overlap and often used in some combination we probably can distinguish three types of propaganda:   

Sociopaths usually are very skillful in the art of propaganda and understand and apply key principles intuitively without any additional training. A British judge noted at Berezovsky trial that such people lie through their teeth and keep on lying, even after they get caught red handed. Lie is their natural habitat, so to speak:

“…..I found Mr. Berezovsky an unimpressive, and inherently unreliable, witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be moulded to suit his current purposes.  At times the evidence which he gave was deliberately dishonest; sometimes he was clearly making his evidence up as he went along in response to the perceived difficulty in answering the questions in a manner consistent with his case; at other times, I gained the impression that he was not necessarily being deliberately dishonest, but had deluded himself into believing his own version of events.  On occasions he tried to avoid answering questions by making long and irrelevant speeches, or by professing to have forgotten facts which he had been happy to record in his pleadings or witness statements.  He embroidered or supplemented statements in his witness statements, or directly contradicted them.  He departed from his own previous oral evidence, sometimes within minutes of having given it.  When the evidence presented problems, Mr. Berezovsky simply changed his case so as to distance himself from statements and in witness statements which he had signed or approved, blaming the “interpretation” of his lawyers, as if this somehow diminished his pleadings and witness statements. "

See also

Classic Propaganda Quotes


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The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent. --   Gore Vidal

You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to. --   Humbert Wolfe

There is no such thing ... in America as an independent press. --   John Swinton

“The Marine Corps is the Navy's police force and as long as I am President that is what it will remain. They have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's.” -- Harry S Truman

At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is “not done”… Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals. --   George Orwell

The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society. --   H. L. Mencken

The Seven Deadly Sins of the Press:

--   Max Lerner

For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are. --   Niccolo Machiavelli

The propagandist's purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human. -- Aldous Huxley

The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media. -- William Colby

A newspaper has three things to do. One is to amuse, another is to entertain and the rest is to mislead. --  Ernest Bevin

The most important service rendered by the press and the magazines is that of educating people to approach printed matter with distrust. --  Samuel Butler

“Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way round, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.” Adolf Hitler (German Chancellor, leader of the Nazi party, 1889-1945)

See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."— George W. Bush

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."  Joseph Goebbels

Chief among the spoils of victory is the privilege of writing the history. -- Mark Alexander

History is an account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers, mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools. -- Ambrose Bierce

"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: You liberate a city by destroying it. Words are used to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."  —Gore Vidal, Imperial America, 2004

"One of the most horrible features of war is that all the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting." —George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia, 1938

“Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves.” -- Eric Hoffer

You cannot get through the density of the propaganda with which the American people, through the dreaded media, have been filled and the horrible public educational system we have for the average person. It's just grotesque. --   Gore Vidal  ( On American Altruism )

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.” Avram Noam Chomsky (American Linguist and Activist. b.1928)

“The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief” Jacques Ellul

“We have made the Reich by propaganda” Joseph Paul Goebbels (German Politician, 1897-1945)

"(Propaganda) proceeds by psychological manipulations, character modifications, by creation of stereotypes useful when the time comes - The two great routes that this sub-propaganda takes are the conditioned reflex and the myth” Jacques Ellul

"The trouble with peace propaganda is that when it is permitted it isn't necessary, and when it's necessary it isn't permitted”

"I think there is a good reason why the propaganda system works that way. It recognizes that the public will not support the actual policies. Therefore it is important to prevent any knowledge or understanding of them.”  Avram Noam Chomsky  (American Linguist and Activist. b.1928)

"Propaganda is a soft weapon; hold it in your hands too long, and it will move about like a snake, and strike the other way." —Jean Anouilh, L'Alouette, 1952

"When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything—you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
—Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On, 1940

"Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda." —Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism, 1951

"A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep." —Saul Bellow, To Jerusalem and Back, 1976

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." —Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, 1841

"He who wants to persuade should put his trust not in the right argument, but in the right word. The power of sound has always been greater than the power of sense."
—Joseph Conrad, Lord Jim, 1900

"It is worthy of remark that a belief constantly inculcated during the early years of life, whilst the brain is impressible, appears to acquire almost the nature of an instinct; and the very essence of an instinct is that it is followed independently of reason." —Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871

The papers conducted by Lord Rothermere and Lord Beaverbrook are not newspapers in the ordinary acceptance of the term. They are engines of propaganda for the constantly-changing policies, desires, personal wishes, and personal likes and dislikes of two men? What the proprietorship of those papers is aiming at is power, and power without responsibility the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages. -Baldwin (of Bewdley), Stanley Baldwin, 1st Earl

