Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Jacques Ellul-The Characteristics of Propaganda

Friday, March 31, 2006

Jacques Ellul-The Characteristics of Propaganda

Jacques Ellul is one of the most thoughtful philosophers who looked at technology from a different point of view. Ellul believes that technology is taking control over human destiny. Being that media can change, they are tapered with for the special interests of the people.
Ellul focuses on several different categories in "The Characteristics of Propaganda." He believes that propaganda is based on more than one branch of science and it moves with them, shares their success, and sees its failure. Modern Propaganda is based on the scientific break down of psychology and sociology. The propagandist works in what he knows about man. If there was no scientific research of modern psychology and sociology propaganda would not exist and it if did it would be in the first stages that existed in the early years. Also, propaganda is scientific in that if often establishes a set of rules, which are exact and plays a role of propagandists who is not able to follow his dive. Today what is needed is a clear analysis of the environment and the individual to be prone to propaganda. One type of propaganda can be helpful in one situation, but completely useless in another. The propagandist needs to look for accurate evidence. Propaganda is no longer self-contained and it covers up for the bad. The need of specific cultural levels to make people easily influenced to propaganda is understood when you look at its important devices, the involvement of symbols. The more an individual gets involved in the society in which he lives, the more he will stick to stereotyped symbols. The more stereotypes in a culture, the easier it is to form public opinion, and the more the individual participates in that culture, the more influenced he becomes to the involvement of symbols. The rational and irrational category that Ellul talked about, I found most interesting. The difference in rational and irrational propaganda is rational propaganda is basedon facts, and economic ideas. Even though it's mostly information it can be propaganda because it shows rationality. Propaganda is to play on someone's passion. When you see what people like, then you can make them believe into anything.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good summary. Every culture has stereotypes. Stereotyping is a human characteristic that must be understood and exploited by propagandists.

4/05/2006 11:40 PM  

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