Propaganda is most effective when it comes from a trusted leader who clearly identifies an enemy as a target for hatred and differentiates clearly between "us" and "them". They repeat key phrases again and again.
Propaganda message may:
Contain truthful claims or blatant lies or a mixture of both;
Exaggerate or fabricate incidents;
Use facts selectively and ignore whatever contradicts their claims;
Use one-sided arguments without any attempt to understand alternative views;
Contain illogical arguments;
Demonize leaders or supporters of other political / ethnic groups.
According to North Korea's official biography of Kim Jong-Il, under whose leadership these propaganda messages were made, the Dear Leader learned to walk by the age of three weeks, talk by eight weeks, and he wrote his first manifesto on the future of the Korean people by the age of two.
The best example we have of the use of propaganda comes from Hitler's Nazi Germany.
Joseph Goebbels was a master of propaganda. As the German Propaganda Minister during World War II, he successfully manipulated the German people into following Adolf Hitler. He was so effective that he was able to persuade millions of Germans to accept a philosophy that was based on hatred.
He used many media to carry across his propaganda message, including:
No matter which media he used, the message was always the same. The German people heard what the Nazi's wanted them to hear, and they came to believe it unquestioningly.
It is important to study propaganda to understand how and why it is used. In so doing, we develop the skill of critical thinking and are better equipped to evaluate the media messages we receive. It helps us to see through the slogans of power-hungry individuals who seek to manipulate others.