Any elite defends and asserts itself in the name of symbols of the common destiny. Such symbols are the "ideology" of the established order, the "utopia" of counterelites. By the use of sanctioned words and gestures the elite elicits blood, work, taxes, applause, from the masses. When the political order works smoothly, the masses venerate the symbols; the elite, self-righteous and unafraid, suffers from no withering sense of immorality. "God's in his heaven -- all's right with the world." "In union there is strength" -- not exploitation.
A well-established ideology perpetuates itself with little planned propaganda by those whom it benefits most. When thought is taken about ways and means of sowing conviction, conviction has already languished, the basic outlook of society has decayed, or a new, triumphant outlook has not yet gripped the automatic loyalties of old and young. Happy indeed is that nation that has no thought of itself; or happy at least are the few who procure the principal benefits of universal acquiescence. Systems of life which confer special benefits on the other fellow need no plots or conspiracies when the masses are moved by faith and the elites are inspired by self-confidence.
Any well-knit way of life molds human behavior into its own design. The individualism of bourgeois society like the communism of a socialized state must be inculcated from the nursery to the grave. In the United States, as one
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Publication information: Book title: Psychopathology and Politics; Politics: Who Gets What, When, How; Democratic Character. Contributors: Harold D. Lasswell - Author. Publisher: Free Press. Place of publication: Glencoe, IL. Publication year: 1951. Page number: 311.
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