Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Characteristics Of Propaganda

Thursday, January 26, 2006

The Characteristics Of Propaganda

There were so many intersting points made throughout this reading, but there was one stamtement made, that really stuck to me and had a lot of truth behind it, the statement, "Propaganda is a continuous Action, without failure or interruption: as soon as the effect of one impulse is weakend, it is renewed by another."(Characteritsics of Propaganda, pg.72) As we all know propaganda is used to cause damage wether if its through allegations, or even know facts. Once an allegation is made that person is going to do what every they have to do to get that point across, and like the statement stated about one impulse being weakend, its just going to be followd by another angle,wheater if it is to expose something else or taken that allegation to another level, its just going to be a continuous thing.


Blogger CBarr said...

But isn't propaganda also used to promote support for a cause? Should we really only consider things with an angle exposing negative issues as propaganda, or should we understand that anything that is presented to us that isn't pure fact can be propaganda, and learn to work our skills at distinguishing truth from embellishment to avoid being manipulated or persuaded?

1/30/2006 9:56 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

You are both right. Ellul distinguishes between sociological propaganda and pre-propaganda which must be long term and continuous on the one hand and short term active propaganda which intends to move the target to immediate action. I am not sure that we can easily distinguish between fact and propaganda. Facts can be marshalled for persuasion selectively. I am not sure what "pure fact" is anyway. Truths can be mobilized. And of course propaganda is not always negative if you believe in the cause, or the goals. Is that when it stops being propaganda and becomes persuasion or rhetoric?

1/30/2006 11:58 PM  

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