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Thread: Propaganda?

  1. #1 Propaganda? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    I guess this thread fits in politics, but it might be psychology too because it involves the techniques of manipulating peoples' thinking about the world.
    It might also be education because recognizing propaganda techniques should be part of journalism, critical thinking, and logic courses.

    My questions fall into 3 broad classes so I am just going to throw them out to the forum and see what you guys come back with.
    First, what is considered propaganda?
    Second, how to recognize it?
    Third, how to counter it?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    First, what is considered propaganda?


    Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position.
    Propaganda is information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (thus possibly lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. Propaganda can be used as a form of ideological or commercial warfare.
    While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging persons to report crimes to law enforcement, among others.



    Second, how to recognize it?


    Specific techniques[edit]
    Scholars have identified many standard techniques used in propaganda and persuasion.[13]
    Ad hominem
    A Latin phrase that has come to mean attacking one's opponent, as opposed to attacking their arguments.
    Ad nauseam
    This argument approach uses tireless repetition of an idea. An idea, especially a simple slogan, that is repeated enough times, may begin to be taken as the truth. This approach works best when media sources are limited or controlled by the propagator.
    Appeal to authority
    Appeals to authority cite prominent figures to support a position, idea, argument, or course of action.
    Appeal to fear
    Appeals to fear and seeks to build support by instilling anxieties and panic in the general population, for example, Joseph Goebbels exploited Theodore Kaufman's Germany Must Perish! to claim that the Allies sought the extermination of the German people.
    Appeal to prejudice
    Using loaded or emotive terms to attach value or moral goodness to believing the proposition. Used in biased or misleading ways.
    Bandwagon
    Bandwagon and "inevitable-victory" appeals attempt to persuade the target audience to join in and take the course of action that "everyone else is taking".
    Inevitable victory
    Invites those not already on the bandwagon to join those already on the road to certain victory. Those already or at least partially on the bandwagon are reassured that staying aboard is their best course of action.
    Join the crowd
    This technique reinforces people's natural desire to be on the winning side. This technique is used to convince the audience that a program is an expression of an irresistible mass movement and that it is in their best interest to join.


    "Getting What He Deserves" American anti-Catholic cartoon from Heroes of the Fiery Cross 1928.
    Beautiful people
    The type of propaganda that deals with celebrities or depicts attractive, happy people. This suggests if people buy a product or follow a certain ideology, they too will be happy or successful.
    The Lie
    The repeated articulation of a complex of events that justify subsequent action. The descriptions of these events have elements of truth, and the "big lie" generalizations merge and eventually supplant the public's accurate perception of the underlying events. After World War I the German Stab in the back explanation of the cause of their defeat became a justification for Nazi re-militarization and revanchist aggression.
    Black-and-white fallacy
    Presenting only two choices, with the product or idea being propagated as the better choice. For example: "You're either with us, or against us...."
    Classical conditioning
    All vertebrates, including humans, respond to classical conditioning. That is, if object A is always present when object B is present and object B causes a physical reaction (e.g., disgust, pleasure) then we will when presented with object A when object B is not present, we will experience the same feelings.
    Cognitive dissonance
    People desire to be consistent. Suppose a pollster finds that a certain group of people hates his candidate for senator but loves actor A. They use actor A's endorsement of their candidate to change people's minds because people cannot tolerate inconsistency. They are forced to either to dislike the actor or like the candidate.
    Common man
    "The "plain folks" or "common man" approach attempts to convince the audience that the propagandist's positions reflect the common sense of the people. It is designed to win the confidence of the audience by communicating in the common manner and style of the target audience. Propagandists use ordinary language and mannerisms (and clothe their message in face-to-face and audiovisual communications) in attempting to identify their point of view with that of the average person. With the plain folks device, the propagandist can win the confidence of persons who resent or distrust foreign sounding, intellectual speech, words, or mannerisms."[14] For example, a politician speaking to a Southern United States crowd might incorporate words such as "Y'all" and other colloquialisms to create a perception of belonging.
    Cult of personality
    A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. The hero personality then advocates the positions that the propagandist desires to promote. For example, modern propagandists hire popular personalities to promote their ideas and/or products.
    Demonizing the enemy
    Making individuals from the opposing nation, from a different ethnic group, or those who support the opposing viewpoint appear to be subhuman (e.g., the Vietnam War-era term "gooks" for National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam aka Vietcong, or "VC", soldiers), worthless, or immoral, through suggestion or false accusations. Dehumanizing is also a termed used synonymously with demonizing, the latter usually serves as an aspect of the former.


