I'm used to hear opinions, that, for example, RT is "Russian propaganda" and "Global Times" is Chinese propaganda. In general, according to this point of view, propaganda is a mark of authoritarian countries.

And then, I've asked myself - can there be propaganda in democratic countries? In other words, is propaganda produced only in authoritarian countries nowadays?

  • 30
    [Propaganda, n.: information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.] - basically, any advertising (political or otherwise) satisfies this definition. Telling people that they should be vaccinated (or not) is propaganda. Propaganda is not inherently a bad thing.
    – tomasz
    Aug 5, 2021 at 12:23
  • 1
    Do you mean propaganda specifically produced by governments, or just in general? If the latter, the spreading of false information about the coronavirus and vaccine would surely qualify.
    – jamesqf
    Aug 5, 2021 at 16:40
  • Do you count religious propaganda?
    – Anixx
    Aug 6, 2021 at 6:03
  • @tomasz, this definition is way too broad, to the point of being useless. A scientific paper fits it. Propaganda can be used to spread "truth", but it is necessarily manipulative, which does make it "inherently a bad thing".
    – Zeus
    Aug 11, 2021 at 1:31
  • @Zeus: I disagree. The point of a scientific paper is (well, should be) to contain knowledge for its own sake. Promoting a given scientific approach (in order to convince people that they should do similar stuff, or to legitimize it), on the other hand, would definitely qualify (and is not necessarily a bad thing). A grant proposal is also meant to be basically targeted propaganda. Granted, it is usually at least a little bit manipulative. In that sense, a paper does serve propaganda, but I think it is too tangential to be considered propaganda itself (but maybe I'm just not cynical enough).
    – tomasz
    Aug 11, 2021 at 17:38

8 Answers 8


Yes, propaganda can be produced by any country or organization. For example, Wikipedia has a page on propaganda in the United States. Opinions may differ on what is or isn't propaganda, but I don't think there's any debate that it can be, and is, produced in democratic countries.

It's also not limited to the past, for example that Wikipedia page lists a report from earlier this year:

The 1776 Commission was an advisory committee established in September 2020 by President Donald Trump to support what he called "patriotic education". The Commission, which included no historians specializing in United States History, released The 1776 Report on January 18, 2021. Historians criticized the report as "filled with errors and partisan politics", with some describing it as political propaganda.

The report is still available on the Trump White House archive website:

1776 Commission—comprised of some of America’s most distinguished scholars and historians—has released a report presenting a definitive chronicle of the American founding, a powerful description of the effect the principles of the Declaration of Independence have had on this Nation’s history, and a dispositive rebuttal of reckless “re-education” attempts that seek to reframe American history around the idea that the United States is not an exceptional country but an evil one.

And the full report is available here.

Internationally, there can also be propaganda between democratic states. For example, the animosity between the EU and the UK led to accusations of using the vaccines as a propaganda tool. From an euobserver article entitled EU blasts UK and Russia in 'vaccine propaganda' war:

The cross-Channel dispute arose on Tuesday (9 March) when EU Council president Charles Michel accused the UK of blocking vaccine exports and depicted the EU as a leading force in helping the world fight the pandemic.

"I am ... shocked when I hear the accusations of 'vaccine nationalism' against the EU," Michel said in a written statement.

Propaganda can also come from private groups. For example, as the BBC reported on Covid in the Netherlands:

With parliamentary elections on 17 March, some parties are keen to appeal to voters anxious about the rapid development of these vaccines.

Rival hashtags like #ikwildieprikniet (I don't want the jab) and #ikwildieprik (I want the jab) have been routinely trending on Twitter.

Neighbours in The Hague have received calling cards stamped with QR codes through their letterboxes, with a link to anti-vaccination propaganda.

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    @Relaxed I don't know a word of Dutch, but I would say "the jab" is appropriate simply because it's so commonly used to refer to getting the covid vaccine right now. Basically, the covid vaccine is "the" one right now, whereas if I heard someone say "that jab", I would actually be a bit more confused as to whether they meant the covid vaccine or something else
    – BThompson
    Aug 5, 2021 at 13:44

Propaganda is merely mass media offerings with a distinct political bias and/or focused political agendas. Most US political campaign rhetoric these days — e.g., claims like "Mr Smith will be the greatest, most conservative senator that ever came from Kansas" — are technically propaganda, since they offer a biased understanding of the subject with the specific intent of generating political support.

