Talk:Propaganda versus democracy

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I'm moving the following user comments to the talk page for the time being. There are some interesting ideas here, but they need grammatical editing and some work to show how they relate to the rest of the article. For the moment, I don't have the time to do this. --Sheldon Rampton 09:53 1 Apr 2003 (EST)

This, of course depends on a sense of general altruism on the part of the people. In many cases the common constituent in a democracy is most motivated by selfishness. Thus selfishness is one of the first places propaganda strikes.

Propaganda is also most insideous when present in a Demorcatic system. Taking form in appeals to the uneducated/naieve/trusting and selfish, (at least half of most groups of people) Propaganda is virulently effective when it is coupled with feartactics/demagauge techniques to manipulate the populace into taking the inocculation and believing it.

in a "majority is right" system the more intellegent minority that might differ is "wrong".


Also recently sociologist such as Kern have suggested that the power of propoganda in the modern western democracy has been greatly affected by the sheer amount of information available. This is not so much a matter of people considering many viewpoints, but more of sensory overload. there are too many distractions and escapes in a modern society.

a corallary of this idea is that modern propaganda in a western media democracy MUST KEEP THE VIEWERS ATTENTION. if its boring the channel is changed. As a result modern government/corperate propaganda comes in forms that either dazzle, entertain, or scare their target audience. hence flashy graphics, speculations on terrorist attrocity plots, and LIVE videos straight from the warfront to your sceen. (weee aint it fun?) Still think the media's coverage is independent? Watch the news coverage of a war in which with all the reporters no one dies. the deaths and realities are all offscreen or are shown in videogame reminicint images.

Just wait for when even live coverage dosent cut it anymore. Thats when they'll start showing people dying.

Such and such country is bad and nasty? What do i care im too busy with videogames, musicsubgenres, movies, porn, trashyromance novels, soapoperas, talkshows, drugs, getting laid at the club, the new fashions etc. etc.


Also, a related theory puts forth that due to modern pop media's targeting to short attention spans (largely to push the "newthing" you can purchace), the target of modern propaganda will only be affected for a short amount of time. (Notice how many fewer american flag stickers you see on cars today than one year ago.) The affects of this theory mean that any action endorsed in a democracy must be carried out with swiftness or else support and approval wanes. Note the rush to approve strikes in Iraq in the UN while antiterror fervor is high and you'll see it in action.