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Propaganda and related concepts Connotations of the term propaganda The word propaganda itself, as used in recent centuries, apparently derives from the title and work of the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide Congregation for Propagation of the Faithan organization of Roman Catholic cardinals founded in to carry on missionary work.
To many Roman Catholics the word may therefore have, at least in missionary or ecclesiastical terms, a highly respectable connotation. Also, it is reminiscent of countless instances of false and misleading advertising especially in countries using Latin languages, in which propagande commerciale or some equivalent is a common term for commercial advertising.
To informed students of communismthe term propaganda has yet another connotation, associated with the term agitation. Since he regarded both strategies as absolutely essential to political victory, he twinned them in the term agitprop. Distinctions are sometimes made between overt propaganda, in which the propagandist and perhaps his backers are made known to the reactor, and covert propaganda, in which the source is secret or disguised.
Covert propaganda might include such things as unsigned political advertisements, clandestine radio stations using false names, and statements by editors, politicians, or others who have been secretly bribed by governments, political backers, or business firms.
Sophisticated diplomatic negotiation, legal argumentcollective bargainingcommercial advertising, and political campaigns are of course quite likely to include considerable amounts of both overt and covert propaganda, accompanied by propaganda of the deed.
Another term related to propaganda is psychological warfare sometimes abbreviated to psychwarwhich is the prewar or wartime use of propaganda directed primarily at confusing or demoralizing enemy populations or troops, putting them off guard in the face of coming attacks, or inducing them to surrender.
Still another related concept is that of brainwashing. This term usually means intensive political indoctrination. The term brainwashing has been widely used in sensational journalism to refer to such activities and to many other activities when they have allegedly been conducted by Maoists in China and elsewhere.
Signs, symbols, and media used in contemporary propaganda The contemporary propagandist with money and imagination can use a very wide range of signssymbols, and media to convey his message.
These include sounds, such as words, music, or a gun salvo; gestures a military salute, a thumbed nose ; postures a weary slump, folded arms, a sit-down, an aristocratic bearing ; structures a monument, a building ; items of clothing a uniform, a civilian suit ; visual signs a poster, a flag, a picket sign, a badge, a printed page, a commemorative postage stamp, a swastika scrawled on a wall ; and so on and on.
A symbol is a sign having a particular meaning for a given reactor. Two or more reactors may of course attach quite different meanings to the same symbol. Thus, to Nazis the swastika was a symbol of racial superiority and the crushing military might of the German Volk; to some Asiatic and North American peoples it is a symbol of universal peace and happiness.
Some Christians who find a cross reassuring may find a hammer and sickle displeasing and may derive no religious satisfaction at all from a Muslim crescent, a Hindu cow, or a Buddhist lotus. The contemporary propagandist can employ elaborate social-scientific research facilities, unknown in previous epochs, to conduct opinion surveys and psychological interviews in efforts to learn the symbolic meanings of given signs for given reactors around the world and to discover what signs leave given reactors indifferent because, to them, these signs are without meaning.
Media are the means—the channels—used to convey signs and symbols to the intended reactor or reactors. A comprehensive inventory of media used in 20th-century propaganda could cover many pages. Written media include letters, handbills, posters, billboards, newspapers, magazines, books, and handwriting on walls and streets.
Among audiovisual media, television may be the most powerful for many purposes. Television can convey a great many types of signs simultaneously; it can gain heavy impact from mutually reinforcing gestures, words, postures, and sounds and a background of symbolically significant leaders, celebrities, historic settings, architectures, flags, music, placards, maps, uniforms, insignia, cheering or jeering mobs or studio audiences, and staged assemblies of prestigious or powerful people.
The larger the propaganda enterprise, the more important are such mass media as television and the press and also the organizational media—that is, pressure groups set up under leaders and technicians who are skilled in using many sorts of signs and media to convey messages to particular reactors.
