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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Propaganda, persuasive?

    Has anyone ever read or listened to what they've suspected or known was blatant propaganda and found it persuasive? What if you had a favourite author or book which you enjoyed and then discovered that it had been a tool created for a political purpose, if it was non-fiction then it either was not the whole truth or was highly subjective, creative writing with persuasion in mind or as a purpose, if it was fiction you discovered that there was a subtle theme besides entertainment.

    I'm thinking in particular of old war or army comics, I read them growing up and while they were mainly WW2 stories which left me with irrational prejudices against the Germans for longer than was probably necessary given time and world geopolitics, I also read later UK/Brit ones which glorified the exploits of the SAS in middle eastern and African states, usually top secret missions of which the public would never be told, or Naval actions against third world dictatorships or guerillas which aimed to hijack vessels with missile systems. The none too suttle point being that communism was evil, it was everywhere and lots of military interventions and actions were required because international do gooders and pinko politicans couldnt be relied upon.

    I was really surprised to find that those comics kept publishing well into the late eighties in the UK, the small format WW2 Commando comics have been republished by nostalgia publishers and the actual small format comic has a sort of kitsch value, I dont think younger readers read them. I do think that most of the people I knew who read Warrior or Battle or similar UK war comics later into the eighties were patriot super prods of the Ulster says no variety.

    I'm not sure I found these that persuasive but perhaps I did believe that most military exploits and a militaristic foreign policy were necessary, my houshold wasnt anti-communist, even when my dad had serious battles with the militant tendencies in the trade unions (which are on going) it was the "broad left" (which is an actual title used by the campaigners themselves) or "trots" (abbreviation for trotskyist) which were the problem, not left wingers or militancy per se.

    I read stuff written by Hayek, I think it was an essay called The Intellectuals and Socialism (it was one of two small propagandistic volumes I got for free from a right wing think tank and publisher which I pled poverty to as a student and scrounged free books from), in which he wrote about the necessity of being deliberately utopian in the hope of getting concessions and that acknowledgely radical posiitons shouldnt influence mainstream politics too much. I think about it when I hear anyone has read books like The Road To Serfdom and treated it like "Gospel Truth", ie literally true (I know that's a turn of phrase which turns on solo scripture of which I dont believe but its amusing to me all the same).

    On the other hand I read a persuasive account once which said that ironically Marx thought his more propagandistic writings like The Communist Manifesto, were only important in so far as they had literary merit resembling Balzac or gothic horror like Frankenstein and that the actual demands, such as the ten points, were insignificant, certainly as time passed.
    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.
    Chapter IV, p. 448. - Adam Smith, Book 3, The Wealth of Nations

    whether or not you credit psychoanalysis itself, the fact remains that we all must, to the greatest extent possible, understand one another's minds as our own; the very survival of humanity has always depended on it. - Open Culture

  2. #2
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012


    Yeah it's occasionally appealing.

    But that's the whole point of it, isn't it? That's why propaganda is what it is. They want it to work, and it isn't going to if it is easy to reject.

  3. #3
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    5w6 sp/sx


    I tend to assume anything a human puts out in the world - an expression of their thoughts, even research on something - they DO have some position on it, personally, and we all have blindspots, regarding our own biases. Sometimes it's more apparent than others, sometimes it's meant to be. I can't help but be very skeptical of anything that's very blatant, though, even if I generally agree with certain points. That reckless, but deliberate sort of presentation always makes me suspicious.
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