1) Propaganda is the use of arguments to convince someone of something
a) Whether it is to vote for them (campaign slogans), buy their product (advertisements), or convince us that their point of view is right (Public
2) Propaganda is a way of manipulating people.
3) Regardless of the Propaganda’s intentions—and they can be good—Propaganda is ALWAYS bad:
a) It is designed to do your thinking for you.
b) It is designed to discourage you from digging deeper.
4) Propaganda clouds reality and gets in the way of clear and honest thinking.
5) Blind acceptance of Propaganda is the objective of those perpetuating it.
Ten Commandments of Propaganda
Divide and Conquer
- More small groups are easier to pit against each other.
Tell the people what they want
- Pander to the masses.
The bigger the lie, the more people will believe it
- Make statements grandiose and loud.
ALWAYS appeal to the lowest common denominator
- It’s O.K. to “dumb it down”.
Generalize as much as possible
- Paint in broad strokes.
Use "expert" testimonial
- Have someone known or relatable “pitch” it.
Refer often to the "authority" of your office
- Remind public of knowledge and power.
Stack the cards with "information"
- Use as much supportive evidence as possible.
A confused people are easily led
- More informed means more skeptical.
Get the "plain folks" onto the "bandwagon"
- Appeal to the common man & he will follow.
• The following is a list of Propaganda Techniques that are commonly used in advertising, politics, etc.
• Techniques can be used in combination, or individually. Here are the most common methods:
Association: uses positive feelings for something and applies them to something else.
- Use of patriotic symbols around July 4 to sell grills.
Testimonial: people endorsing certain idea or belief
- Tiger Woods & Nike
Fancy Words: use of extravagant language
- Sanitary engineer = garbage collector.
Word Magic: emotional words
- Car ads that use words like “sleek”, “powerful”, “aggressive”, etc
Misery: portraying a sympathetic scene
- Showing starving children to encourage people to donate money
Simplicity & Repetition: using basic language and common symbols
- McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it!”
Plain Folks: use of ordinary people to portray “common man”
- Every Wrangler Jeans commercial EVER made
Bandwagon: encourages immediate support
- “don’t be left out”, “for 2 days only”
Name Calling: attacks someone’s reputation, actions or record
- See most any “negative” campaign commercial
Strawman: phony issue, exaggerates argument
- Pro-military means you support men dying in war
Hasty Generalization: jumping to conclusions
- “women can’t drive”
Oversimplification: too simple to account for a complex reality
- “I don’t do well in school because I’m too stupid.”
Black or White: only two choices; no in-betweens
- “You’re either with us or against us.”
Snow Job: bury people under a mound of meaningless words
- “Nine out of ten dentist would recommend this toothpaste if they were stuck on a desert island w/ a pet chimpanzee, and three blocks of
False Opposites: misuse of opposites
- Twisting meaning of data to fit the conclusion you want
Out of Context: ignore unfavorable content and use only a part of information that supports claim
- “One of the worst movies ever, despite the performance of...”
Contradictory Assumptions: two things that both cannot be true
- Cutting taxes, increasing defense spending and not cutting programs
Unproven Assumption: stated as if fact, but cannot support it
- “I will never need to know history. Why should I have to study it?”
Circular Reasoning: assumption based on another assumption
- Need to work to get a car, but need a car to get to work
Irrelevant Issue: a shift to secondary issue that is less important or controversial
- Politicians whose answers to questions have nothing to do w/ the question that was asked (just watch a political debate!).
Direct Order: a command to do something
- “Just Do It.”
Scapegoating: blaming someone or something to make oneself look good
- “The Democratic Congress is to blame”, “The Republican Administration’s policies created this mess.”
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for
such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important
for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the
greatest enemy of the State.” - Joseph Goebbels
Mod Edit: trimmed title to eliminate page skew
Fixed title to add spaces.
[edit on 8/27/2009 by SkepticOverlord]