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  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Ronald Reagan was one of our best propagandists. Cheerleader for America, par excellence. I find it ironically fitting that he ruled during the popularity of the musical Evita.
    Ronald Reagan was a player on the stage of Edward Bernays.

  2. #122
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I'm more disturbed by what doors Reagan opened, rather than Reagan himself.

    Ralph Reed is one of the Republican party's most devious propagandists. He's kind of gone off the radar now, but he's played the boyish "voice of the Moral Majority" with mastery (and I hate to say that). I mean, he's like a method actor. Not just a propagandist. A lot of the "moral voices" are. They take on an entire public role for years. Evangelical voters eat it up.

  3. #123
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    Pejorative and Positive Words

    One of the problems we have on Central is the distinction between pejorative and positive.

    For instance, in English 'propaganda' is a pejorative word. So we find it very hard to think of propaganda in neutral terms. We find it hard to think of good propaganda and bad propaganda.

    We find it easy to see Joseph Goebbels as a bad propagandist, but hard to see Edward Bernays as a good propagandist.

    We don't seem to have learnt that English has a million words and for every positive word, we have a pejorative word, and for every pejorative word, we have a positive word. So we are inclined to respond to the emotional spin on the word rather than what it denotes and what it means.

    But emotional intelligence is marked by emotional restraint. So the emotionally intelligent don't immediately respond to the emotional spin on any word.

    If we do respond immediately to the emotional spin on a word, we are easily manipulated, and prove the addage that a sucker is born every minute.

  4. #124
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    But emotional intelligence is marked by emotional restraint. So the emotionally intelligent don't immediately respond to the emotional spin on any word.

    If we do respond immediately to the emotional spin on a word, we are easily manipulated, and prove the addage that a sucker is born every minute.
    I don't think I'd call myself high on the emotional intelligence skill, but it's that restraint I pride myself on. If that's emotional intelligence, so be it. I think I recognize the emotional spin, and resist. If I have any emotion, it's anger.

    In churches, they employ some propaganda in the "positive" sense, I guess. Catholics (and Orthodox) pride themselves on being a religion "for the senses". The imagery, the adornment, the incense, the rituals, etc.. It creates a sense of mystery. These visual and auditory techniques are propaganda, in a way. I think it has capacity for harmfulness, but not necessarily.

    I see Pentecostal churches employ similar techniques, but in more harmful ways. Their music is full of repetitive mantras... a whole 30 mins or an hour of this music puts a lot of people in a trance. The crowd is under their control. Mass hypnosis even. Half of the time, the preachers have already deluded them that they're miracle workers or have supernatural powers. They can push these people down and put them in a stupor. The problem really lies in the authority structure in these churches - instead of a presbytery or group, it's ruled by cult of personality. One preacher. That means most of the tithes go to one guy. And many of them live extravagantly on it.

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I don't think I'd call myself high on the emotional intelligence skill, but it's that restraint I pride myself on. If that's emotional intelligence, so be it. I think I recognize the emotional spin, and resist. If I have any emotion, it's anger.

    In churches, they employ some propaganda in the "positive" sense, I guess. Catholics (and Orthodox) pride themselves on being a religion "for the senses". The imagery, the adornment, the incense, the rituals, etc.. It creates a sense of mystery. These visual and auditory techniques are propaganda, in a way. I think it has capacity for harmfulness, but not necessarily.

    I see Pentecostal churches employ similar techniques, but in more harmful ways. Their music is full of repetitive mantras... a whole 30 mins or an hour of this music puts a lot of people in a trance. The crowd is under their control. Mass hypnosis even. Half of the time, the preachers have already deluded them that they're miracle workers or have supernatural powers. They can push these people down and put them in a stupor. The problem really lies in the authority structure in these churches - instead of a presbytery or group, it's ruled by cult of personality. One preacher. That means most of the tithes go to one guy. And many of them live extravagantly on it.
    Yes, trance can be employed in propaganda, just as critical thinking can be employed in propaganda. All that is required for successul propaganda is that it be plausible. So it might be a plausible trance or it might be a plausible intellectual argument.

    Or good propaganda might be a plausible fact or a plausible lie.

