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Propaganda Analysis & Modern Media

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posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 05:02 AM
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I'm creating this post because I believe that one of the best ways to protect ourselves against the growing amount of chaos going on around us is a deep understanding of the propaganda that's assaulting us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I believe that following in the footsteps of the Institute of Propaganda Analysis that operating prior to WWII is a good place to start. I will tell you upfront that I make videos about propaganda, and I study it obsessively, but there is so much more to learn. I've been wanting to get a dialog going about state of propaganda for a while. I understand where I am but I'm kind of obsessed with the subject so I want to gain an understand of where others are on in regards to the topic. I will include a video below for those interested in the subject. I did ask a moderator if I was doing this correctly first, so hopefully I am. My goal is a dialog and to create materials that are helpful, and fun when possible. On to the topic.

In barely a month, we've seen news of the tragedy in Orlando, in Dallas, and in France, not to mention the shootings that preceded the Dallas event. It's my opinion that every single one of these events is part of what Edward Bernays called, "The Engineering of Consent." I may be preaching to the choir for those of you who have studied Bernays but for clarity, I'll briefly explain what Bernays meant by this. The engineering of consent is a broad social engineering process that creates circumstances where the likely outcome of various events will shape the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of the targeted group to the will of whoever the propagandist is working for.

The events that occur are real to those involved but they are set in motion in subtle ways by the social engineers. These events are then dramatized in the media in a very specific for the purpose of affecting the attitudes, beliefs, and actions of specific groups. For example, the shootings that happened prior to the Dallas shooting. Those events were presented in the media in a way that was intended to cause a domino effect. Bernays used that strategy all the time create mass movements. He would stage an event in public. The event would be dramatized and draw attention of the media. The media would come to those who were at the center of the event to get the story. Bernays gave his provocateurs lines ready to deliver to the press. These lines would crystallize the event in a symbolic way for a specific, targeted group of people. The lines are delivered to the press. The symbolic event is reported in the news. Those in the targeted group see the news of this event, and are subconsciously motivated to take action by this symbolic movement that relates to some deep felt oppression or desire. The example a lot of people know is the "Torches of Freedom" event. Bernays help sell more cigarettes to women by creating an event that turned the cigarette in a symbol of freedom for women who felt oppressed by men. So they weren't smoking to smoke. They were overcoming oppression through a cigarette. Bernays emphasizes the importance of creating an enemy. In that example, the enemy was men. People need an enemy to direct their anger towards and blame their oppression on. Bernays and other propagandist exploited willingness to fight an enemy all the time. As we can see in the news media, they are doing the same thing. That symbolic aspect is what is so powerful about Bernays work. Once the symbol is created, the propagandist can use that symbol as a trigger evoke emotional action at any point in time. Bernays referred to this a "propaganda of the deed."

Here is a quote of his related to this.

“The most effective propaganda is that of the deed, not that of the word, and when events do not serve their purpose (they) (propagandists) create them. Many of the news events about which we read are deliberately staged by governments in the interests of propaganda.” (Bernays said in a speech to the Guardian Midwinter Conference on Propaganda in 1940)

Here is a quote from Bernays about pitting people against each other in a fight.

“Pugnacity with its attendant emotion of anger is a human constant. The public relations counsel uses this continually in constructing all kinds of events that will call it into play. Because of it, too, he is often forced to enact combats and create issues. He stages battles against evils in which the antagonist is personified for the public.”

Again, these events are real in my opinion, but they are being provoked on massive scale. And the media messaging is sparking more events. The media creates a self-fulfilling prophecy by keeping a steady steam of hate and violence, targeted at various groups, in the news. Either overly or subtly, the propagandists control the media. The news that gets selected is selected for a reason, and the way it is delivered is meant to trigger planned emotionally responses. These people have been studying the manipulation of human behavior for well over a hundred years. And with media surrounding us at all times in this day and age, they can pump us full of targeted messages all day long.

I would love to hear what everyone's thoughts are on these events from a propaganda perspective. I also want to mention a little bit more about the Institute of Propaganda analysis that I referred to at the beginning of the post.

