In the 1920's, the New York State Legislature put together a joint committee to investigate seditious activities, and the result of all this was a work titled "Revolutionary Radicalism". I actually think this does a disservice, because (as I will show below) revolutionaries are not the only ones who can use propaganda by deeds. Evolutionaries can also use it. In "Revolutionary Radicalism", the following is written: (page 1521)
In addition to the extensive propaganda by speech and writings in periodicals, newspapers, and other printed forms, there is a widespread propaganda by what may be termed deed, embracing within it, (a) bomb outrages; (b) direct action, including the general strike; (c) sabotage, and (d) mass demonstrations.
Likewise, in his "Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis", Mikhail Bakunin wrote the following:
All of us must now embark on stormy revolutionary seas, and from this very moment we must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda.
Other anarchist authors have written very similar things.
So the propaganda by deed is more potent and irresistible than the pamphlet, the leaflet, the speech, or the book. So then when John Dewey proposes to make the The School as a Social Center, how can anybody with a straight face make the case that this is not a propaganda by deed? Consider the following three things: (Not numbered to convey a numerical order of events)
(1) Progressives use government to take over the schools.
(2) Eventually, the school is made the social center.
(3) This makes government the social center.
Now, consider the dual use of the word "center". See, the words is where the progressives always get you. This blog post would not have worked in the year 1927 or 1942, for example, but here we are, with 100~ years of progressivism behind us to examine and learn from. The dual use of the word has already been employed - the progressives have not just made schools a social center, over the last century they have made schools the social center. Schools are held up as god-like institutions. The epitome of clean wind driven snow.
John Dewey in his "Schools as a Social Center" even makes the case that its about socialism, so eventually they wanted to make it 100% state run one way or another. It's just that we have seen the entire agenda be planted, blossom, and bear fruit - because here we are 100 years later.
So what kind of propaganda by deed happens every single day by millions of parents with their children in thousands of living rooms across the country? "Sure, little Johnny, you can go off to government school. You are safe there."
Government will take care of you - how is that for propaganda by deed? Not only is the very essence of the institution itself a propaganda by deed just by its mere existence, because you have turned government into the social center, but now the progressives have by extension turned parents into foot soldiers to spread the gospel of progressivism. Consider this, in his book "The New Democracy", Walter Weyl makes the following point: (page 166)
It is a revolution brought about by and through the common run of men, who abjure heroics, who sleep soundly and make merry, who "talk" politics and prize-fights, who obey alarm clocks, time-tables and a thousand petty but revered social conventions. They do not know that they are revolutionists.
Let's take a moment to consider the revered social convention of just wanting to be left alone, just wanting to live your life and watch your kids grow up? Somewhere in this mix is the daily revered social convention of sending your children off to school.
Those foot soldiers I just spoke of, they do not know that they are revolutionists.
We, then, who are engaged in the sacred cause of education, are entitled to look upon all parents as having given hostages to our cause
How do parents give hostages to the cause? The Schools as a Social Center - the Center of the universe. They do not know that they are revolutionists.
One of the largest pieces of propaganda by deed in modern history.