The news of the days it reaches the newspaper office is an incredible medley of fact, propaganda, rumor, suspicion, clues, hopes, and fears, and the task of selecting and ordering that news is one of the truly sacred and priestly offices in a democracy. For the newspaper is in all literalness the bible of democracy, the book out of which a people determines its conduct.  --Lippmann,Walter

I believe that the BBC, in spite of the stupidity of its foreign propaganda and the unbearable voices of its announcers, is very truthful. It is generally regarded here as more reliable than the press. -Orwell, George

All propaganda is lies, even when one is telling the truth. -Orwell, George

Today the world is the victim of propaganda because people are not intellectually competent. --   than anything the United States needs effective citizens competent to do their own thinking. --William Mather Lewis

Propaganda replaces moral philosophy. --Hans J. Morgenthau

Some of mankind's most terrible misdeeds have been committed under the spell of certain magic words or phrases. --James Bryant Conant

A propagandist is a specialist in selling attitudes and opinions. --Hans Speier

Propaganda must not serve the truth, especially insofar as it might bring out something favorable for the opponent. --Adolf Hitler

When the political columnists say 'Every thinking man' they mean themselves, and when candidates appeal to 'Every intelligent voter' they mean everybody who is going to vote for them. --   -- Franklin P. Adams

How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words! Samuel Adams

We believe the picture painters of the mass media are artfully creating landscapes for us which deliberately hide the real picture. In this book we will show you how to discover the "hidden picture" in the landscapes presented to us daily through newspapers, radio and television. --  Gary Allen

The burning of an author’s books, imprisonment for opinion’s sake, has always been the tribute that an ignorant age pays to the genius of its time. -- Joseph Allen

There are in fact four very significant stumbling blocks in the way of grasping the truth, which hinder every man however learned, and scarcely allow anyone to win a clear title to wisdom, namely, the example of weak and unworthy authority, longstanding custom, the feeling of the ignorant crowd, and the hiding of our own ignorance while making a display of our apparent knowledge. -- Roger Bacon

Persecution in intellectual countries produces a superficial conformity, but also underneath an intense, incessant, implacable doubt. -- Walter Bagehot

The power of authority is never more subtle and effective than when it produces a psychological “atmosphere” or “climate” favorable to the life of certain modes of belief, unfavorable, and even fatal, to the life of others. -- Arthur Balfour

Character assassination is at once easier and surer than physical assault; and it involves far less risk for the assassin. It leaves him free to commit the same deed over and over again, and may, indeed, win him the honors of a hero in the country of his victims. -- Alan Barth

The devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist! -- Charles Baudelaire

Perhaps the most obvious political effect of controlled news is the advantage it gives powerful people in getting their issues on the political agenda and defining those issues in ways likely to influence their resolution.  -- W. Lance Bennett

Purveyors of political correctness will, in the final analysis, not even allow others their judgments... They celebrate “difference,” but they will not allow people truly to be different -- to think differently, and to say what they think. -- Mark Berley

Political correctness is really a subjective list put together by the few to rule the many -- a list of things one must think, say, or do. It affronts the right of the individual to establish his or her own beliefs. --  Mark Berley

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. -- Edward Bernays

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the [public] is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.' --  Edward Bernays

Alliance: In international politics, the union of two thieves who have their hands so deeply inserted in each other's pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third. --  Ambrose Bierce

History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon. -- Napoleon Bonaparte,

Historians and economists are very good at creating and perpetuating myths that justify increasing the power placed in the hands of government. --  Reuven Brenner

George Herbert Walker Bush,

You know what's interesting about Washington? It's the kind of place where second-guessing has become second nature. --   George Herbert Walker Bush

We're too great a nation to allow the evildoers to affect our soul. --  George W. Bush

There will be no going back to the era before September 11th, 2001, to false comfort in a dangerous world. -- George W. Bush

Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th; malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists, themselves, away from the guilty. --  George W. Bush

Men willingly believe what they wish. -- Gaius Julius Caesar

In March, 1915, the J.P. Morgan interests, the steel, shipbuilding, and powder interest, and their subsidiary organizations, got together 12 men high up in the newspaper world and employed them to select the most influential newspapers in the United States and sufficient number of them to control generally the policy of the daily press. … They found it was only necessary to purchase the control of 25 of the greatest papers. An agreement was reached; the policy of the papers was bought, to be paid for by the month; an editor was furnished for each paper to properly supervise and edit information regarding the questions of preparedness, militarism, financial policies, and other things of national and international nature considered vital to the interests of the purchasers. --  Oscar Callaway

