Managed Opinion
Herbert Hoover

Civilization has advanced only whenever and wherever the critical faculty in the people at large has been free, alive, and unpolluted. It slumps whenever this is intimidated or suppressed. This is the most certain lesson of history. This shift of human liberties by placing the government into business and agriculture, whether by operation or dictation, will be repulsive to the instincts of millions of people, and the government, in order to protect itself from the political consequences of its actions, is driven irresistibly and without peace to a greater and greater control of the nation's thinking.

Bureaucracy has already developed a vast ramifying propaganda subtly designed to control thought and opinion. The constant use of the radio, the platform, and the press, by device of exposition, news and attack with one point of view, becomes a powerful force in transforming the nation's mentality and in destroying its independent judgement. Bureaucracy's instinctive defense to criticism is to color the information and news with its objectives rather than presenting a cold analysis of results. It goes further in resentment to criticism and attempts to meet it with denunciation. We witness this vituperative impatience from those who believe they are serving the common good. Critics are smeared by personal attack upon character or motives, not answered by sober argument. Managed opinion is as much a part of "Managed Economy," as "Managed Currency," or "Managed Agriculture." All this is the back door to repression of free thought and opinion. Free speech and free press have never lived long after free industry and commerce have been repressed.


The Challenge to Liberty by Herbert Hoover
Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1934, pages 135-136