“Propaganda”, wrote Jacques Ellul, “does not aim to elevate man, but to make him serve. It must therefore utilize the most common feelings, the most widespread ideas, the crudest patterns, and in so doing place itself on a very low level with regard to what it wants men to do and to what end. Hate, hunger, and pride make better levers of propaganda than do love or impartiality.”
For these and many other reasons, we now live in a culture in which style has achieved primacy over substance. Although the original conception of democracy meant that social equality was more important than a social elite, and therefore the symbols of an elite were rejected, we have now substituted the contorted alternative view that the symbols and styles of elites should be mass produced and made available to everyone.