Quote: Originally Posted by dumpthemonarchy
But in a dictatorship the state takes control and most people cannot be sure what is happening, and even if they fully understood what was happening to the Jews for example, they simply don't have the means to stop it. Propaganda doesn't convince in this situation, it justifies.
Sure, controlling the media is what it's all about. but George S. made an absurd statement he did not adequately support. From a young woman to boot who simply went along with the crowd. And crowds is where propaganda works best because you don't feel personally responsible.
From a complex and tense situation in Germany in 1939, to reduce it to the simple word propaganda becomes a grade nine high school lesson. Before the CBC began this doc, they ought to have watched the British Thames series on WW 2 to get a better grip on the situation at the time.
People can be just as easily controlled in a democracy as they are in a dictatorship. Its all about controlling the media and as a result, controlling the message. Once you control what people know, you can control what they think and do.
Hermann Goering re: propaganda
Göring: Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.
Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Sure Goering was a war criminal. But he was also correct. Even in a democracy like Canada, people can be just as easily manipulated by propaganda as in a dictatorship, perhaps even easier...
In the 1980's, I was involved in a joint Canada/Russia project. I got to know a few of the Russians pretty well. One night after a few drinks, I was giving them a hard time about their news media and Pravda. I said that their news was almost 100% propaganda, whereas here in Canada, our news is objective and accurate. That made them all laugh. One of them quipped, "In Russia, we know our news is propaganda. In Canada, you think your propaganda is news."
When people are aware the media is controlled as in a dictatorship, they are more skeptical. But when people are unaware the media is controlled, they are more trusting and as a result more manipulated.
I reference the pro-war propaganda before the Iraq war as an example.
Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War
October 2, 2003
Study Finds Widespread Misperceptions on Iraq
Highly Related to Support for War
A new study based on a series of seven US polls conducted from January through September of this year reveals that before and after the Iraq war, a majority of Americans have had significant misperceptions and these are highly related to support for the war in Iraq.
The polling, conducted by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) at the University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks, also reveals that the frequency of these misperceptions varies significantly according to individuals' primary source of news. Those who primarily watch Fox News are significantly more likely to have misperceptions, while those who primarily listen to NPR or watch PBS are significantly less likely...
Misperceptions, the Media and the Iraq War - World Public Opinion (external - login to view)
Of course people in a democracy can be easily manipulated.