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. -- Andrew Carnegie

But those dealing in the actual manufacture of mind are dealing in a very explosive material. The material is not merely the clay of which man is master, but the truths or semblances of truth which have a certain mastery over man. The material is explosive because it must be taken seriously. The men writing books really are throwing bombs. -- Gilbert Keith Chesterton

To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men, their individualism, loyalty to family traditions, national patriotism and religious dogmas. --  Dr. G. Brock Chisolm

What basic psychological distortion can be found in every civilization of which we know anything? The only psychological force capable of producing these perversions is morality - the concept of right and wrong. The re-interpretation and eventual eradication of the concept of right and wrong are the belated objectives of nearly all of psychotherapy. --  Dr. G. Brock Chisolm

For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments. -- Noam Chomsky

This report, by its very length, defends itself against the risk of being read. --  Sir Winston Churchill

We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans... --  Bill Clinton

Censorship always defeats its own purpose, for it creates, in the end, the kind of society that is incapable of exercising real discretion... In the long run it will create a generation incapable of appreciating the difference between independence of thought and subservience. -- Henry Steele Commager

Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear. -- Alan Corenk

Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything. -- Frank Dane

What orators lack in depth they make up for in length. --  Charles-Louis de Secondat

Moral indignation is in most cases 2% moral, 48% indignation and 50% envy. --  Vittorio de Sica

It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery. --  Benjamin Disraeli

There are three kinds of lies: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics. -- Benjamin Disraeli

An unexamined idea, to paraphrase Socrates, is not worth having and a society whose ideas are never explored for possible error may eventually find its foundations insecure. --  Mark Van Doren

We find few historians who have been diligent enough in their search for truth; it is their common method to take on trust what they help distribute to the public; by which means a falsehood once received from a famed writer becomes traditional to posterity. -- John Dryden

Of all the tyrannies on human kind / the worst is that which persecutes the mind. --  John Dryden

The modern susceptibility to conformity and obedience to authority indicates that the truth endorsed by authority is likely to be accepted as such by a majority of the people. -- David Edwards

The restriction of knowledge to an elite group destroys the spirit of the society and leads to its intellectual impoverishment. -- Albert Einstein

Every man – in the development of his own personality – has the right to form his own beliefs and opinions. Hence, suppression of belief, opinion and expression is an affront to the dignity of man, a negation of man’s essential nature. --  Thomas I. Emerson

In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is king. -- Desiderius Erasmus

Propaganda is persuading people to make up their minds while withholding some of the facts from them. -- Harold Evans

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research. --  Felson

Governments have ever been known to hold a high hand over the education of the people. They know, better than anyone else, that their power is based almost entirely on the school. Hence, they monopolize it more and more. -- Francisco Ferrer

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. --  Henry Ford

If a million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. -- Anatole France

I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right. -- Frederick the Great

In all countries, in all centuries, the primary reason for government to set up schools is to undermine the politically weak by convincing their children that the leaders are good and their policies are wise. The core is religious intolerance. The sides simply change between the Atheists, Catholics, Protestants, Unitarians, etc., depending whether you are talking about the Soviet Union, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, America, etc. A common second reason is to prepare the boys to go to war and the girls to cheer them on. -- Marshall Fritz

If you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it. -- Erich Fromm

Some who are too scrupulous to steal your possessions nevertheless see no wrong in tampering with your thoughts. --  Kahlil Gibran

During a war, news should be given out for instruction rather than information. --  Joseph Paul Goebbels

Not every item of news should be published. Rather must those who control news policies endeavor to make every item of news serve a certain purpose. -- Joseph Paul Goebbels

It is the absolute right of the state to supervise the formation of public opinion. -- Joseph Paul Goebbels

Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. -- Hermann Goering

Television was our chief tool in selling our policy. --  Richard Haass

That's not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude. -- Alexander Haig

One would think by listening to all the propaganda about the United Nations that they are some sort of benevolent, peaceful organization. Never in the history of the United Nations has it stood for anything but killing and violence. They have never kept peace anywhere on this globe. Their sole function is to replace the U.S. military - dissolve all four branches of our armed forces. Their allegiance is only to the United Nations Charter which does not recognize the U.S. Constitution. This body is made up almost exclusively of communists and leaders of the bloodiest regimes on this globe. Their history and operating agenda is apparent to anyone who takes the time to sincerely and with an open mind, research the facts of this organization, separating truth from myth. Bilderberger participants ( another group committed to one-world domination) in 1992 called for 'conditioning the public to accept the idea of a U.N. army that could, by force, impose its will on the internal affairs of any nation.' -- Paul Harvey

