Propaganda is the art of public influence, the marketing of ideology, typically using indirect means. Propaganda describes intention of the message, not the format of delivery.
Semantically we can consider disinformation, misinformation, propaganda, and other tools of persuasion and influence as separate, but in a broad sense any tool used with the intention of influence is a type of propaganda.
Propaganda can be an image (like those WWII German or Russian posters), a saying, a speech, or even something less blatant. Any time you spread ideology, through any form of communication, it is a form of propaganda.
Aristotle called it rhetoric, Bernays called it propaganda and then PR, sometimes today we call it advertising or “the Media”. Either way, it isn’t good or bad on its own, it just is (think ad campaigns for shoes and messages of tolerance and love).
Propaganda is simply a communication tool that any human, or group of humans, can and will use to influence individuals, groups, and cultures.
Broadly speaking, one could argue that everything we do is bias and everything we do is broadly a type of propaganda. With this in mind, de-stigmatizing the word (at least in your own head) is well suggested.
Here in the age of internet and social media propaganda takes on a new meaning as we realize we ALL have power to influence culture in a positive way. In this way, propaganda is simply public relations on behalf on an ideology, where an ideology is simply an “idea”.
If you want to be technical, even facts can be a type of propaganda, as while the facts themselves are clearly stated, the choice of facts and their ordering can be a choice of ideology (something i’ve had to come to grips with as the writer of a facts site).
Since it is very difficult to remove ourselves from influencing, or being influenced, it is better then that we understand propaganda, the social psychology behind it, and how we can personally use it for the forces of good and guard ourselves against the malicious intentions of others. In ways, this subject is at the heart of the social sciences and thusly has been studied by many of the greats from Aristotle on.
TIP: If you want to present nearly-unbiased information: 1) start with a question. 2) look for honest information from .gov, .edu, and peer reviewed studies. 3) present unordered facts with only raw data and little to no descriptive words. If you want to learn more about the art of spreading positive propaganda, then the links below are a good start.
Factoids tagged with "Propaganda"
It was historically believed that the Spanish Inquisition was a bloody religious persecution full of torture and genocide, but recent data shows this view is essentially a myth created by Protestants to slander Catholics.
Niccolò Machiavelli can be considered the father of modern political science, and his book The Prince one of the first works of modern political philosophy (if not just modern philosophy).
Saul Alinsky, the American community organizer and author of Rules for Radicals, can be considered the father of modern community organizing.
Thomas Jefferson never said, “every generation needs a new revolution”, but he did say, “a little rebellion now and then is a good thing.”
Carl Sagan and NASA gained popularity when the longtime space program scientist created the Pioneer plaque and the Voyager Golden Record to be sent to space.
British mathematician Ada Lovelace can be considered the mother of computer programing, as she wrote the first complex algorithm meant to be carried out by a machine. However, it is a myth that Ada Lovelace wrote “the first computer program” or was “the first computer programmer”, that title belongs to Charles Babbage.
Blog Posts tagged with "Propaganda"
The problem with unsubstantiated information is that it is unverified as true, and often leaked by sources with plausible deniability, which is confusing.
We explain how experince and social interactions shape our frame of reference and create ideological bubbles, and how this creates confirmation bias and “bubble filters” that reinforce these bubbles.
We explain political duopolies by looking at the political duopoly in the United States of America and other historic duopolies.
Villains tend to have mustaches, not because facial hair is evil, but because despots style themselves after other despots.
The exact origin of the term politically correct isn’t known, but its first modern usage is from 1793 and the related political argument over tolerance is as old as politics itself.
The bed of nails principle states that while laying on one nail is enough to puncture a person’s skin, laying on many distributed nails isn’t.
We explore the nature of truth, the different types of truth, and the different types of entities who report truth to better understand the nature of information.
The Federalists and Anti-Federalists were America’s first political factions. They arose out of a debate over the ratification of the 1787 Constitution and went on to form the basis of our current two party system.
We explain paradoxes related to the term Politically Correct (PC), including the concept of “tolerance as a form of intolerance”.
Special interests describe interests that are not purely public interests. Factions (special interest groups) are groups formed around shared interests (special interests).
Political Correctness (PC) generally describes the debate surrounding tolerance, sensitivity, and self-or-state censorship. More specifically, it refers to the “correct” treatment of groups, in the context of current politics, regarding language and policies.
“Useful Idiot” is a political term describing a person who spreads propaganda for a group (useful), whose goals they aren’t fully aware of (idiot).