Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Propoganda, is it really that bad?

I was listening to an IB conversation today, where several students were jokingly mocking freedom, democracy, and free thought; sarcastically in favor of totalitarianism, and propaganda. That got me thinking, is propaganda really all that bad? Propaganda is output by our society to "brainwash" us into following the rules of that society. Every society does it, even Sweden and Canada, though they do it much less than almost everyone else. Too much propaganda is obviously a bad thing, but is it all a bad thing? I mean, can a society function if people are not somehow trained to fit within its rules?

14 comments:

Wolf Man Jack said...

No, propeganda isn't always bad. It gives us a reason to feel patriotic, and a part of our country. The propeganda that is bad is when it extends to trying to harm others. However when it is used to instill a sense of patriotism, it is good. For example, having your flag up is a form of propeganda, it is saying that you belong to the country, believe in it, and hope that others do too.

the braden said...

Like Wolf, I believe that progeganda isn't all bad, although a lot of the times its in a negative light. I believe that our society finds propeganda to be necessary in order for specific social elements to survive. For example, capitalism and business is ALL based on propeganda. What shampoo is the best...it impliments an idea in you so that you will buy a specific shampoo or car. Advertising wouldn't exist without propeganda. Propeganda is advertising something without really telling you straight out. I have even caught myself favoring other brands because of an ad that they did...however in most cases propeganda attcks without individuals knowing it. They are trained to belief that a specific shampoo such as Pantein with make their hair more shinier then others because the commercials say that its true. In order not to fall in propeganda its best to first know YOUR beliefs and what YOU percievce to be true.

the braden said...

yes i realize i spelled propeganda wrong several times. I'm sorry, i'm tired.

Big E said...

What makes you think Sweden and Canada put out less propaganda than the rest of us? How do you justify that? I would actually argue that sweeden puts out more than average. But I digress. My philosophy is that nothing it absolutley bad or absolutley good. It is good when the outcome of using it is good and it is bad when the outcome of using it is bad. I am more or less a utilitarianist. Therefore, like anything, propoganda can be good if it it used so.
-Evan
P.S. Can we get a definition of Propaganda? I didn't really need one for my argument, but we still need one.

Deep Chandegara said...

"Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation directly aimed at influencing the opinions of people, rather than impartially providing information."
*Source: Wikipedia

By this definition, propaganda is nothing but bias. Since everything has bias, you can argue that everything is propaganda.

Jared,givemeagooddisplaynamenow,wolschlager said...

Hey, I was totally part of this conversation today, and yes propaganda is essential. It keeps people secure and happy, but taken to an extreme it can make them subserviant and facist ie Hitler so Balance is thusly needed. For me it comes down to free choice vs. determinism, a complete belief in free choice is frightening, because if you take a step it could kill you, but (pardon the cliche) on the other hand, determinism, while safe is boring, and pointless, I want to be able be able to make the choice to go to point A instead of point B, without it killing me, unless I am destined to die. Anyway, pardon my bad example, but propaganda is necessarry, even if it can be taken to the extreme, because it would be censorship to not have it.
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As a sidenote: citing wikipedia may cause blackouts anger and/or unhappiness, site Wiktionary instead.
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J.Malone said...

Could anyone provide an example of "positive, useful" propaganda vs. "negative, potentially destructive" propaganda as you see it? Whether it is from America, Canada, or Sweden makes no difference.

Wolf Man Jack said...

I did in my origional comment. Hanging up your American flag.

Vvyynn said...

A Shampoo commercial vs. Nazi propaganda (P-R-O-P-A-G-A-N-D-A, dear God, Blogger, create a spell check device. Think of how many words are going wrongly spelled). asking for small children to Hyle Hitler and burn books and rat on their parents. Also, No, Propaganda is not always bad, in fact everything is propaganda in my eyes, leastways everything now-a-days. Drink Pepsi!

Vvyynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vvyynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vvyynn said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vvyynn said...

Fine. I see what your doing, Mr. Blog administrator. YOU CANNOT SILENCE ME!!!!! Anyhoo, to reiterate so this won't be deleted as well: Prpaganda exists everywhere, even as I'm writing to you now. Yes, use blogger for fast, friendly internet chatting. Also, home to the TOK chatboard, where you can read the insane rantings of one of the greatest intellectuals of our time: Wolf man Jack. Thought I'd say Me, didn't you? Well I didn't I'm not that egotistical. Well, I think this was productive. Right? Right? O PLEASE GOD DON'T LET ME GET ERASED AGAIN!

Cian said...

First, Vvyynn, can you give a brief summary of what you said that got got deleted (insuch a way that doesn't get you deleted again)because the curriosity is driving me crazy.

Second, to go deeper into the question of propaganda being necessary for a society, are scape goats necessary? The reason that propaganda often gets such a bad rep is because it can be used to create these scape goats. The Nazi's used Jews, Gays, Blacks, Gipsies, etc. the KKK does the smae thing, McCarthy used communists, Al-queda uses us (and we in turn use oe have used Al-queda, Nazi's, the KKK, McCarthiests etc.). And, this use of scape goats has often times lead to the survival of that society, and in a case such as the Nazi's, the prosperity of that society. However, this often leads us to look down on that society as evil or corrupt, so my second question is: does the lack of societal scape goats define a good society, or is it a product of a good society? Or does a good society mean that it is good at pretending it doesn't have scape goats?