As I mentioned towards the end of the first article in this series, propaganda techniques exist in a wide variety of methods and strategies. Often propaganda strategies related almost perfectly with marketing strategies used in the private sector. The main difference is often propaganda has a more unethical bias and a much more blatant aggression to control thoughts, beliefs and worldviews.
Typiclly, propaganda is a political device not a private sector device. Thus differentiating marketing. Marketing is usually fairly innocuous that is just a process of moving goods and services more effectively for businesses that master those processes. Likewise it is also important to note that propaganda is not always inherently unethical, though it is almost certainly always meant to manipulate your belief systems in the favor of a political agenda.
All that being said, let us dive into 2 more very cunning propaganda strategies. You will likely recognize these ones as they are very common in any election cycle, which is highly broadcasted by media companies that often themselves are employing yellow journalism – a huge element and cog of a well oiled propaganda machine.
1 – Plain Folks
This is the method where a candidate or the body that wishes to influence a group of people will use everyday people to demonstrate how popular their viewpoints are. It makes people feel like they should be like these “everyday people” as well because no one wants to be on the “out” group. The Outsider group of the tribe is often the most precarious and most dangerous place to exist, and thus the plain folks strategy works well. Especially when a candidate can come down from their “lofty” stations in life, roll up their sleeves and eat some fried foods with everyone else (such as is common before the Iowa cacaus).
2 – The Bandwagon Effect
Similar to the plain folks effect, the bandwagon effect is where the influencer says “everyone” is participating in their view point. That everyone is upset. That everyone is suffering. And through the process of repetition, many people believe this might be true without ever doing actual due diligence. And people have a natural want to be on the winning side of life (and not the Outsider) they will often “hop onto the bandwagon” for no other reason than percieving everyone else was doing it. Done effectively enough, it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy where everyone actually IS doing it or believing it and thus a lie can be born as a truth.
These two strategies are very dangerous in the wrong, unethical hands that can influence a massive amount of people. It is important to watch out for this happening and to fight against such a thing if at all possible if you find out that person using these strategie actually is objectively using them in an unethical manner.
Only you can defend yourself against brain hijacking and belief seeding. Arm yourself with knowledge. It will create a proper defense against these propaganda style strategies used to convert the unwitting to various political platforms that they otherwise would not had supported.