Propaganda for Dummies

Noam Chomsky: How Propaganda Works in the West

posted Friday, 10 August 2007

In the West the calculated manipulation of public opinion to serve political and ideological interests is much more covert and therefore much more effective than a propaganda system imposed in a totalitarian regime.

Its greatest triumph is that we generally don’t notice the influence of propaganda — or laugh at the notion it even exists.

We watch the democratic process taking place – heated debates in which we feel we could have a voice — and think that, because we have “free” media, it would be hard for the Government to get away with anything very devious without someone calling them on it.

The American approach to social control is so much more sophisticated and pervasive that it really deserves a new name.

It isn’t just propaganda any more, it’s “prop-agenda.” It’s not so much the control of what we think, but the control of what we think about.

When our governments want to sell us a course of action, they do it by making sure it’s the only thing on the agenda, the only thing everyone’s talking about.

And they pre-load the ensuing discussion with highly selected images, devious and prejudicial language, dubious linkages, weak or false “intelligence” and selected “leaks”.

With the ground thus prepared, governments are happy if you then “use the democratic process” to agree or disagree — for, after all, their intention is to mobilise enough headlines and conversation to make the whole thing seem real and urgent.

The more emotional the debate, the better. Emotion creates reality, reality demands action.

Full article Here 

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