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Propaganda: a game worth understanding for serious awareness

by Chuck D (art and intro) Friday, Jun. 15, 2001 at 3:43 PM

Those seriously interested in catching onto the games of unaccountable power need to understand what propaganda is. It is not "all communications" nor "all persuasion". Once you wade past the hype that grips thought control societies, you may finally see that there is good reason to why there is a negative connotation to the word, and how policy makers need to keep you, the stupid masses, on a "proper course" of topical non-understanding. Jaques Ellul, amongst others spoken of here, are MUST READS for anyone seeking to seriously understand the games played by those they've been taught to trust.

Boy, it sure is hard to come upon a definition of propaganda these days, even though everyone is constantly attacking each other by calling their communications "propaganda". The closest I've come to a definition was to combine Noam Chomsky and Jaques Ellul: Propaganda: the manipulation of emotionally-potent oversimplifications (re: "facts" without contexts, as well as traditionally "understood" methods used to whip up hysteria against foreign and domestic alleged "enemies"). Anyone got a better definition?

from J.Ellul's book, in the introduction, p.vii:

"Can wholesome propaganda be made for a wholesome cause? Can Democracy, Christianity, Humanism be propagated by modern propaganda techniques? Ellul traces the similarities among all propaganda efforts--Communitis, Nazi, Democratic. He thinks no one can use this intrinsically undemocratic weapon--or rather abandon himself to it--unscathed or without undergoing deep transformations in the process. He shows the inevitable, unwilled propaganda effects of which the 'good' propagandist is unaware, the 'fallout' from any major propaganda activity and all its pernicious consequences. Most pernicious of all: the process, once fully launched, tends to become irreversible."

from the article below:

"...the individual develops a psychological weakness that leaves he or she highly susceptible to propaganda and information, and therefore the most superficial aspect of a popular event or action could lead the individual to adopt a new attitude or opinion. This is the fragile basis on which [most people determine their] beliefs, and this is the nature of the system as an abundance of information bombards the public through thousands of media outlets on a daily basis."

Is All Really Quiet on the Western Front?

By Jason Netherton

The context in which we construct and perceive our reality can be seen as a permanent battlefield. This is the ever-changing landscape that determines the direction our societies will take at any given moment, and upon which the forces of economics and politics converge to shape our perceptions on the meaningful issues in our lives. This battlefield is always open to new ideas, and provides a malleable structure through which random forces of influence and persuasion can bend and mold the definitions of our existence. In the modern age, the victor upon the battlefield will undoubtedly reap what may be the grandest of all spoils: the ability to control the psychological and material direction of a great part of humanity. The tool of choice on this battlefield is information itself, and it is through this abstract concept of

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