The Power of Propaganda

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by IJ Reilly, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #1
    One day we're told that Kerry is best buddies with Jane Fonda. The next he's a disgrace to his uniform. The following day, a member of his old unit doesn't like him. Then, we're told, he didn't earn his combat decorations. Next, he's a war criminal. And on and on it goes. Of course it's all 100% certified organic horse hockey, but that hardly matters, because the purpose of propaganda isn't to make fair or factual arguments, but to destroy all serious and useful discussion at its root.

    The propagandist knows there's only so much intellectual bandwidth available, so instead of forming logical, reasonable or fact-based arguments, he works to suck every bit of air out of the discussion. He does this by manufacturing a constant stream of distractions, misdirections and outrageous allegations. He pushes every emotional hot button he can find. He changes every unfavorable subject. He throws down gauntlets, and then walks away. Then he throws down another. The propagandist's goal is to sow confusion, and by so doing, to drive all honest debate to the sidelines. If he succeeds, he can fill the resulting vacuum with whatever lies suits his purposes.

    Naturally, people of good will feel obligated to respond to the propagandist's campaign of misdirection. But this is not the best way to address this problem. The good news is that propaganda tactics only work when the targets of the propaganda cooperate, and try to point out that the propagandist is making untrue, inconsistent or just plain hateful statements. Of course he is; this is how propaganda works.

    In fact we should turn our backs on the propagandist. Not that he should be ignored. Even if we wanted to, we couldn't help knowing that his type exists; we can always see him out of the corners of our eyes. In fact it's a helpful reminder. But that doesn't mean we have to help him populate his sordid world. He should be allowed to blow steam out of his ears, and stomp on the ground until he buries himself in a mountain of his own offal.

    If we can do that much, then propaganda has no power over us.
     
  2. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2003
    Location:
    Terlingua, Texas
    #2
    Right you are about the propagandist. Trouble is, too many people are willing to believe the BS. As example, the crapola about the cosmetics of the so-called Assault Weapons. :D

    Toss in some of Dr. Goebbels' "Big Lie" technique, and then stir in some Madison Avenue skills in persuasiveness. Blend this all together with the inordinate power of government and the desire for its "ownership" and you can then half-bake the various forms of political propagandists' ads.

    Some candidates contribute to their own demise, of course. Some folks shouldn't sit in an Army tank. :) Me, I wanna see some analysis of the "how to" of Kerry's ten million jobs.

    I generally don't pay much attention to what kids in their 20s did during the Vietnam era. Excitement, testosterone and adrenalin lead to all manner of idiotic doings. The issue is whether they got squared away and finally started acting like grownups.

    'Rat
     
  3. numediaman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago (by way of SF)
    #3
    I must admit I haven't a clue how Kerry is going to do this. Seems he pulled this number out of a hat.
     
  4. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    San Destin Florida
    #4
    I agree with you, but it is a two way street. The head of the DNC was sooo positive that Bush was awol from Alabama, and now, people that he served with have come forward and say, yea, we remember him, and where is the appology from the DNC? No where.

    Both sides are guilty of it, they have mastered it, and too many of us believe it.
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #5
    i wasn't aware of this. where was it reported?
     
  6. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
  7. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    San Destin Florida
    #7
    I saw them talking about it on Hanity and Colmbs even Alan was confirming it.
     
  8. vwcruisn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Santa Monica, Ca
    #8
    all i heard about was someone confirming he had served for a short time (not the time in question)

    edit: sorry we must have posted at the same time. do you have a link to any articles? im curious to see
     
  9. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #9
    Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the respective candidate's policies or programs or even how they sell them. These things deserve to be scrutinized, debated, argued about. This is how democracy is supposed to work. I'm talking about deliberate efforts to derail these important discussions by burying them in endless barrages of distracting trivia. This is how democracy fails.
     
  10. Backtothemac macrumors 601

    Backtothemac

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    San Destin Florida
    #10
    I 100% agree with you, but it is the freedom of speech that allows it to occur, thus the irony in the entire process.
     
  11. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #11
    I took it as a direct reference to the last few days in these forums. In particular, I think SlyHunter's enormous number of posts that explicitly try to move discussions off topic and into refuting outrageous claims. Just so we are clear, if you are not making reference to his posts, I think they are a perfect example of what you are talking about.
     
  12. IJ Reilly thread starter macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    To quote the great Francis Urquhart: "You might well think that. I couldn't possibly comment."
     
  13. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #13
    awesome
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #14
    LOL, very good!
     

Share This Page