The Institute was in operation between the years of 1937 and 1941. It's formation was the culmination of an anti-propaganda movement that occurred during the 1920's and 30's. The anti-propaganda movement was sparked first by the discovery of German propaganda prior to American entering World War I, and then after WWI when we discovered that the British and our own Committee on Public Information had been manipulating us. People were angry. The institute believed that the massive amount of propaganda that was being applied domestically was a threat to the democratic way of life. They armed people with tools to protect themselves from the insidious propaganda messages believed delivered to them by government and big business. They did a lot of great work. They identified known propagandists and organizations known to use covert manipulation tactics, they circulated educational materials that were taught in schools all over the country. They brought propaganda to public attention on a regular basis through case studies and weekly newsletters. When world war II started, the government feared that if an institute was criticizing their motives and analyzing their propaganda that it would be difficult to sway the public in favor of the war. So they pressured, tried discredit its work, publicly criticized it, and in 1941, it shut down. The government does not want people thinking.

I bring that up to ask what kind of things do you do to protect yourself from propaganda messages? What can we do recognize the type of propaganda that we are most vulnerable to? I'd love to hear everyone's thoughts. Any thoughts you have on propaganda would be great. I want to know what people are thinking and feeling. I'm including a video that provides a quick understanding of Bernays. I'm experimenting with how to deliver the messages. I took a humorous approach with this one. There are audio readings of a few of his old papers on my page as well for those who are interested. Thanks for reading.





posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 07:40 AM
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The government made propaganda legal for it's use a while back, so I suspect everything the media says now. The old saying, "I believe nothing I hear and only half of what I see" applies really well today.



posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 09:08 AM
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a reply to: Johnnyblastoff03


I bring that up to ask what kind of things do you do to protect yourself from propaganda messages? What can we do recognize the type of propaganda that we are most vulnerable to?


Awesome question! I could go on and on forever about this, but I'll just leave one example...

When my kids were young, I taught them to "spot the lie" in commercials. My son gave me the funniest example when he said, "Like that beer commercial where they make you think if you drink that beer all the pretty girls will like you?" I laughed, but told him, "Yes, exactly."

Almost all propaganda begins with a faulty premise, which leads one to faulty conclusions. If we can see the flaw in the premise, we can usually avoid the flawed conclusion.



posted on Jul, 16 2016 @ 09:58 AM
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Tried to watch the video but I received an error message?

It is upsetting to think of how many people are probably being employed to manipulate us.

Personally, I try to inoculate myself/my kids through study, faith and volunteering.

Study: I've taught my children to pull apart language. For my older children, I've always told them two take their news from multiple sources one for, one against, and one (if possible) without a dog in the fight. Where their accounts converge is probably as close to the truth as you can get. I've also stressed the importance of reading history AND the news...rather than watching it. I also encourage them to read well-crafted fiction with complex characters as well as history.

Faith: I encourage them to embrace Orthodox Christianity by studying and actively participating in the faith. It is my experience that Orthodoxy tends to avoid sound bites and tends to cover things in greater detail. It also provides a set of guiding principles (love, kindness, virtue) that help to guard against bad behavior.

Volunteering: Getting out in the world and interacting with people guards against the screen images. It helps to ground a person in the weirdness of reality. Life is always more complex than easily digested narratives suggest.

That's how we try to combat it. How successful we are, that's anyone's guess.

The constant bombardment with propaganda/marketing makes it a real challenge to stay sane/sober in thinking/judgement.



posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 11:29 PM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
The government made propaganda legal for it's use a while back, so I suspect everything the media says now. The old saying, "I believe nothing I hear and only half of what I see" applies really well today.


I love that saying. It can be mind boggling sometimes because the propagandists understand that humans generally believe what we see and experience. They've gotten good at creating real experiences that we can feel through live events and also through highly advanced media. When virtual reality headsets end up in every home, there will be 4D news experiences, and the line between what's real and unreal will be even further blurred.



posted on Jul, 18 2016 @ 11:33 PM
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originally posted by: Boadicea
a reply to: Johnnyblastoff03


I bring that up to ask what kind of things do you do to protect yourself from propaganda messages? What can we do recognize the type of propaganda that we are most vulnerable to?


