A good idea is worth next to nothing if we can’t convince others of its value. The art of persuasion is often dismissed by those convinced of the strength of their own ideas. Unfortunately, this means that they remain the only ones convinced.

Persuading others of our ideas is the action that turns ideas into a reality. Persuasion is difficult and it can be even more difficult with the types of intelligent, thoughtful, and principled people that you want to convince of your ideas. So learning the skills of persuasion, of making a convincing case without deception and with good faith, are a must for anyone looking to implement their ideas in the world.

We are often up against the dark underbelly of persuasion, propaganda. Indeed, before we begin persuading others of our ideas, we often have to undo the noxious work that propaganda has done before we arrive.

Perhaps worst of all, each of us is susceptible to propaganda, whether we like it or not. Learning about the inner workings of this nefarious art can provide us with some protection against its effects, but cannot make us immune.

The following quotes about propaganda and persuasion are a must for anyone interested in the open exchange of ideas.

Quotes About Persuasion and the Power of Persuasion


Blaise Pascal quote on persuasion


“People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.”

– Blaise Pascal


Ben Franklin quote on persuasion


“If you want to persuade, appeal to interest not to reason.”

– Benjamin Franklin


George Soros quote on persuasion


“Being a contrarian is actually very easy. The problem is being a contrarian that makes money.”

– George Soros

Supreme Court Justice quote on persuasion

“Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.”

– Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia


N. Machiavelli quote on persuasion


“It is enough to ask somebody for his weapons without saying ‘I want to kill you with them’, because when you have his weapons in hand, you can satisfy your desire.”

– Niccolò Machiavelli


Edward Murrow quote on persuasion


“To be persuasive we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible we must be truthful.”

– Edward R. Murrow


Unkwown quote on persuasion


“I’d rather argue against a hundred idiots, than have one agree with me.”

– Unknown, commonly misattributed to Winston Churchill