“The End Of Truth,” Or How The Mainstream Media Controls The Narrative

An excerpt from F A Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom

(How the mainstream media is the new Party, controlling propaganda.)


“It is significant that the nationalization of thought has proceeded everywhere pari passu with the nationalization of industry.”- E H Carr


The most effective way of making everybody serve the single system of ends toward which the social plan is directed is to make everybody believe in those ends. To make a totalitarian system function efficiently, it is not enough that everybody should be forced to work for the same ends. It is essential that the people should come to regard them as their own ends. Although the beliefs must be chosen for the people and imposed upon them, they must become their beliefs, a generally accepted creed which makes the individual as far as possible act spontaneously in the way the planner wants. If the freedom of oppression in totalitarian countries is in general much less acute than most people in liberal countries imagine, this is because the totalitarian government succeed to a high degree in making people think as they want them to. This is, of course, brought about by the various forms of propaganda. Its technique is now so familiar that we need say little about it. The only point that needs to be stressed is that neither propaganda in itself nor the techniques employed are peculiar to totalitarianism and that what so completely changes its nature and effect in a totalitarian state is that all propaganda serves the same goal- that all the instruments of propaganda are co-ordinated to influence the individuals in the same direction and to produce the characteristic Gleichschal-tung of all minds. As a result, the effect of propaganda in totalitarian countries is different not only in magnitude but in kind from that of the propaganda made for different ends by independent and competing agencies. If all the sources of current information are effectively under one single control, it is no longer a question of merely persuading the people of this or that. The skillful propagandist then has power to mould their minds in any direction he chooses, and even the most intelligent and independent people cannot entirely escape that influence if they are long isolated from all other sources of information