Limiting the freedom of news ‘just a little bit’ is in the same category within the classic example ‘a little bit pregnant’. -- Robert A. Heinlein

The sooner we all learn to make a decision between disapproval and censorship, the better off society will be... Censorship cannot get at the real evil, and it is an evil in itself. --  Granville Hicks

All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it... Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise. -- Adolf Hitler

The efficiency of the truly national leader consists primarily in preventing the division of the attention of a people, and always in concentrating it on a single enemy. --  Adolf Hitler

What luck for the rulers that men do not think. -- Adolf Hitler

The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of a nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies, but would be ashamed to tell big lies. -- Adolf Hitler

The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one. -- Adolf Hitler

In relation to the political decontamination of our public life, the government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation’s moral and material health. The whole educational system, theater, film, literature, the press and broadcasting – all these will be used as a means to this end. -- Adolf Hitler

Fundamental, Bible believing people do not have the right to indoctrinate their children in their religious beliefs because we, the state, are preparing them for the year 2000, when America will be part of a one-world global society and their children will not fit in. -- Peter Hoagland

I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country... Only the emergency that makes it immediately dangerous to leave the correction of evil counsels to time warrants making any exception to the sweeping command, 'Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech.' --  Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

To silence criticism is to silence freedom. -- Sidney Hook

Only a large-scale popular movement toward decentralization and self-help can arrest the present tendency toward statism... A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers. -- Aldous Huxley

A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude. To make them love it is the task assigned, in present-day totalitarian states, to ministries of propaganda, newspaper editors and schoolteachers.... The greatest triumphs of propaganda have been accomplished, not by doing something, but by refraining from doing. Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. -- Aldous Huxley

Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. --  Aldous Huxley

The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities states and nation. At the head is a small group of banking houses generally referred to as 'international bankers.' This little coterie... run our government for their own selfish ends. It operates under cover of a self-created screen...[and] seizes...our executive officers... legislative bodies... schools... courts... newspapers and every agency created for the public protection. -- John F. Hylan

School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is. --  Ivan Illich

There's nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it. -- William James

I am really mortified to be told that, in the United States of America, a fact like this can become a subject of inquiry, and of criminal inquiry too, as an offence against religion; that a question about the sale of a book can be carried before the civil magistrate. Is this then our freedom of religion? and are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule for what we are to read, and what we must believe? It is an insult to our citizens to question whether they are rational beings or not, and blasphemy against religion to suppose it cannot stand the test of truth and reason. --   Thomas Jefferson

I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. --   Thomas Jefferson

The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors --  Thomas Jefferson

To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical. --   Thomas Jefferson

[Censors are] people with secret attractions to various temptations... They are defending themselves under the pretext of defending others, because at heart they fear their own weaknesses. --   Ernest Jones

It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. --   Sally Kempton

Popular revolt against a ruthless, experienced modern dictatorship, which enjoys a monopoly over weapons and communications, ... is simply not a possibility in the modern age. -- Soren Kierkegaard,

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid. --   Soren Kierkegaard

Destroy the family, you destroy the country. --   Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide, so we will not do this. --   Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

The liberty of thinking and publishing whatsoever each one likes, without any hindrances, is not in itself an advantage over which society can wisely rejoice. On the contrary, it is the fountainhead and origin of many evils. --   Pope Leo XIII

Political correctness is the natural continuum from the party line. What we are seeing once again is a self-appointed group of vigilantes imposing their views on others. --   Doris Lessing

Every compulsion is put upon writers to become safe, polite, obedient, and sterile. In protest, I declined election to the National Institute of Arts and Letters some years ago, and now I must decline the Pulitzer Prize. --   Sinclair Lewis

People everywhere confuse, What they read in newspapers with news. --   A. J. Liebling

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. --   Abraham Lincoln

Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment nothing can fail. Without it nothing can succeed. He who molds opinion is greater than he who enacts laws. --   Abraham Lincoln

When all think alike, no one is thinking very much. --   Walter Lippmann

A free press is not a privilege but an organic necessity in a great society. --   Walter Lippmann

A man has only to murder a series of wives in a new way to become known to millions of people who have never heard of Homer. --   Robert Lynd

