Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: "House of Hate"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

"House of Hate"

In the reading "House of Truth", I found one thing glaringly similar to our current lives as US citizens. I do not know if it is as well organized because I have not heard of things like this happening (in this way) today, but I do see great evidence of it. I'm referring to the first few pages where it outlines the actions of a Banker in Portland, Mr. Williams, and those of his "opinion group" (The Four- Minute- Men) at their local theaters one night.

Those pages struck me the most because I felt that eerie connection. Is Anti-War -- Anti-"Democracy"? If I do not believe that the war in Iraq was justified, does that make me a terrorist? I am anti- THIS war and have been accused of things like "supporting the terrorists" and "just another liberal Bush basher." Oddly enough, while I think we've skewed the ideas our Founding Father's put forth, I'm the first to defend our government (in most cases (and excluding anything done by our current President.)) because I believe we have the potential to truly be a greater nation. To cease this tiny rant - So why am I labeled negatively because I do not believe we should have invaded Iraq under false pretenses?

The answer to that question and the theme *I* got from those first few pages of "House of Truth" is something I noticed and researched in old posters of propaganda. I found that war propaganda that even got a rise out of me was that which was based on a common hatred. We hate terrorists - Therefore, if you criticize us - you are a terrorist. Perhaps this is just a post which stated what you already knew and I am just a few steps behind - but it would seem that the most effective propaganda is that which sparks and thrives off of hate - a pure unbridled level of anger.

I'll end this post with an image I found most disturbing from WWII propaganda. As you see here, the attack on religion is aimed to enrage us all against this enemy. It seems in my fledgling understanding of propaganda that pure emotions - like hate - are the best catalysts for propaganda.

- R. O'Dell


Blogger Hezellig said...

Is all propaganda bad? What if it is based in truth and is motivated by good intentions?

2/14/2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger CBarr said...

I think that the mass of national and patriotic ideals with which we've been propagandized, there are many people who have trouble realizing that it is possible to be a patriot even if you do not buy into all aspects of "patriotism" and "national pride" that are sold to us. I often wonder if my beliefs have been influenced by propaganda - regarding this war, I've had a problem, from the moment we sent in troops, with people in the public eye speaking out against the war, believing that while the troops are there, we need to show support, not give the message that they are fighting and dying for a cause we don't believe in.

2/15/2006 6:39 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A thoughtful post and two good comments.

While hate is a powerful and necessary emotion for persuasion, it is just one emotion that must be created. In a war, especially a long war, relying solely on hate will end up be desensitizing the public and making them immune or angry at a constant barrage of images provoking hatred. The dramatic images that create hatred are often the ones that are reproduced on the other hand the tamer, duller images that were created are rarely reproduced.

The great thing about this country is that there is room for dissent. Dissenters are not always made comfortable or welcomed, but there is an openness to criticism that becomes apparent when you compare what happens to dissenters in many other countries.

2/15/2006 11:52 PM  

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