MUSTAPHA MOND'S DEPARTMENT OF PROPAGANDA


"Wheels must turn steadily, but cannot turn untended. There must be men to tend them, men as steady as the wheels upon their axles, sane men, obedient men, stable in contentment." 
Mustapha Mond 

Introduction | Task | Resources | Process | Evaluation | Conclusion


INTRODUCTION

Congratulations on your job offer and welcome to Mustapha Mond's Department of Propaganda!  As a new employee, it is imperative that you understand clearly and completely your role in our brave new world of stability, harmony, and never-surpassed human happiness.  Please read the following closely.

The Department of Propaganda plays a key role in maintaining the paradise we have constructed.  This world of ours did not come about by accident - in fact, mankind almost destroyed itself first, and only the prospect of imminent extinction through instability and war brought about the necessary changes leading to a better tomorrow.  We have less freedom now than in previous societies, but we are happier and more stable for it; in fact, we have discovered that stability is more important than freedom.  Our way of life is controlled and planned down to the smallest details, and endless attention and care is required if society is to maintain its steady progress towards an ever improving quality of life.  Hence your job in the Department of Propaganda.  You play a vital role in the health of our state. In attending to the organization and rationale of our society, we can never rest in our efforts to ensure stability through social engineering and advanced science.

As you know, our slogan repeats: "No civilization without stability.  No social stability without individual stability."  Individual citizens need to know their role in society and how to fulfill their expectations; everyone must be reminded how to keep happy, stable, and how thereby to keep the gears of our social machine running smoothly.  Your job is precisely to remind them of this correct way to live.  Virtue and sanity in our world rely, in large part, on how well you do your job.  You must supply the healthy thoughts that will occupy the minds of our citizenry.  You must craft the powerful words and dynamic images that effortlessly but effectively persuade and therein ensure obedience.  Your efforts here at the Department of Propaganda are central to the stability and strength of our civilization.  The ideas you fashion and then communicate are the glue which helps hold our social structure together, the grease that keeps the machine humming smoothly and contentedly.  Good luck!


TASK

You will be assigned to one of four Department of Propaganda subdepartments  responsible for reinforcing correct thought and correspondingly correct behavior:

Shop 'til You Drop Subdepartment:
You are responsible for promoting the idea that an increase in production and consumption lead to happiness and virtue.  Newer is better!  More is best!  Old is horrid!

Better Living Through Test Tubes Subdepartment
Everyone belongs to everyone else!  And all have a role and a function in society.  Everyone has to do their part!  To understand and act on this is to be happy and to live healthily.  One cannot be reminded of this long enough - or forget the ugliness, squalor, and irrationality of the old family-model based on [sic] "parents"!

Never a Dull Moment Subdepartment
Whether it be the Obstacle Golf, Orgy Porgy, or the Feelies, a normal person just wants to have non-stop 24-7 fun!  Sensory stimulation is the highest pursuit of the best form of happiness.  Don't be the last to indulge in the latest greatest amusement!  And let's all do it TOGETHER!

Happiness is a Pill Subdepartment
Feeling a bit under the weather?  Gloomy thoughts clouding your day?  Take a Soma vacation! Pop a pill(s) and kiss those rain clouds good-bye.  Relief is just a dose away! What are you waiting for?  TAKE IT NOW!

With the resources and virtually unlimited media access of the State, your job is to help design and shoot a public service announcement for your subdepartment to be broadcast over the airwaves and through the digital pipes of our world.  Your video presentation should be polished and smooth, upbeat yet to the point, and simple but catchy.  It  must effectively and dramatically convey the message that obedience to the values and organization of our society leads to individual virtue and sanity, thereby bringing about stability and happiness for all.  The broadcast should last between 4-5 minutes and should be perfectly understandable and equally digestible to both an Alpha-Plus and Delta-Minus.  Your message will be broadcast tens of thousands of times over weeks and even months and millions of viewers will be exposed to it, so your work must be of the highest quality.  It cannot seem stale and boring after only a handful of viewings.  Be advised!

In selecting you to work in his Department of Propaganda, Mustapha Mond has the highest confidence in your ability to produce creative work realizing (and even surpassing!) these high expectations.  In particular, he wishes that you not lose sight of the following questions: How can you fashion your message so as to gain maximum acceptance by the target audience?    What tricks can you use to make your message seem reasonable and not overbearing?  What techniques can you use to influence people without their feeling manipulated or controlled?  Is your message upbeat and is the tone appropriate to our brave new world?  Will your slogans and/or jingles stay in people's minds afterwards?  Are they simple? Are they catchy?  Is the video broadcast polished and attention grabbing?  Does it reinforce the core message of your subdepartment, as well as the general values of the World State?  Mustafa Mond wishes you good luck in the discharge of your duties, among the most important in our brave new world of order and happiness!  In having given you full reign to be creative and develop your own ideas of exactly how to get our message across in the video, Mond hopes to be pleasantly surprised by your work.  Don't let him down!


RESOURCES

Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley

Community, Identity, and Stability, Lenina vs. John the Savage, and the Us vs. Them diagrams.

The Science of Modern Propaganda

Previous video from initial FTHS Honor's English 2001-2002 class: Medium Bandwidth, Small Bandwidth. (Note: File is in Apple QuickTime format. Get free download!)


THE PROCESS

The following instructions will lead you to success in your broadcast:

  1. Identity your subdepartment.
  2. Discover other members of subdepartment.
  3. Decide on roles: one editor/leader, two or three actors, and one script writer.
  4. Brainstorm as to ideas, themes, and slogans.
  5. Fill out proposal form and present it to Mustapha Mond for approval.
  6. Make a storyboard for your presentation.
  7. Write scripts for individual members of subdepartment.
  8. Practice and rehearse scripts.
  9. In costume report for video shooting.
  10. Edit video and prepare it for broadcast.
  11. Fill out self-evaluation and group evaluation.
  12. Submit video to Mustapha Mond for evaluation.

EVALUATION

This assignment will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Is video between 4-5 minutes in duration?
  • Does video effectively communicate the message of your subdepartment?
  • Does it immediately grab viewer attention?  Is message easy to understand?  Is video creative and powerful?  Does it use catchy, easy to remember slogans and/or jingles?
  • Could you see this video actually being broadcast in the World State?  Could you see it in the plot of Huxley's book?
  • Have all members of subdepartment played a role in creation and production of video?

Click here to see the rubric for this project.  Good luck!


CONCLUSION

When you complete this project you should be able to answer the following questions:  Is it possible that something that looks interesting and highly amusing but is, in fact, poison for you?  Can a video message attractive to the eye and ear and burst with energy and enthusiasm, yet in fact be banal?  Can video be the tool of brainwashing and enslavement?


"And that is the secret of happiness and virtue— liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny."
Director of Central Hatcheries


FTHS  Ventura, CA     805.289.0023x1214     rgeib@vtusd.k12.ca.us