In May 1998, [Los Angeles Times publisher Mark] Willis told the Wall Street Journal that he wanted to make the Times more appealing to women and minorities by producing stories that were “more emotional, more personal and less analytic.” -- William McGowan

To die for an idea: it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true. --   H. L. Mencken

The Gettysburg speech was at once the shortest and the most famous oration in American history...the highest emotion reduced to a few poetical phrases. Lincoln himself never even remotely approached it. It is genuinely stupendous. But let us not forget that it is poetry, not logic; beauty, not sense. Think of the argument in it. Put it into the cold words of everyday. The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination -- that government of the people, by the people, for the people, should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in the battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. --   H. L. Mencken

The truth is that Christian theology, like every other theology, is not only opposed to the scientific spirit; it is also opposed to all other attempts at rational thinking. Not by accident does Genesis 3 make the father of knowledge a serpent -- slimy, sneaking and abominable. Since the earliest days the church as an organization has thrown itself violently against every effort to liberate the body and mind of man. It has been, at all times and everywhere, the habitual and incorrigible defender of bad governments, bad laws, bad social theories, bad institutions. It was, for centuries, an apologist for slavery, as it was the apologist for the divine right of kings. --   H. L. Mencken

Those who formally rule take their signals and commands not from the electorate as a body, but from a small group of men. This group will be called the Establishment. It exists even though that existence is stoutly denied. It is one of the secrets of the American social order... A second secret is the fact that the existence of the Establishment - the ruling class - is not supposed to be discussed. --   Arthur S. Miller

Everything we shut our eyes to, everything we run away from, everything we deny, denigrate or despise, serves to defeat us in the end. What seems nasty, painful, evil, can become a source of beauty, joy, and strength, if faced with an open mind. --   Henry Miller

And let us remind readers regularly, in editorials, in our promotional advertising, in speeches to civic groups and others, that advertising helps people to live better and saves them money. This fact needs constant selling. --   Paul Miller

If the political-correctness fascists get their way, we can safely assume it will be correct-thinking, “political cleansing” squads deciding what we can or cannot say on the Intenet. These people fear public debate and demand homogenization of “acceptable” attitudes compatible with their emotional, utopian idealism. --   Charles W. Moore

Zealotry of either kind -- the puritan's need to regiment others or the victim's passion for blaming everyone except himself -- tends to produce a depressing civic stupidity. Each trait has about it the immobility of addiction. Victims become addicted to being victims: they derive identity, innocence and a kind of devious power from sheer, defaulting helplessness. On the other side, the candlesnuffers of behavioral and political correctness enact their paradox, accomplishing intolerance in the name of tolerance, regimentation in the name of betterment. --   Lance Morrow

If you think there is freedom of the press in the United States, I tell you there is no freedom of the press... They come out with the cheap shot. The press should be ashamed of itself. They should come to both sides of the issue and hear both sides and let the American people make up their minds. --   Bill Moyers

When a person goes to a country and finds their newspapers filled with nothing but good news, he can bet there are good men in jail. --   Daniel Patrick Moynihan

People are tired of liberty. They have had a surfeit of it. Liberty is no longer a chaste and austere virgin…. Today’s youth are moved by other slogans…Order, Hierarchy, Discipline. --   Benito Mussolini

In Germany, the Nazis first came for the communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me. --   Reverend Martin Niemoeller

What is the task of higher education? To make a man into a machine. What are the means employed? He is taught how to suffer being bored. --   Friedrich Nietzsche

The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in and keep step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent. --   Charles Eliot Norton

Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them. --   George Orwell

Censorship is the commonest social blasphemy because it is mostly concealed, built into us by indolence, self-interest and cowardice. --   John Osborne

The worst forms of tyranny, or certainly the most successful ones, are not those we rail against but those that so insinuate themselves into the imagery of our consciousness, and the fabric of our lives, as not to be perceived as tyranny. --   Michael Parenti

All of us can think of a book... that we hope none of our children or any other children have taken off the shelf. But if I have the right to remove that book from the shelf -- that book I abhor -- then you also have exactly the same right and so does everyone else. And then we have no books left on the shelf for any of us. --   Katherine Patterson

According to Gestapo records…they had little need to engage in direct spying on the citizens since the citizens themselves were more than willing to do their spying for them. --   Kort E. Patterson

No free people can lose their liberties while they are jealous of liberty. But the liberties of the freest people are in danger when they set up symbols of liberty as fetishes, worshipping the symbol instead of the principle it represents. --   Wendell Phillips

