In a bid to explore the work of French sociologist Gustave Le Bon on dissimulating specific beliefs within a populace, this article will localise the factors he purported to amount to propagandistic success within the case studies of Nazi Germany and fascist Spain. This will be done using a consideration of primary visual sources and qualitative data associated with the campaigns in which they were used. Additionally, this work will analyse whether one can quantify propagandistic success, and whether this is at odds with the academic bases of Le Bon’s work. This research will ultimately provide a novel reading of Le Bon’s theory, demonstrating how the work can indeed allow for interesting analyses of different propagandistic contexts while concluding that there are limitations with the means through which the factors he brought to the fore directly contribute to successful propaganda initiatives.
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