Compare And Contrast Liptmann Vs Dewey

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October 5 2015 Walter Lippmann Versus John Dewey Capacity of the People to Make Policy Decisions Walter Lippmann was an American a political commentator, writer, and journalist, who lived from 1889 until 1974. While John Dewey was an American psychologist and philosopher, well known for being, amongst other things, a prominent education reformer, he lived from 1859 until 1952. In essence Lippmann believed that the notion of a coherent public opinion is a falsity, thus he believed it is a legitimate role of the state to manufacture public opinion, in order to achieve the end result of public consent. Lippmann based these ideas upon his ideologically driven worldview that the there is an inherent limit to the collective intellectual capacity…show more content…
Adding that individuals: “live in the same world, but they think and feel in different ones”.(1) As alluded to earlier, Lippmann was well known for his writings on the manufacturing of public opinion, for the purpose of persuading the public to support wise policies; regarding this he says: “The process by which public opinions arise is… intricate… and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough… as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. Under the impact of propaganda, not necessarily in the sinister meaning of the word alone, the old constants of our thinking have become variables. It is no longer possible, for example, to believe… the knowledge needed for the management of human affairs comes up spontaneously from the human heart. Where we act on that theory we expose ourselves to self-deception. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the…show more content…
In contrast, Walter Lippmann’s approach can be summarized as such: If the public doesn’t know what it’s doing politically, why should it have the power to do so much?(4) Endnotes: (1) Lippmann, W. Public Opinion. 1922. Introduction. (2) Lippmann, W. Chapter 15. Ibid. (3) Dewey’s Political Philosophy. Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Feb 6 2014. (4) Friedman, J. Cato Institute. Public Ignorance and Democracy. July/August 1999. Bibliography: - Heritage Foundation: John Dewey and the Progressive Conception of Freedom. - Heritage Foundation: Lecture by Historian Paul Kengor. Dupes How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century: - Cato Institute: Public Ignorance and Democracy.

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