Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: The Propaganda Network

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Propaganda Network

Propaganda is like the fishing net submerging into the stormy ocean, in other words, making a profit in troubled situation. No matter its external or internal characteristics, they both strongly demonstrate the close fabric among different factors. It's flexible, malleable and more importantly, it develops with the modern technology. No wonder, nowadays it takes on a more subtle but stronger look. According to Jacques Ellul, it's a continous, totally organized process of indoctrination aiming for the manipulation of the masses' actions towards a certain direction. It's hard to categorize certain propaganda considering the complexity of the milieu. As a Chinese, I agree with the author that based on the specific situation in China(especially before 1978), its propaganda is mainly horizontal propaganda with numerous groups, endless meeetings or seminars of discussion and self-reflection, and conscious adherence under chairman Mao's guidance who exerts tremendous personal influence on the masses. Of course, this category also belongs to the political or integration propaganda according to the author, which i think it also can't exist without the support of sociological propaganda and propaganda of agitation.
One of the interesting figures mentioned in the article: Joseph Goebbels


Blogger A. Mattson said...

An interesting and substantive post. It is great to have a different perspective on the material. I think that one of Ellul's key points in relationship to China is his emphasis on the importance of organized action as well as mass media persuasion. The mass organizations and organized activities of a communist state are key to understanding the integration of the people into the world view of the party. Ideas tied to action and organization. Mass organization as an imporant media of mass communication and education.

1/31/2006 12:28 AM  

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