    Third, how to counter it?

    Knowing what it is by educating people would be the best way to counter the spread of it.

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...65058239,d.aWw


    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.
    Jimi Hendrix
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  4. #3  
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    My limited contribution is confined to an example. I live in the UK, and for the last sixty years or so we have had a National Health Service. This is a health service which if funded by taxation and is available to everyone regardless of their financial status. Currently, we have a coalition government but it is dominated by right wing, conservatives (Tories), and it has often been said that "the National Health Service is not safe in the hands of the Tories". Predictably, there has been a relentless barrage of criticism directed against the National Health Service. The sustained nature of this damaging assault, together with the fact that it has arisen only under a political party which is believed to be hostile to the National Health Service leads me to regard it as propaganda. I believe that the intention is to privatise as much of the Health Service as possible, perhaps all of it, but this hasn't been explicitly stated.

    So what is propaganda? I think that it has to be sustained over a period of time. To be effective it should come from a variety of sources. To some extent, it might be factually based, but the emphasis given to those facts is exaggerated and ramped up over time to become overwhelming. Can it be spotted? Yes. But it will have some effect on wavering personalities who might feel inclined to go along with it to some extent, just to see how it goes, etc ....and that can lead to it succeeding.
    How to counter it? .... I suppose threads like the one that has been started here, but on sites which have more members, could have some effect.
    Last edited by JonG; April 18th, 2014 at 01:59 PM.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    I guess this thread fits in politics, but it might be psychology too because it involves the techniques of manipulating peoples' thinking about the world.
    It might also be education because recognizing propaganda techniques should be part of journalism, critical thinking, and logic courses.

    My questions fall into 3 broad classes so I am just going to throw them out to the forum and see what you guys come back with.
    First, what is considered propaganda?
    Second, how to recognize it?
    Third, how to counter it?
    What is considered propaganda?

    All of America's mainstream news sources are considered to be "corporate propaganda", with Fox news and Rush radio being the worst.

    a citizens guide to understanding corporate media propaganda techniques | EarthBlog News©
    Headlines: Decoding And Counteracting Mainstream Media Corporate Propaganda
    NewsFocus
    Corporate media - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Fourteen Propaganda Techniques Fox "News" Uses to Brainwash Americans


    The American journalists who work for these corporate controlled news outlets are not allowed to do real investigative reporting. And if any journalist tries to do a news story negative towards large corporations, that journalist is moved to a non-reporting desk job or fired.

    The following documentary explains the above. This documentary is old and things are much worse today.

    Fear and Favor In The Newsroom - YouTube


    The following documentary is also about America's corporate controlled media/news system, it has many high level media executives and propaganda experts.

    Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) - YouTube
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post


    The following documentary is about America's corporate controlled news system, it has many high level media executives and propaganda experts.

    Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) - YouTube
    I have this on DVD. it's fantastic!
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by grmpysmrf View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chad View Post


    The following documentary is about America's corporate controlled news system, it has many high level media executives and propaganda experts.

    Orwell Rolls in his Grave (Full 3HR Documentary) - YouTube
    I have this on DVD. it's fantastic!
    I had -0- interest in politics until I got 2 satellite TV channels called FreespeachTV and LinkTV. From watching documentaries on those channels I learned that our media and government has been taken over by corporate America.

    Here are a few more documentaries I saw on Freespeech/LinkTV.

    The Billionaires Tea Party Documentary - YouTube

    The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror - YouTube

    Watch The Best Government Money Can Buy Online | Hulu


    The Netflix documentary "Death by China" narrated by Martin Sheen, also contains information that America's news media will never do stories on. Netflix also has more informative documentaries about corporate taxes, Iraq, government, ex.ex.

