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originally posted by: openminded2011
I remember years ago, we had the Daily news, National Enquirer, the star etc sold all over the country.
In the 50s and 60s there was some mainstream press about the subject, and then it quickly fell away and the story was left to be covered by rags like the National Inquirer. The mere fact something appears in the National Inquirer is taken as being fake by most people. This book goes into the background of the government's connections with the press.
“By clever and persevering use of propaganda even heaven can be represented as hell to the people, and conversely the most wretched life as paradise.”—ADOLF HITLER, MEIN KAMPF.
AS MEANS of communicating have expanded—from printing to the telephone, radio, television, and the Internet—the flow of persuasive messages has dramatically accelerated. This communications revolution has led to information overload, as people are inundated by countless messages from every quarter. Many respond to this pressure by absorbing messages more quickly and accepting them without questioning or analyzing them.
The cunning propagandist loves such shortcuts—especially those that short-circuit rational thought. Propaganda encourages this by agitating the emotions, by exploiting insecurities, by capitalizing on the ambiguity of language, and by bending rules of logic. As history bears out, such tactics can prove all too effective.
A History of Propaganda
Certainly, the handiest trick of the propagandist is the use of outright lies. Consider, for example, the lies that Martin Luther wrote in 1543 about the Jews in Europe: “They have poisoned wells, made assassinations, kidnaped children . . . They are venomous, bitter, vindictive, tricky serpents, assassins, and children of the devil who sting and work harm.” His exhortation to so-called Christians? “Set fire to their synagogues or schools . . . Their houses [should] also be razed and destroyed.”
A professor of government and social studies who has studied that era says: “Antisemitism has fundamentally nothing to do with the actions of Jews, and therefore fundamentally nothing to do with an antisemite’s knowledge of the real nature of Jews.” He also notes: “The Jews stood for everything that was awry, so that the reflexive reaction to a natural or social ill was to look to its supposed Jewish sources.”
Another very successful tactic of propaganda is generalization. Generalizations tend to obscure important facts about the real issues in question, and they are frequently used to demean entire groups of people. ...
Some people insult those who disagree with them by questioning character or motives instead of focusing on the facts. Name-calling slaps a negative, easy-to-remember label onto a person, a group, or an idea. The name-caller hopes that the label will stick. If people reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative label instead of weighing the evidence for themselves, the name-caller’s strategy has worked.
Playing on the Emotions
Even though feelings might be irrelevant when it comes to factual claims or the logic of an argument, they play a crucial role in persuasion. Emotional appeals are fabricated by practiced publicists, who play on feelings as skillfully as a virtuoso plays the piano.
For example, fear is an emotion that can becloud judgment. And, as in the case of envy, fear can be played upon. ...
Hatred is a strong emotion exploited by propagandists. Loaded language is particularly effective in triggering it. There seems to be a nearly endless supply of nasty words that promote and exploit hatred toward particular racial, ethnic, or religious groups.
Some propagandists play on pride. Often we can spot appeals to pride by looking for such key phrases as: “Any intelligent person knows that . . .” or, “A person with your education can’t help but see that . . .” A reverse appeal to pride plays on our fear of seeming stupid. Professionals in persuasion are well aware of that. [whereislogic: these ones are used extensively on the origins&creationism subforum by those arguing in favor of evolutionary philosophies including the one referred to as "the chemical evolution theory of life" on the wikipedia page for "abiogenesis"]
Slogans and Symbols
Slogans are vague statements that are typically used to express positions or goals. Because of their vagueness, they are easy to agree with.
For example, in times of national crisis or conflict, demagogues may use such slogans as “My country, right or wrong,” “Fatherland, Religion, Family,” or “Freedom or Death.” But do most people carefully analyze the real issues involved in the crisis or conflict? Or do they just accept what they are told?
In writing about World War I, Winston Churchill observed: “Only a signal is needed to transform these multitudes of peaceful peasants and workmen into the mighty hosts which will tear each other to pieces.” He further observed that when told what to do, most people responded unthinkingly.
The propagandist also has a very wide range of symbols and signs with which to convey his message—a 21-gun salvo, a military salute, a flag. Love of parents can also be exploited. Thus, such symbolisms as the fatherland, the mother country, or the mother church are valuable tools in the hands of the shrewd persuader.
So the sly art of propaganda can paralyze thought, prevent clear thinking and discernment, and condition individuals to act en masse. How can you protect yourself?
originally posted by: NightSkyeB4Dawn
What happened to the forum where the members were known to doubt everything?