Propaganda Techniques

Propagandists use a variety of propaganda techniques to influence opinions and to avoid the truth. Often these techniques rely on some element of censorship or manipulation, either omitting significant information or distorting it. They are indistinguishable except in degree from the persuasion techniques employed in social, religious and commercial affairs. Recently persuasion technology has come into common use, in all styles from digital image alteration to persuasive presentation and persistent telemarketing based on repetition, making these techniques impossible to avoid.


War propaganda is used to confuse and demoralize enemies and also to influence public opinions in friendly countries. Often, a nation at war uses propaganda to control its own citizens. According to British scholar F.M. Cornford, "Propaganda is that branch of the art of lying which consists in very nearly deceiving your friends without quite deceiving your enemies."

Between states it may involve lying about the potential for new weapons, e.g. artificial intelligence like the smart bomb, which can either impress opponents into dealing, or, e.g. the molecular assembler or atom bomb, convince them that something which is feasible is in fact not, to give the disinforming party a headstart in researching the weapon or technology that is pre-requisite to it.

Propaganda versus democracy is frequently debated in political science - there is a natural tension between government, which must keep secrets sometimes, and the right of the governed to know what is going on and consent.

To obtain consent for war with minimal effort, many standard techniques have been employed:

* Pro-technology propaganda to excuse investment in a military-industrial complex or persuasion technology to further simplify confusing the public.

* Terrorism as propaganda to excuse invasive and confiscatory measures due to the "constant threat" - which may in fact be manufactured or funded by one's own government but serve as an excuse for foreign wars or domestic terror, e.g. Burning the Reichstag.

* Cooked intelligence selectively shared to increase public fear or willingness to support a war, e.g. War on Iraq.

During a war, almost any unusual event can be exploited for positive publicity to "prove" how "bad" the enemy is, or how "uncertain" the situation was or is in the country (should one's own troops do something wrong) - thus the troops are brave and good.

After a war, "feel good" stories are employed to convince voters that they did the right thing, and should support future wars, and the leaders that lead them.


The birth of the military-industrial complex was described on January 17, 1961, by WWII Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe and two term USA President Dwight David Eisenhower in his farewell address to the nation in what is called his Military Industrial Complex Speech:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

"We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together."

The military-industrial complex is generally defined as a "coalition consisting of the military and industrialists who profit by manufacturing arms and selling them to the government."

Eisenhower related, however, that until World War II, the United States did not have an armaments industry. Even though "American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well," the United States could "no longer risk emergency improvisation" of the country's national defense.[1]

The United States, he continues, had been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. At that time, the U.S. was annually spending more on military security "than the net income of all United States corporations." This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry, he said, was "new in the American experience" and that there was an imperative need for this development.[2]



From Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia


War is conflict involving the use of arms and physical force between nations, countries, or other large-scale armed groups. Warfare is the conduct of war.

Typically, warfare is mortal and lives of combatants are deliberately taken by enemy forces and the continued existence of a losing group as an entity is in doubt. In view of this, rules for the conduct of war are unenforceable during active conflict. A person faced with death, or an organisation faced with extinction, both have little incentive to obey rules that contribute to that result. If they can survive by breaking the rules they are likely to do so, and some would argue justifably.

Sometimes a distinction is made between a conflict and the formal declaration of a state of war. Given this distinction the term "war" is sometimes considered restricted to those conflicts where one or both belligerants have made a formal declaration.

Wars have been fought to control natural resources, for religious or cultural reasons, over political balances of power, legitimacy of particular laws, to settle economic and territorial disputes, and many other issues. The roots of any war are very complex - there is usually more than one issue involved.


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