Public opinion  

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This page Public opinion is part of the politics series.Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.
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This page Public opinion is part of the politics series.
Illustration:Liberty Leading the People (1831, detail) by Eugène Delacroix.

"That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough. […] [A]s a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power. […] 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 in the original dogma of democracy; that 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, and to forms of persuasion that we cannot verify. It has been demonstrated that we cannot rely upon intuition, conscience, or the accidents of casual opinion if we are to deal with the world beyond our reach." --Public Opinion (1922) by Walter Lippmann

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Public opinion consists of the desires, wants and thinking of the majority of the people. It is the collective opinion of the people of a society or state on an issue or problem.

This concept came about through the process of urbanization and other political and social forces. For the first time, it became important what people thought as forms of political contention changed.Democracy requires public opinion because it derives authority from the public.

See also

public, opinion, propaganda, mass media, Volksgeist
Organizations




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Public opinion" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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