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One Imagination empowers the current and next generation of leaders through written and oral expression. As a collective based in the Long Beach/South Bay area, we believe that through conscious artistic programming, community education and outreach, and leadership development, we can cultivate a world free of hatred, ignorance, injustice, inequality, and oppression.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keep your eyes and ears open for sneaky business.

Propaganda is recognized as a process of spreading information for a specific cause. It is up to the average citizen to decide whether it is ethical or not. However, in order to be an engaged citizen one must analyze the construction of propaganda and the manufacturing of consent. In effect, how has propaganda fabricated half-truths, and what are the effects on driving popular opinion?

1. Makes me feel like I am in a very old classroom. A video on propaganda:

"Know the purpose, recognize and judge the purpose and technique"

2. Dead Prez and their perspective on propaganda:

3. Edward Bernays and the foundation of public relations, aka propaganda:

"Man's desires must overshadow his needs." This video depicts the creation of an all-American consumer culture.

And, also, a chapter from Bernays' book, Propaganda.

4. Propaganda techniques: http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/404.htm

Either/or fallacy: This technique is also called "black-and-white thinking" because only two choices are given. You are either for something or against it; there is no middle ground or shades of gray. It is used to polarize issues, and negates all attempts to find a common ground."

Sound familiar?

Why is propaganda used? "To manipulate the readers' or viewers' reason and emotions; to persuade you to believe in something or someone, buy an item, or vote a certain way."

5. Chomsky's take on propaganda:

Propaganda, American-style
"For those who stubbornly seek freedom around the world, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the propaganda system to which we are subjected and in which all too often we serve as unwilling or unwitting instruments."

"Those others, who are out of the small group, the big majority of the population, they are what Lippmann called "the bewildered herd." We have to protect ourselves from the trampling and rage of the bewildered herd. Now there are two functions in a democracy: The specialized class, the responsible men, carry out the executive function, which means they do the thinking and planning and understand the common interests. Then, there is the bewildered herd, and they have a function in democracy too. Their function in a democracy, he said, is to be spectators, not participants in action. But they have more of a function than that, because it's a democracy. Occasionally they are allowed to lend their weight to one or another member of the specialized class. In other words, they're allowed to say, "We want you to be our leader" or "We want you to be our leader." That's because it's a democracy and not a totalitarian state. That's called an election. But once they've lent their weight to one or another member of the specialized class they're supposed to sink back and become spectators of action, but not participants. That's a properly functioning democracy. "


Be safe out there.