Mind games: propaganda

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Игры разума: пропаганда

Propaganda is so ingrained in our everyday life that sometimes we just don’t see that, however, does not diminish the effectiveness of equipment — the song of propaganda written to the subcortex, and this is its strength.
Show completely… Originally, propaganda meant just the active dissemination of certain information, information and facts, report it to the largest possible audience, but in the modern sense of the term is rather negative, when it is assumed that this information is one-sided, false, or distorted, and their purpose is to form a very definite point of view in the interests of a particular group. Propaganda can be considered successful when imposed beliefs become so familiar that it seems her own conclusions. So what is the mechanism of propaganda, and whether to fight it?

The word propaganda appeared only in the 17th century, in 1622, the year was introduced by Pope Gregory XV founded the Congregation for the propagation of faith, whose main task was the struggle with the Protestants and the winning positions of Catholicism. Technology opinions of the masses of the rightness of a particular point of view at that time was already long since proven, but the term and definition have not yet had, and was probably part of oratory skills. Gradually, the propaganda has become an instrument not only of churchmen and politicians, but seeped deeper into everyday reality: now resorts to it business leaders, activists and various organizations, each with its own interest. With improvements in communications increased the efficiency of the equipment.

Propaganda had imposed their own beliefs seem

Identify propaganda, focusing on key markers, or methods, of which there are many. One of them is labeling. For example, the use of big words that carry bright color assess: a terrorist, a traitor, a crook, a hypocrite. In the course of going and relevant adjectives: cowardly, deceitful, radical, treacherous. Such rhetoric is designed to shape a negative image of the object or actions due to involvement of emotions. The opposite effect can be achieved by using the inverse of the meaning of the terms most often generalized, which is difficult to argue that few people would oppose something, served with sauce of “freedom, independence, choice, dreams, or family.”

In addition to this, propagandists are trying to present their position as a winner, promising thus to all who join are automatically enrolled in the ranks of the “light” that conquers and prevailing force. You can play on fear, if you vividly describe the dire consequences of making “wrong” decisions (this type like to use the activists, standing up for the environment/non-consumption of alcohol or tobacco and so-forth). Another technique is the so-called “Podesavanje cards” when the audience is offered only the facts, details and excerpts from the statistics that represent the position in a purely positive, or, conversely, a fully negative way. At that time, as information itself is not false, it reflects only one side and not reality as a whole.

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The technique which is often used of modern politics, is called “simple guy”. It is an attempt to create the image of a man close to the people, “one of you”, which understand the problems, fears, aspirations, and way of life of the majority. At that time, on the banking account of the candidate are millions, and over — education in a prestigious University, he did not hesitate to ride the subway, eat at a dirty diner, run in the sky balls or go fishing in the countryside, if only this was all documented in the press.

Politicians use the technique of a “simple guy”, trying to be closer to the people

Another technique intended to work more with the subconscious, is called “transfer”. Its purpose is to give the target audience a kind of associative perception of an object or person in the subcortex. This technique is often used in advertising, for example, when it is necessary to convince potential buyers that the possession of this object will bring them peace, joy, love, or status. But also successfully “transfer” is used in politics, when a specific figure is associated with some benefits, or, on the contrary, troubles.

The propaganda has a great variety of techniques, but they all are based on the stated above: it is an attempt to manipulate the mind to strengthen positive or negative image does not always reflect reality. In addition, advocacy urges to abandon the issues and comparisons, it tends to paint only two colors: black and white.

To ensure the success of propaganda should always be some conditions: first, the presence of the idea, the Central thesis; second, the presence of the audience; third, it must be resistant to criticism. As for the ideas, it should be as simple and understandable for the General public. More difficult to criticize this idea, the greater her chances of survival within the framework of counter-propaganda.

The postwar anti-Western propaganda of the Soviet Union

Apart from politics, religion, advertising and propaganda activism has always been important in military rhetoric, especially during the war and after it. For example, American political scientist Harold Lasswell formulated the basic rules of war propaganda that were used during and after the First world war. It is always a transfer of responsibility and guilt for the outbreak of the conflict on the enemy; focus on sacrifice and struggle, which was supported by high and sacred purpose; denigration of the image of the enemy by underlining some of its bad features; the conviction of the population that any news of the failure of the allies — the machinations of the hostile party; an essay and a deliberate exaggeration of stories about the terrible atrocities committed by the enemy. These techniques have been successfully used at the state level and in subsequent military conflicts.

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The core of any advocacy of ideas must be very simple and straightforward

So is there a way to protect themselves from the impact of propaganda? Considering through what channels it gets to our consciousness (through the media and social networks), this possibility exists. First of all, it makes sense to remember the basic propaganda technique to identify markers that signal the presence of relevant notes in the message. If it is full of emotionally charged terms drawn more to the emotions rather than to reason, provokes feelings like aggression, anger or, on the contrary, emotion and pride, full of stamps, labels, results of one-sided arguments, ignores details that do not fit into the canvas, denigrating opponents, descends to the prejudice and trying to shift the attention from the really important facts is immaterial, it is safe to conclude that it is just propaganda.

But the most effective means is self-study the entire range of available information sources. When talking about media, it’s worth a try to compare the same story presented in several media that reflect diverse and conflicting opinions. To perform the Mat is also useful: sometimes it is enough to look at the actual numbers/statistics to assess the situation.

At the same time, a narrow-minded point of view, people feel much more comfortable when he doesn’t have to understand the details of incoming information. Moreover, most tend to seek facts to those resources that meet the already formed internal settings. The only true and reliable way to protect yourself from propaganda is the unwillingness to become a victim and to open their minds to all possible points of view.

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