Vast systems of diverse organizations can be established in the hope of reaching leaders and followers of all groups organized and unorganized in a given area, such as a city, region, nation or coalition of nations, or the entire world.
Pressure organizations are especially necessary, for example, in closely fought sales campaigns or political elections, especially in socially heterogeneous areas that have extremely divergent regional traditions, ethnic and linguistic backgrounds, and educational levels and very unequal income distributions.
Diversities of these sorts make it necessary for products to be marketed in local terms and for political candidates to appear to be friends of each of perhaps a dozen or more mutually hostile ethnic groups, of the educated and the uneducated, and of the very wealthy as well as the poverty-stricken.
Evolution of the theory of propaganda Early commentators and theories The archaeological remains of ancient civilizations indicate that dazzling clothing and palaces, impressive statues and temples, magic tokens and insignia, and elaborate legal and religious arguments have been used for thousands of years, presumably to convince the common people of the purported greatness and supernatural prowess of kings and priests.
The systematic, detached, and deliberate analysis of propaganda, in the West, at least, may have begun in Athens about bc, as the study of rhetoric Greek: The tricks of using sonorous and solemn language, carefully gauged humour, artful congeniality, appropriate mixtures of logical and illogical argument, and flattery of a jury or a mob were formulated from the actual practices of successful lawyers, demagoguesand politicians.
Relatively ethical teachers such as Isocrates, Plato, and Aristotle compiled rules of rhetoric 1 to make their own arguments and those of their students more persuasive and 2 to design counterpropaganda against opponents and also 3 to teach their students how to detect the logical fallacies and emotional appeals of demagogues.
For example, an Athenian lawyer defending an undersized man on trial for murder might instruct him to say to a jury: There have been similar lines of thought in other major civilizations.
Overtly, he said, the propagandists of a king should proclaim that he can do magic, that God and the wisest men are on his side, and that all who support his war aims will reap benefits.
In particular, a king should employ only Brahmans, unquestionably the holiest and wisest of men, as propagandists and diplomatic negotiators. A king should not hesitate, however, to break any friendships or alliances that are later found to be disadvantageous.
Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe that we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.
Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him. This mixture can be detected in the recasting in various times and places of the legends of the messiah in Christianity and Judaism, of heroes of the Hindu Mahabharata, of the Buddha, of the ancestral Japanese Sun Goddess, of the lives of Muhammad and his relatives, of the Christian saints, of such Marxist heroes as Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Stalin, and even in the story of George Washington and the cherry tree.
Scattered and sometimes enlightening comment on political and religious propaganda has occurred in all major civilizations.CHAOS: THE BROADSHEETS OF ONTOLOGICAL ANARCHISM (Dedicated to Ustad Mahmud Ali Abd al-Khabir) Chaos. CHAOS NEVER DIED. Primordial uncarved block, sole worshipful monster, inert & spontaneous, more ultraviolet than any mythology (like the shadows before Babylon), the original undifferentiated oneness-of-being still radiates serene as the black pennants of Assassins, random & .
TRANSCRIPT. It didn’t take long from the birth of the world wide web for the public to start using this new medium to transmit, collect and analyze information in ways never before imagined.
Upon first encountering it, I loosely read Political schwenkreis.com initial perusal alone had an enormous impact on me, influenced my thinking and work – such as my piece called “Publicizing the Threat of Personality Disorders Among Those in Positions of Power” - for quite some time afterward and finally led me to more carefully reread the book years later.
Political Astrology. Mundane Nusings, Middle East, Revolution, World Predictions, Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, Ed Tamplin, world predictions, astrology news. Propaganda is the distribution of information in an effort to influence or manipulate society’s opinion (Britannica, ).
Throughout the Russian Revolution, propaganda was widely used by the leaders of the revolution in order to gain support from the public.
Social Knowledge Social Sciences is a major category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society.
It in turn has many branches, each of which is considered a "social science". The main social sciences include economics, political science, human geography, demography, and sociology.