This will be our last article in our series of propaganda and the different techniques that propaganda uses to radicalize people to fanaticism and belief in new ideas or political agendas. As mentioned several times throughout this website, even though propaganda shares many similar traits to marketing, they are two different animals. Ultimately, they both desire the same thing which is to influence people but for two different purposes and often propaganda strategies have an underlying unethical quality to them.
Of course, if you belong to the group that is effectively performing propaganda strategies and you believe in them, you might not realize the unethical quality or may even defend very strongly against it because you have already made the incredibly difficult to break decision of emotionally deciding on your viewpoints and aligning them with whatever political body just appealed to you.
All this being said, let us dive into the core of these last 3 and also highly effective strategies that are used to wield political influence over others, sometimes to celebratory claps and the sound of trumpets.
1 – Name Calling
This is kind of mudslinging is all too common in today’s politics. Despite popular belief though, mud slinging use to be even crazier back before libel laws came about. Such as candidates literally telling newspaper lies and having the newspaper print those lies as facts to sway various voters. Politics has always been an inherently dirty game, even if the majority of its players are ultimately good people that have good intentions.
The idea is to call the rival candidate various names that can create fear, hatred, angst and frustration in the viewer and associate that rival with this negative imagery and symbolism. It is similar to the Transfer effect, only it works in an opposite direction. Negative instead of positive.
2 – Card Stacking
This is something that is commonly practiced. It is where half truths are told and lying are all too common. This recipe creates a vile concoction that is very convincing and quite persuasive. It is seen over and over again, skirting around potential problems that decisions might have or flat out ignoring them.
3 – Loaded Words
Ultimately, propaganda comes down to selling a person on that candidate or political body. The only way to truly sell someone anything is by helping that person make what is ultimately an emotional decision. Since our brains decide things based on emotions, the influencer or politicial candidate or powers that be will use words that hold powerful meaning with each other. Often words like freedom, patriotism and individualism, or other words that hold sacred meaning within a culture. This helps create an aura of power of that influencer and really helps them persuade the crowd to their agenda.
While certainly not unethical in anyway, it can be used powerfully by unethical people and should be watched out for.
At the end of the day, only you can make sure you do not become hypnotized, owned, or assaulted by this brain hijacking techniques. The best way to make sure you do not become polarized and essentially the emotional slave to an idea, is simply to educate yourself on what is actually happening and sourcing news from multiple sources. While also having a healthy understanding of how propaganda strategies really work so you can spot them in action.