Awesome question! I could go on and on forever about this, but I'll just leave one example...

When my kids were young, I taught them to "spot the lie" in commercials. My son gave me the funniest example when he said, "Like that beer commercial where they make you think if you drink that beer all the pretty girls will like you?" I laughed, but told him, "Yes, exactly."

Almost all propaganda begins with a faulty premise, which leads one to faulty conclusions. If we can see the flaw in the premise, we can usually avoid the flawed conclusion.


haha, that's a great example. That's a really good idea too for a fun way to get people to critically think about the news.



posted on Jul, 19 2016 @ 12:17 AM
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originally posted by: SisterDelirium
Tried to watch the video but I received an error message?

It is upsetting to think of how many people are probably being employed to manipulate us.

Personally, I try to inoculate myself/my kids through study, faith and volunteering.

Study: I've taught my children to pull apart language. For my older children, I've always told them two take their news from multiple sources one for, one against, and one (if possible) without a dog in the fight. Where their accounts converge is probably as close to the truth as you can get. I've also stressed the importance of reading history AND the news...rather than watching it. I also encourage them to read well-crafted fiction with complex characters as well as history.

Faith: I encourage them to embrace Orthodox Christianity by studying and actively participating in the faith. It is my experience that Orthodoxy tends to avoid sound bites and tends to cover things in greater detail. It also provides a set of guiding principles (love, kindness, virtue) that help to guard against bad behavior.

Volunteering: Getting out in the world and interacting with people guards against the screen images. It helps to ground a person in the weirdness of reality. Life is always more complex than easily digested narratives suggest.

That's how we try to combat it. How successful we are, that's anyone's guess.

The constant bombardment with propaganda/marketing makes it a real challenge to stay sane/sober in thinking/judgement.







There really is nothing like just getting out and interacting. It shatters the whole false reality the news overwhelms us with. I thinking reading Reading multiple perspectives on the news and history is a big one for me too. Reading ancient philosophy transformed the way I think about a lot of things. They didn't teach philosophy in the public school I went to so I had never read more than a few quotes until after I got out of college and got interested in it on my own. It helps increase critical thinking, and reasoning. It really helped me think about issues on a deeper level. Private elite boarding schools make philosophy important to their students at a young age. Public schools ignore it for the most part while they paint a simplified and compartmentalized picture of the world instead.

Jacques Ellul talks about "Total Propaganda" in his book "Propaganda" The Formation of Men's Attitudes" He says that propaganda doesn't happen in spurts, it's all the time. It is constantly working on us in the most subtle ways, through every medium of communication that we encounter. Edward Bernays was giddy in the 1940's about how easily an idea could be transmitted to the entire population from a centralized location through the highly advanced system of mass communications in the U.S. So much info and so many ideas can be thrust in front of us nowadays because of how connected society is to tech. I think this makes these strategies for defending ourselves against insidious propaganda all that much more important.

I'm not sure about the video. I'm still learning the rules of posting and everything so it may have to do with something I didn't do correctly.

Here is a link to a couple that are relevant.

This one is an audio reading of Edward Bernays 1947 Essay, "The Engineering of Consent" This essay was the basis for his 1955 book of the same title. That book is like a propaganda playbook for the government. It's about 25 minutes.

www.youtube.com...

This video covers some quotes Edward Bernays actually said and some of the people he worked with to emphasize the influence he had. I'm experimenting with ways to communicate the information. This video is one of those where I used a different approach. Videos on this subject are always so ominous so I went with a lighter, more sarcastic approach.
www.youtube.com...




posted on Sep, 22 2016 @ 05:55 AM
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a reply to: Johnnyblastoff03

I'd encourage anyone to watch BBC News at Ten on sept 21st. From Syria to Yemen to John Kerry, it was a masterclass in disinfo and pro-US propaganda. This comes following a report on RT.com that alledged the BBC receives a whole chunk of funding from the UK DoD despite it's claim of being a purely independent body paid for by the UK taxpayer. Made me almost physically sick while listening to it. Yes, I could have switched over but I wanted to see what was being spun next.



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