Policy Scientist Exposes Propaganda; applauded.

  • Essay 1 response for PS 1000, Wayne State, Winter 2013.
  • Example of teaching/learning mechanism: compare your essay to mine.
  • Niche audience: Democratic political development.

ARTICLE:  Revisiting Lasswell by  James Farr, Jacob S. Hacker, Nicole Kazee. Policy Sciences, Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 2008), pp. 21-32

Lasswell determined that the political scientist should be a “policy scientist of democracy” (22). This person would be deeply committed to the values of democracy, and trumpet the up-to-date democratic policy to best alleviate and expunge ignorance, force, and totalitarian ideologies in modern society (22-23). Thus, the policy scientist is engaged in moving democracy forward, alongside other political elites, and if lucky, would be a “hero” (23).

Democracy is a transformative word. It’s means something different to each generation, and something different to people within each generation. Lasswell famously exclaimed, “Democracy has proclaimed the dictatorship of palaver, and the technique of dictating to the dictator is named propaganda” (24). To be sure, the policy scientist could be hostile towards democracy, and since democracy can transform as themes—human dignity mutual deference; or perhaps “the practice of justice by majority rule,” democracy may never be pinned down and thus never be accomplished and then left behind by history (Lasswell quote in text, 25). Therefore, the policy scientist will indubitably engage in “guided democratization”—indefinitely (27).

Lasswell’s policy scientist in the midst of developing democracy must be responsible as an academic and an advocate, and s/he must advocate through simple, accessible, policy prescription; free of jargon (29). Indeed, s/he might answer a narrow question; however, the answer will be understandable to a broad audience, which will address real-world problems (30). In sum, political scientists must be practical scientists. And their speech must advance deliberative democracy, because a policy scientist helps provide conditions for reaching political consensus and is particularly critical of propaganda (30-31). Policy scientists expose propaganda so that democracy may move forward without bias–for the people.



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