Propaganda is used to persuade the masses to either support or reject a cause. It is also used in marketing to promote consumerism. For propaganda to work, it has to be designed and presented by a skilled person who is good at rhetoric. Propaganda is considered negative by persons that believe in democracy because it has extensively been used by dictators to control their population (Osborne par 3). When persons are denied free access to information as is the case in dictatorships, then they are bound to believe whatever the regime in place communicates to them. Propaganda is neutral in nature. It can be used for good or evil. The neutrality of propaganda is what makes it a practical and lethal weapon in the hands of oppressive regimes.
Democracy can be promoted by propaganda, as was the case during the cold war. However, in the context of democracy, propaganda has to be applied with a lot of pragmatism. Leaders in democracies do not have the leisure of ignorant masses, and that makes it complicated for them to apply propaganda as they wish. Citizens in democracies have access to information and counterinformation (Osborne par 7). Their set of values and beliefs need to be supported by the propaganda presented to them by the leaders for the persuasion to work. Propaganda is effective in a democracy when and only when the perceptions and values of the citizens are correct. When that condition is fulfilled, then the persuasion capacity of propaganda is used to reinforce them. in the event of the values and perceptions held by either the leader or the citizens not being correct, then propaganda in their support it outrightly rejected.
Osborne, Nick. “When Propaganda Displaces Democracy.” Boston Globe, Aug 30 2015, ProQuest. Web. 7 Nov. 2018. https://search.proquest.com/docview/1889815308/68328BEFDA8E48ABPQ/13?accountid=1611