Henceforth it will be the task of this Sacred Congregation not only to examine carefully the books denounced to it, to prohibit them if necessary, and to grant permission for reading forbidden books, but also to supervise, ex officio, books that are being published, and to pass sentence on such as deserve to be prohibited. --   Pope Pius X

An able, disinterested, public-spirited press, with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it, can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery. A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself. --   Joseph Pulitzer

O liberty! O liberty! What crimes are committed in thy name! -- Madame Jeanne-Marie Roland

There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom for in that way one captures volition itself. --   Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The most absolute authority is that which penetrates into a man’s innermost being and concerns itself no less with his will than with his actions. --   Jean-Jacques Rousseau

There is no subjugation so perfect as that which keeps the appearance of freedom for in that way one captures volition itself. --   Jean-Jacques Rousseau

I think the subject which will be of most importance politically is Mass Psychology. ...It's importance has been enormously increased by the growth of modern methods of propaganda ...Although this science will be diligently studied, it will be rigidly confined to the governing class. The populace will not be allowed to know how its convictions were generated. --   Bertrand Russell

Our job is to give people not what they want, but what we decide they ought to have. --   Richard Salant

Fanaticism consists in redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim. --   George Santayana

Can we truly expect those who aim to exploit us to be trusted to educate us? -- Eric Schaub

The reduction of political discourse to sound bites is one of the worst things that’s happened in American political life. --   John Silber

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil. --   Socrates

The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world. --   Alexander Solzhenitsyn

In our country, the lie has become not just a moral category but a pillar of the State. --   Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric. --   Thomas Sowell

One of the sad signs of our times is that we have demonized those who produce, subsidized those who refuse to produce, and canonized those who complain. --   Thomas Sowell

Hitler’s dictatorship differed in one fundamental point from all its predecessors in history. It was the first dictatorship in the present period of modern technical development, a dictatorship which made complete use of all technical means for the domination of its own country. Through technical devices like the radio and the loud-speaker, eighty million people were deprived of independent thought. It was thereby possible to subject them to the will of one man. --   Albert Speer

Nearly every day on the television set the hero cop breaks into the bad guy’s house and beats a confession out of him and we cheer on the cop. Propaganda smears our clear vision. It causes us to accept the diminishment of our constitutional protections as something to be lauded – after all, the cop was protecting us. --   Gerry Spence

The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools. --   Herbert Spencer

Our constitutions purport to be established by 'the people,' and, in theory, 'all the people' consent to such government as the constitutions authorize. But this consent of 'the people' exists only in theory. It has no existence in fact. Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given. --   Lysander Spooner

The shepherd always tries to persuade the sheep that their interests and his own are the same. --   Stendhal

Censorship reflects a society’s lack of confidence in itself. It is the landmark of an authoritarian regime... --   Justice Potter Stewart

Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them. --   Justice Joseph Story

The public expects too much from teachers because educationists have led it to believe teachers could be substitute parents, psychotherapists, cops, social workers, dieticians, nursemaids, babysitters, and nose wipers and still do a decent job teaching kids to read, write, and do math. Instead of saying no, educationists have added courses in environmental education, death education, personal hygiene, self-esteem, driver's ed, job readiness, sexual harassment, radon studies, yoga, yogurt awareness, and god-knows-what-else. --   Charles Sykes

The battle for the world is the battle for definitions. --   Thomas Szasz

If you cannot convince them, confuse them. --   Harry S. Truman

Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. --   Mark Twain

Liberty is the hardest test that one can inflict on a people. To know how to be free is not given equally to all men and all nations. --   Paul Valéry

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, and that's good enough. --   Dr. Edwin Vieira

History is fables agreed upon. --   Voltaire

By establishing reading societies, and subscription libraries, and taking these under our direction, and supplying them through our labors, we may turn the public mind which way we will. --   Adam Weishaupt

You cannot hope to bribe or twist (thank God!) the British journalist. But, seeing what the man will do unbribed, there's no occasion to. --   Humbert Wolfe

It is very comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don't put psychotics in high places and we've got the problem solved. --   Thomas Wolfe

I wouldn't call it fascism exactly, but a political system nominally controlled by an irresponsible, dumbed down electorate who are manipulated by dishonest, cynical, controlled mass media that dispense the propaganda of a corrupt political establishment can hardly be described as democracy either. --   Edward Zehr

Prejudice rarely survives experience. --   Eve Zibart

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