Of course, exaggerations of this sort are generally not considered problematic, and only rarely talked about as propaganda. Citizens understand that politicians exaggerate; they do not take such claims at face value, but merely as part of the 'game' politicians play during election seasons. The term 'propaganda' is usually reserved for severe and egregious distortions of the truth, ones meant specifically to replace or obscure certain features of the world with fabrications and idealized imagery. The goal of such propaganda is to control public language and worldviews so that citizens take the propagandized story to be expressed truth. Propagandists do not want citizens to be aware of the political game (as citizens are with mere political exaggerations); they want citizens immersed in the propaganda so that the 'game' seems normal, earnest, and factual.

Propaganda is a tool for dealing with public opinion formation, and thus appears where there is some commitment to or pretense of democratic principles. In fact, propaganda is an essential tool for transitioning a democracy into an authoritarian regime. Military dictatorships rarely use propaganda because they control their populations by main force; kingdoms and aristocracies maintain their power through social forces (like custom and tradition) and also have very little use for propaganda. Subjects of such states do not need to be convinced that the state is good and noble and wise. They merely need to understand that the state will kill or imprison them if they are not carefully obedient. But states which claim that the power of leaders derives from citizens — in other words, democratic states — find propaganda extremely useful to guarantee that citizens will cede power to the 'right' people (i.e., the people using propaganda).

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    I don't quite buy the "dictatorships don't use propaganda" line. Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini all used a lot of propoganda.
    – James K
    Aug 5, 2021 at 7:58
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    @JamesK: It constantly astonishes me how many people forget that both Hitler and Mussolini were elected to leadership positions within democratic systems, and grabbed authoritarian power after. Stalin is a different case (having grabbed power within the Party after Lenin died), but then Soviet propaganda is of a different character than Nazi propaganda, glorifying Lenin and the abstract virtues of socialism more than concrete virtues of the state or its leader. Aug 5, 2021 at 14:05
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    Elected as Chancellor, not elected as Führer.
    – James K
    Aug 5, 2021 at 14:20
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    @JamesK: Hitler could not have been the Great Leader unless he was first elected Chancellor. I understand the deep-seated desire to ignore the fact that Hitler was elected to power by democratic means, because it tarnishes the idealization of Democracy in easy that are unsettling to people who believe those ideals. It opens the door to "that could happen here" which no one wants to think about. But sorry, if no one wants to think about it, that could indeed happen here. Learn from history or repeat it; those are our choices. Aug 5, 2021 at 14:34
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    I take issue with "Citizens understand that politicians exaggerate; they do not take such claims at face value". That has historically been proven false, especially in the last 2 US presidential races. Trump flat out lied tens of thousands of times during his campaign and while in office, yet people fervently believe everything he says, even when it contradicts something else he previously said, and they will even still somehow believe both statements in many cases. Aug 5, 2021 at 20:16

Various definitions of propaganda exist. According to the more extensive of these much of the persuasive messaging qualifies. However, sometimes a distinction is made between "white" and "black" propaganda (the latter is often equated with disinformation), although the line isn't totally clear. "White" propaganda is often enough found in communications of all kinds in "the West", be it in government, party, or corporate ones. "Black" propaganda, less so, but sure enough there are [famous] cases... (Also, some "white" propaganda producers reject[ed] the terminology as applying to them.)

White propaganda comes from a source that is identified correctly, and the information in the message tends to be accurate. This is what one hears on Radio Moscow and VOA during peacetime. Although what listeners hear is reasonably close to the truth, it is presented in a manner that attempts to convince the audience that the sender is the “good guy” with the best ideas and political ideology. White propaganda attempts to build credibility with the audience, for this could have usefulness at some point in the future. National celebrations, with their overt patriotism and regional chauvinism, can usually be classified as white propaganda. [...]

When the legendary film director John Ford assumed active duty as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and chief of the Field Photographic Branch of the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, he was asked by his editor, Robert Parrish, if his film, The Battle of Midway, was going to be a propaganda film. After a long pause, Ford replied, “Don’t you ever let me hear you use that word again in my presence as long as you’re under my command” (Doherty, 1993, pp. 25–26). Ford had filmed the actual battle of Midway, but he also included flashbacks of an American family at home that implied that an attack on them was an attack on every American. Ford designed the film to appeal to the American people to strengthen their resolve and belief in the war effort, but he resisted the idea of making films for political indoctrination. According to our definition, The Battle of Midway was a white propaganda film, for it was neither deceitful nor false, the source was known, but it shaped viewer perceptions and furthered the desired intent of the filmmaker to vilify the enemy and encourage American patriotism. [...]

Black propaganda is when the source is concealed or credited to a false authority and spreads lies, fabrications, and deceptions. Black propaganda is the “big lie,” including all types of creative deceit. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s propaganda minister, claimed that outrageous charges evoke more belief than milder statements that merely twist the truth slightly (Bogart, 1995, p. xii). During World War II, prior to Hitler’s planned invasion of Britain, a radio station known as “The New English Broadcasting Station,” supposedly run by discontented British subjects, ran half-hour programs throughout the day, opening with “Loch Lomond” and closing with “God Save the King.” The station’s programming consisted of “war news.” This was actually a German undercover operation determined to reduce the morale of the British people throughout the Battle of Britain. [...]

Side note here, although it's not mentioned in the book, the British engaged in similar tactics with the help of exilee German speakers mounting fake personas on radio transmissions designed to appear as originating from inside Germany.

Even allies target friendly nations with black propaganda. British intelligence operations attempted to manipulate the United States to go to war in the 2 years before Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese. British Security Coordination (BSC) established itself in New York City’s Rockefeller Center for covert action techniques. They wrote stories that were fed to the New York Herald Tribune about Nazi spies in America and infiltrated WRUL, a radio station in New York. BSC subsidized the radio station and furnished it with material for news bulletins and specially prepared scripts for talks and commentaries. One example was a propaganda campaign by the British to deter Spain from entering the war on Germany’s side. Because the radio station had an ethics standard and a rule against broadcasting material that had not appeared in the American press, the BSC inserted its own material into friendly newspapers and then quoted it for radio broadcasts. BSC also conducted a campaign against German-controlled corporations in the United States by placing articles in newspapers and magazines, organizing protest meetings, and bringing picket lines to certain properties belonging to I. G. Farben Corporation. The British activities were discovered after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when the U.S. State Department pronounced that “British intelligence operations in America were out of control and demanded that offensive covert operations end” (Ignatius, 1989, pp. 9–11).

Gray propaganda is somewhere between white and black propaganda. The source may or may not be correctly identified, and the accuracy of the information is uncertain. In 1961, when the Bay of Pigs invasion took place in Cuba, the VOA moved over into the gray area when it denied any U.S. involvement in the CIA-backed activities. In 1966–1967, Radio Free Europe was organized, financed, and controlled by the CIA, which publicly denied any connection. A fund appeal on American television, radio, and mail indicated that Radio Free Europe was dependent on voluntary contributions, known as “truth dollars.” The actual purpose of the appeal was to fortify the deception and dispel rumors about a CIA relationship (Barnouw, 1978, p. 143). [...]

Parry-Giles (1996), by reviewing internal documents of the Truman and Eisenhower presidencies, revealed how the U.S. government used the domestic news media to propagandize the American public during the Cold War by giving journalists the texts to be published in the newspapers in the 1940s and 1950s. By controlling the content and favoring journalists who cooperated, the government covertly disseminated propaganda to a domestic audience. This example of gray propaganda expands the definition to include, according to Parry-Giles, the attribution of the source to a nonhostile source (p. 53). [...]

Gray propaganda is not limited to governments. Companies that distort statistics on annual reports, advertising that suggests a product will achieve results that it cannot, films that are made solely for product placement, and television evangelists who personally keep the money they solicit for religious causes all tend to fall in the gray propaganda category.

Another term used to describe propaganda is disinformation. Disinformation is usually considered black propaganda because it is covert and uses false information. In fact, the word disinformation is a cognate for the Russian dezinformatsia, taken from the name of a division of the KGB devoted to black propaganda.

Disinformation means “false, incomplete, or misleading information that is passed, fed, or confirmed to a targeted individual, group, or country” (Shultz & Godson, 1984, p. 41). It is not misinformation that is merely misguided or erroneous information. Disinformation is made up of news stories deliberately designed to weaken adversaries and planted in newspapers by journalists who are actually secret agents of a foreign country. The stories are passed off as real and from credible sources. Long before the Cold War, a New York Times journalist successfully circulated stories that portrayed the Soviet Union in a positive light. Walter Duranty, the Times Moscow correspondent, was an active agent of Soviet propaganda and disinformation. He reported false stories about Josef Stalin and distorted and suppressed information. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for correspondence in 1932. In 1933, when Stalin conducted a savage campaign for collective farming in the Ukraine that resulted in widespread famine and more than 6 million deaths, Duranty denied the existence of the famine in his reports. He is still on the list of Pulitzer Prize winners, but a subcommittee of the Pulitzer board is reviewing his award with the possibility of revoking it (Rutten, 2003).

-- Jowett & O'Donnell, Propaganda & Persuasion

I'm sure some can think of more recent examples of either kind... In fact the 1940-1950 "playbook" was repeated almost to the letter half a century later (same source, chapter 7)...

On April 20, 2008, an article titled “Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand” appeared in the New York Times. Written by David Barstow after a lengthy investigation of more than 8,000 documents, the article exposed details about how the Bush administration, and more specifically the Pentagon, had secretly set about creating a propaganda “Trojan horse” to influence the public debate about the conflict in Iraq. This effort, titled “The Pentagon Military Analyst Program,” was launched in early 2002, and its objective was to recruit “key influentials” to help sell a wary public on “a possible invasion of Iraq.” The primary goal of the operation was to spread the administration’s talking points on Iraq by briefing retired commanders for network and cable television appearances, where they were presented as independent analysts. One of the participants, a former NBC military analyst Kenneth Allard, called the effort “psyops on steroids.” [...]

During the program, the Pentagon recruited more than 75 retired officers, although some participated only briefly. The largest contingent was affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, but analysts from CBS and ABC were also included. They contributed to radio talk shows and wrote op-ed pieces as well. Within the documents uncovered by the New York Times, this group was referred to as “message force multipliers.” This was the group of hand-selected military analysts who were tasked with implementing this propaganda strategy. [...]

The primary technique for implementing this propaganda campaign was simple. These “voices of authority” were given extensive briefings by highranking officials, provided with specific talking points, and were assigned to various media outlets. The fact that they were given access to the government was a major factor in their extensive use by the television networks, because they provided information, albeit specifically prepared, that was otherwise unavailable. [...]

However, as the situation in Iraq deteriorated after 2004, and the vision of a triumphant, quick, and easy “war of liberation” faded, it became increasingly difficult to continue to push a positive perspective in the face of progressively negative coverage provided by “real” journalists. Much like what had happened in the Vietnam War, the propagandistic talking points were overwhelmed by the pictures of the chaos in Iraq being shown on television screens all day long.

The analysts were afraid that if they spoke the truth, that they would lose their precious access to the Pentagon, and thus, for many of them, run the risk of jeopardizing potential lucrative contracts. One analyst, quoted by Barstow, said that he had at times held his tongue on television for fear that “some four-star would call up and say, ‘Kill the contract.’” He said that he believed Pentagon officials misled the analysts about the progress of Iraq’s security forces, noting that, “I know a snow job when I see one.” However, he did not share this view on television.

The technique of trading access to information for favorable reporting (even when no overt monetary payments to the mouthpieces is involved), aka "access journalism" is "tried and true" in other countries, e.g. Japan]--sometimes, the demand/trade is quite overtly made. The practice is seen by some as part and parcel of propaganda. In the more totalitarian societies, this basically takes the form that critical press simply doesn't exist or is more severely marginalized e.g. by threatening it with license suspensions, investigations etc.

Following some [Congressional] debates in the aftermath of WWII, from which Sen. Fulbright is sometimes quoted as saying that

there is something basically unwise and undemocratic about a system which taxes the public to finance a propaganda campaign aimed at persuading the same taxpayers that they must spend more tax dollars to subvert their independent judgment,

(and likewise journalist) state-sponsored propaganda is fairly frowned upon within the United States and some legislation--the Smith–Mundt Act--was put in place to prohibit VOA from broadcasting (specifically) to Americans, but the advent of the internet made those restrictions somewhat obsolete, and the legislation was "modernized" in 2012.

And having said this and knowing that in a number of European countries public television exists and has a non-trivial audience, I'm reminded of the question here on why e.g. the BBC is not (officially) considered/labelled agent of a foreign state in the US.

  • FWTW, I've been wondering who came up with the while/black/grey propaganda typology/distinction. Aug 5, 2021 at 8:30
  • A famous example of "white" propaganda would be Capra's WWII series "Why We Fight". Reasonably truthful, although glossing over things like racial discrimination at home, it presented the US (and allies) as good guys and the Axis Powers as utterly evil. Unlike, say, Nazi propaganda, it wasn't bombastic and shrill, to be swallowed only by true believers.
    – Phil Perry
    Aug 5, 2021 at 17:05

Yes, and no.

(Note: this answers only covers the situation outside of wartime, when formal censorship and propaganda programs can be expected to be put in place. Only promotion of a government or country - the rest is basically advertising. Last, manipulation of information makes it propaganda).

First, we do generally enjoy a free press, even if some politicians would like to see that changed. The government can't just call up a paper or TV station and ask for a story to be published "just so".

Second, governments alternate in the West. That means that, when a paper/TV station aligns with the government, it will be against the next government if there is a change. Fox News may have been Trump's best friend, but they're not Biden's.

On the other hand, there are subtler ways to manipulate the national narrative:

History books.

Most countries tend to enhance their own good historical behavior and gloss over their bad moments.

  • The US rarely mentions the CIA's assassination of Iran's PM in 1953.

  • France acts all outraged when a general talks about using torture in Algeria during the 50s, when in fact any military history book mentions it as a widespread tactic.

  • Europeans love to chat about US slavery, but ran their own slave plantations in the Caribbean till 1800 or so.

  • Any US or UK coverage of WW2 will maximize the effects of the Murmansk convoys while downplaying that 80%+ of German deaths were on the Eastern front (I am certain Russian coverage of Molotov-Ribbentrop is truncated).

  • The less is mentioned about Japan's coverage of WW2 history the better. China has good cause to complain about their whitewashing.

National news narratives

Another effect can observed in disputes between Western nations. This is typically in the trade domain and you can observe radically different perceptions of the issues depending on whose country you are in. To take the recurring Canada-US lumber trade disputes:

  • the US believes Canada unfairly subsidizes forestry by allowing use of public lands

  • Canada sees the US penalizing Canada's export of high-value finished products while pushing for the export of logs where the value is added by US lumber mills.

There must be something in news coverage driving this perception, because you will get very different viewpoints from even informed citizens, depending on where they live. Canadian news outlets extremely rarely give the US viewpoint. Substitute UK vs Europe on fishing arrangements, you get the idea.

Generally, you can expect, without involving government control, that a country's news publishers will promote that country as the "good guys". This is not top-down propaganda, but rather, "consensual untruthiness/spin". Occasionally, particular problems will provoke sustained criticism, like racial tensions or handling global warming. For the most part though, the country will be portrayed as behaving fairly by the bulk of its media, especially regarding its dealings with other countries.

More targeted efforts.

Manufacturing Consent is a fascinating book to read, even if you, like me, dislike Chomsky.

It basically dissects US press coverage of respectively, the killing of a Polish priest at the hand of the Communists in Poland in the 80s. Vs that of numerous activists - including priests - in Central America at the same time, by CIA backed death squads.

The Polish coverage was maximized and the Central American coverage was minimized. The facts were never really disputed much, nor suppressed, by the US government. But it basically managed to minimize damage to its foreign policy while upping the pressure on Soviet-aligned block.

The reason for this type of friendly coverage are multiple and complex and covered in the book. One is the loss of advertising revenue when you consistently criticize one's country, rather than its government. Another is preferential government access: Gulf War 1 reporters (after this book) were "embedded" in front line units and could get scoops, at the expense of some level of censorship/vetting. That was a lesson the US learned from uncontrolled access during the Vietnam War.

Another example is how Saddam went overnight from being the victim of Iranian aggression in 1985-1988 European coverage ("Iran rejects Iraq's peace negotiations!"). To Mr. Bad Guy in 1991, once it was "remembered" that he started the war. The difference?: in 85-88 Saddam was buying European arms in bulk, either on credit or with Saudi money.

So, yes, Western countries are not averse to spinning their own narrative of good behavior.

Still, very different from China shutting down publishers in HK. Or Putin labelling every critic a foreign agent and shutting them down. The fact that Chomsky was able to publish his book and received wide US coverage is testimony to this. So is the fact that Chomsky managed to parlay his considerable dislike of US capitalism into a very comfortable line of business.

And remember that Trump was in the crosshairs of most of the US media from day one, Fox News aside. Fox News even ended up calling his election loss.

To some extent, it makes the narrative "stickier". Since we are not obviously being lied to, we tend to trust our governments more.

  • So, you think there cannot be feminist, religious, environmentalist propaganda? No anti-abortion propaganda, no anti-nuclear propaganda?
    – Anixx
    Aug 6, 2021 at 6:11
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    Not saying this, but they are out of scope to my answer. I am only concerned with what I perceive to be the OP's question - comparisons to such outfits as RT in Russia that promote either the government or the country. Aug 6, 2021 at 6:13
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    "Since we are not obviously being lied to, we tend to trust our governments more." - this last phrase sounds utterly wrong to me. As I know, in the USSR the people trusted the government (and media) much, much more. The people of the older generation often said "this was told on TV, so it must be true" (yes, I heard this many times myself). This was employed to great extent in the 1990s when various fraud schemes or conmen used TV advertising to lure older people to give them money.
    – Anixx
    Aug 6, 2021 at 6:22
  • Perhaps. But in countries like Pakistan the notion of conspiracies and plots seem to be a recurring theme. Besides, both my claim and yours can coexist - the question was about Western forms of propaganda, not what was enabled by totalitarian forms. I've recently read several books about North Korea - I have no doubt the locals have been brainwashed into really thinking Fat Kim isn't eating enough, just so they have more to eat themselves. Aug 6, 2021 at 6:25
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    With all respect, it should be noted, that "foreign agent" term is not unique to the "authoritarian" world. They are called so, as they get money from their western sponsors - as RT in your free world, for example. What's wrong? Aug 6, 2021 at 9:14

You could argue the whole assumption behind your question is the result of propaganda.

Only evil authoritarian countries such as Russia and China use propaganda to control their citizens unlike our free and democratic country. That's what our enemies do unlike us.


Your specific Q makes more sense focusing on just the news. Calling RT propaganda is a statement about who controls the content. You'd assume it's some Russian capitalists trying to make an interesting news program. If there's an explosion at the docks, they'll cover it since explosions are good television, and so on. Calling it propaganda is saying "no, no, it's heavily monitored and controlled by the Russian government and only runs or makes-up stories that make Putin look good. It will never run a story about a Russian screw-up". Likewise "The Global Times is propaganda" is shorthand for "it's not a real newspaper -- it's a mouthpiece for the Chinese government".

In that sense, of course authoritarian governments are more likely to have the news be propaganda. They have more ways to pressure or simply force favorable news coverage than a democracy.

  • Interesting. But I've never stated, that RT or Global Times are propaganda - I've herd some opinions about it. Aug 7, 2021 at 15:50
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    @user2501323 In my 2nd sentence "calling" is about these other people's opinions. When they call it propaganda, they're really saying it's... . Aug 7, 2021 at 15:58

If one defines 'propaganda' as information crafted to advance a political agenda, then it is not only present in democracies, it is prevalent.

Certainly in the US, the most popular (and profitable) news outlets all exhibit a distinct political bias, in what they cover and how they word their stories.

The major difference between the more rigidly controlled authoritarian governments and the democracies is: in the democracies, the populace chooses to follow propaganda that appeals to their existing sentiments, whereas with authoritarian governments, propaganda from the government is the only choice.


In democratic countries, propaganda is called public relations.

Edward Bernays talks about how it was renamed after the Germans gave propaganda a bad reputation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0OrT-8gXMs

The Century of the Self is a great documentary series on the subject. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

  • I can't vouch for the history of the activity being renamed, but fundamentally they are synonymous. You can be honest and dishonest in a PR campaign, and propaganda is just the word we use when we think it's the latter. Aug 7, 2021 at 23:02

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