: Propagandes () by Jacques Ellul and a great selection of similar New, Used and Collectible Books available now at great. Introduction. Jacque* EJluTs view of propaganda and his approach to the study Therefore. Ellul distinguishes various fonrts of propaganda and calls his book. 13 quotes from Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes: ‘To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought o.

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These currents include accepted structures such as collective sociological presuppositions and myths that are fundamental to society. Massignon, a Frenchman like Ellul, was a Catholic mystic and scholar of Islam who also served as a mentor of sorts for Merton.

Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes – Wikipedia

First conditions for growth and development of modern propaganda: It pripagandes a necessary instrument of a state or institution to spread information to members of the group or society. This type of propaganda changes the public opinion of an opposing regime so that it can be in favor of their regime. The individual does not mind being given preconceived positions because otherwise he would realize that he does not understand the problems of the modern world.

Doubleday, He no longer expresses himself but his group once he accepts public opinion as his own.

Propaganda grafts itself onto an already existing reality through “informed opinion”. This creates isolation between groups by promoting allegiance to the group one is in and suppressing conversation between groups.

Without it, the masses would not cling to a certain civilization, or its process of development and crisis. All this is debatable, for the important thing is not to be able to read, but to understand what one reads, to reflect on and judge what one reads. Propaganda jacquees the truth with falsehoods even though lying is generally to be avoided. Languages Deutsch Edit links. Thus, the individual propagnades unable to accept that he cannot form opinion on his own and is caught between his desire and his inability.

What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? These are indicated by principal symbols of the culture the propagandist wishes to attack since these symbols express the attitudes of a particular culture.

These interactions deepened their awareness javques how techniqueas explained by Ellul, permeated modern human interaction. Propaganda’s intent is to integrate people into the normal pattern prevailing in society bring about conformance to way of life. But they cannot be trained by propaganda, kept in hand, channeled, and oriented.


As mentioned at the outset, after reading The Technological SocietyMerton also engaged two other works by Ellul. The creation of normalcy in our society can take one of two shapes.

The Formation of Men’s Fllul. Propaganda must first organize the masses in order to propagandize within the masses.

Propaganda is more threatening when it begins to be recognized as sociological as well psychological in nature. Propaganda, as it is traditionally known, implies an attempt to spread an ideology through the mass media of communication in order to lead the public to a desired action. Yet it is important that mass media be subject to centralized control in order to successfully form propxgandes opinion without any opposition.

Ellul and Merton

A mass society is based on individuals that are reduced to ciphers based on what they have in common to others. The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it. The Institute for Propaganda Analysis frominspired by Harold Lasswell defined propaganda as “the expression of opinions or actions carried out deliberately by individuals or groups with a view to influencing the opinions or actions of other individuals or groups for predetermined ends and through psychological manipulations”.

These fundamental currents in society create the perfect atmosphere for sociological propaganda which influences the individual through his customs and unconscious habits. The relationship between democracy and propaganda evidently presents a conflict between the principles of democracy and the processes of propaganda. However, in horizontal propaganda there is no top down structure but rather it springs up from within the group.

This book appears to be the first attempt to study propaganda from a sociological approach as well as a psychological one.

It is crucial that the individual is never considered as an individual but always in terms of what he has in common with others. It is no longer to transform an opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief.

Propaganda is a good deal less the political weapon of a regime it is that also than the effect of a technological society that embraces the entire man and tends to be a completely integrated society.

This page was last edited on 23 Januaryat Several events have occurred that have furthered propaganda by increasing its ability in depth and discovering new methods. Henry Holt and Company, New York. Thus we see before our eyes how a world of closed minds establishes itself, a world in which everybody talks to himself, everybody constantly views his own certainty about himself and the wrongs done him by the Others – a world in which nobody listens to anybody else.


The other great psychological reflection of social reality is the myth. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man’s capacity to forget is unlimited. Discernment is made nearly impossible for the individual whose ability to judge is destroyed making him dependent on propaganda’s ready-made opinions from then on. This type of propaganda is more prominent and permanent, yet it is not as recognized as agitation propaganda because it is more permanent manner.

At the same time, such propaganda contains elements of criticism and refutation of other groups, which will never be read or heard by a member of another group Propaganda employs encirclement on the individual by trying to surround man by all possible routes, in the realm of feelings as well as ideas, by playing on his will or his needs through his conscious and his unconscious, and by assailing him in both his private and his public life.

The indifferent are apolitical and without opinion, therefore they are outside of propaganda’s grasp. However, the official hacques cannot disconnect themselves from what the people want. The necessity for a physical organization limits propaganda enterprises and in order to be effective propaganda must work inside a group, principally inside a nation.

Ellul took the view that prior attempts to define propaganda generally left out the sociological side. The Formation of Men’s Attitudes builds on prior notions of propaganda to demonstrate that while propaganda is psychological in nature it is just as much sociological in nature as well.

All of this describes the “Mass-Government” relationship characterized by people demanding what has already been decided, in order to appear as elljl the government is actually caring about what the people need. With each of these events propaganda developed further, increased in depth, prpoagandes new methods. In regards to propaganda, there are two groups: