Source: Education and the Social Order, 1932, chat. 15: Propaganda in Education



( Universal education has increased immesurably the opportunities of propaganda. ... As this instance shows, propaganda has now an importance that it never had before.
Propaganda in education is usually successful in its object, unless there is some special reason for failure. The great majority of mankind accept the religion in which they were brought up, and the patriotism that they learnt at school... If propaganda is to succeed, it must inculcate something which makes some kind of instinctive appeal; in that case, it can enormously increase the virulence of group feeling. ... perhaps, when mass psychology has been perfected, there will be no limit to what governments can make their subjects believe.
Propaganda may be concerned with values, or with general propositions, or with matters of fact. Somewhat different considerations apply to these three cases. ...
Ultimate values are not matters as to which argument is possible. ...
As to ultimate values, men may agree or disagree, they may fight with guns or with ballot-papers but they cannot reason logically.) ...
In practical life, questions as to ultimate values hardly ever arise in their logical purity, since men are concerned with what should be done. Whether an act should be performed depends upon two considerations: first, what its effects are likely to be; second, whether these effects are on the whole good or, more accurately, whether, on the balance, they are better than the effects of any other act which is possible in the circumstance. Of these two questions, the first is scientific, not ethical and is amenable to rational argument, like every other scientific questions, It is only when a dispute as to what should be done turns on the second question that there is no theoretical pssibility of deciding it by argument. ...