    So interestingly an implausible fact is bad propaganda. A good example is the Concentration Camps of WW II. They were a fact, but no one could believe they existed, so they were implausible. So the Concentration camps were an implausible fact and so bad propaganda. And so were not used as propaganda during the war, and so came as a dreadful shock to everyone after the war.

  6. #126
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    On a sidenote, that's always struck me as odd. In America, propaganda is clandestine or subliminal at best. While someone like Goebels was overt about it.. and even worked out of the "Office of Propaganda".
    The word 'propaganda' did not have its current negative connotation when Goebbels began, not unlike 'political action committee' does today.

  7. #127
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    Propaganda, Public Relations and Soft Power

    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    The word 'propaganda' did not have its current negative connotation when Goebbels began, not unlike 'political action committee' does today.
    Yes, the American propagandist, Edward Bernays, started with the word 'propaganda' but realised it was becoming pejorative, so he changed the word 'propaganda' to 'public relations' which sounded much more positive.

    And as I write American propagandists have moved on from 'public relations', which was becoming suspect, to 'soft power'.

    And the words 'soft power' have caught on so much the Chinese are now devoting their considerable resources to increasing their 'soft power'.

  8. #128
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    For instance, in English 'propaganda' is a pejorative word. So we find it very hard to think of propaganda in neutral terms. We find it hard to think of good propaganda and bad propaganda.

    We find it easy to see Joseph Goebbels as a bad propagandist, but hard to see Edward Bernays as a good propagandist.

    We don't seem to have learnt that English has a million words and for every positive word, we have a pejorative word, and for every pejorative word, we have a positive word. So we are inclined to respond to the emotional spin on the word rather than what it denotes and what it means.

    But emotional intelligence is marked by emotional restraint. So the emotionally intelligent don't immediately respond to the emotional spin on any word.

    If we do respond immediately to the emotional spin on a word, we are easily manipulated, and prove the addage that a sucker is born every minute.
    There is no such thing as good propaganda, for exactly the reason you state. We would use a different expression to denote "good propaganda" to avoid such a misunderstanding. This has less to do with emotional connotations than with the literal meaning of the word. Yes, these meanings change over time, so a word that was neutral generations ago is now expressly positive or negative, and vice versa. Emotional intelligence would seem rather the ability to pick up the additional emotional connotations of words. I would expect someone with limited EI to be oblivious of these extra shades of meaning, relying more on literal definitions.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    In churches, they employ some propaganda in the "positive" sense, I guess. Catholics (and Orthodox) pride themselves on being a religion "for the senses". The imagery, the adornment, the incense, the rituals, etc.. It creates a sense of mystery. These visual and auditory techniques are propaganda, in a way. I think it has capacity for harmfulness, but not necessarily.
    This is not propaganda. It is engaging all the senses to provide a fuller experience. This is often done to prevent distraction by everyday concerns and perspectives (creating sacred space), as well as to access the powerful shorthand of symbols. Both of these can facilitate trance and can be employed by propagandists (publicists, marketeers, etc.) as Victor describes below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Yes, trance can be employed in propaganda, just as critical thinking can be employed in propaganda. All that is required for successul propaganda is that it be plausible. So it might be a plausible trance or it might be a plausible intellectual argument.
    Yes. Trance is not propaganda, but can be used by the successful propagandist.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  9. #129
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Fair enough. In any case, I would sooner leave the room when someone is employing things to put me in a "trance" than simply listening to public speaking or whatnot.

    edit: lol, instead of leaving the room, this is what I wish I could do.


  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    There is no such thing as good propaganda
    'Propanda' means to persuade. And it is the job of a salesman to persuade. And there is no one Americans love more than a salesman. Why, your famous tragedy is called, "Death of a Salesman", by the famous American playwright, Arthur Miller.

    Yes, Americans love to be persuaded. And Americans are most persuasive. Americans are so persuasive they even persuade themselves. This is necessary for it is essential to be able to sell oneself. And if we can sell ourselves, we can sell anything.

    And Americans can persuade themselves of anything. No belief is too outlandish. No belief is too exotic. In fact astrology and mbti are the most quotidian of American beliefs.

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