    And the book "Crimes Against Nature" by Robert F Kennedy Jr, also contains much information the media will never speak of.
    Last edited by chad; April 19th, 2014 at 09:06 PM.
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  9. #8  
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    propaganda is 2 kids asking their mom to choose her favorite.

    and let's be honest, only a bad mom would so.
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  10. #9  
    Forum Masters Degree DianeG's Avatar
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    Propaganda often does try to elicit an emotional rather than rational response, but then so do legitimate charities that display pictures of disaster or suffering to raise money. But no one accuses them of propaganda because the pictures are real and starving children are worth getting emotional over. What makes propaganda different from persuasion is that the propagandist knows that the facts or information are false or misleading, but either doesn't care, or believes that the ends justifies the means. But that's the kicker - it is sometimes hard to prove that someone was being intentionally deceptive and not simply biased.
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  11. #10  
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    Propaganda does not simply relate to the message itself. It also includes what is not said. That's a part that a lot of people that otherwise are cautious with respect to propaganda messages fail to detect/realise. This includes information that is censored/not revealed period, or information that is not revealed with respect with something that is said (cherry picked, lie by omission). Lies by omission (and cherry picking) are often more misleading because the component that is presented can be true and people that believe it is true are more likely to fail to see they are being lied-to/swindled/manipulated, like a magicians trick keeping you focused on the left hand while the right hand does the trick. The typial bullshit message (Saddams WMD) contains the elements to be investigated to discover its bullshit, but the lie of omission/cherry pick/dog-that-doesnt-bark requires you to step back and think-about/investigate/consider what is not in the message. You may debate positions presented, without realizing the debate is framed or is itself propaganda because its a cherry picked issue that is itself misleading regardless of which position in the framed debate you are supporting.
    Last edited by icewendigo; April 25th, 2014 at 09:26 AM.
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  12. #11  
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    Propaganda is evidence that language is wasted on a significant proportion of the population.
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  13. #12  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Imo, this is a good video, in particular for people who do not see the media for the propaganda it is. It exposes the problem or situation, like pointing out the stone is rolling, look people the stone is rolling, but is not pointing out that its no wonder the problem is there because its a symptom, the real problem it not so much the rock but the fact that the ground is a slope (most of the propaganda is a sooner-or-later systemic outcome of our monetary-hierarchy-secrecy based civilization).
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  14. #13  
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    I'd like to point out that propaganda isn't all bad. I owe a lot to the early propaganda artists who invented tons of cinematography theories. (Though I'm not a cinematographer. A number of my friends are, though, and I work with them.) Sergei Eisenstein's cinematographic mind would still hold up today, and that is after nearly one hundred years of cinema's evolution.

    Also, as has been pointed out, propaganda can be used for good means, (to get money for a charity.) Emotional manipulation is what films in general try and do.
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I'd like to point out that propaganda isn't all bad. I owe a lot to the early propaganda artists who invented tons of cinematography theories. (Though I'm not a cinematographer. A number of my friends are, though, and I work with them.) Sergei Eisenstein's cinematographic mind would still hold up today, and that is after nearly one hundred years of cinema's evolution.

    Also, as has been pointed out, propaganda can be used for good means, (to get money for a charity.) Emotional manipulation is what films in general try and do.
    Leni Reifenstahl's work is worth looking at too.
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SowZ37 View Post
    I'd like to point out that propaganda isn't all bad. I owe a lot to the early propaganda artists who invented tons of cinematography theories. (Though I'm not a cinematographer. A number of my friends are, though, and I work with them.) Sergei Eisenstein's cinematographic mind would still hold up today, and that is after nearly one hundred years of cinema's evolution.

    Also, as has been pointed out, propaganda can be used for good means, (to get money for a charity.) Emotional manipulation is what films in general try and do.
    Leni Reifenstahl's work is worth looking at too.
    As evil as 'Triumph of the Will' may be, you can't argue with the results. Though I admit, that's the only Reifenstahl work I know of.
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