Is this what you are talking about?
"Had the science of semantics developed as rapidly as psycho-dynamics and its implementing arts of propaganda and mob psychology, the United States might never have fallen into dictatorship, then been forced to undergo the Second Revolution. All of the scientific principles embodied in the Covenant which marked the end of the revolution were formulated as far back as the first quarter of the twentieth century.
But the work of the pioneer semanticists, C. K. Ogden, Alfred Korzybski, and others, were known to but a handful of students, whereas psycho-dynamics, under the impetus of repeated wars and the frenzy of high-pressure merchandising, progressed by leaps and bounds." - Coventry
Man lives in a world of ideas. Any phenomenon is so complex that he cannot
possibly grasp the whole of it. He abstracts certain characteristics of a
given phenomenon as an idea, then represents that idea as a symbol, be it a
word or a mathematical sign. Human reaction is almost entirely reaction to
symbols, and only negligibly to phenomena. (Lentz)
Robert A. Heinlein (1907 - 1988)
"Blowups Happen" c. 1940 (ASF)