Inwards propaganda

This blog entry is on inwards propaganda, a topic that was already scratched on the surface by the "Buzzwords" blog entry.

I participated recently in a short discussion about a computer game that the Hezbollah released (in fact a modded Battlefield 2 game). The game is often commented - in many places and by many people - with an attitude as if it was something special, amateurish and something that the West doesn't do.
Well, in fact there are several computer games (full-blown computer games, not just small modifications) on the topic of hunting terrorists (often quite unrealistic scenarios) and the like on the market. We don't lack B-Movies about the topic as well. The computer games and movie industry is in fact quite busy delivering us propaganda products that define the common foe for the western nations - since decades. The movie industry is busy with such works since about the 1930's. The support of the U.S. forces with personnel and material for many such productions proves that there's in fact a link between propaganda and at least one western government.
We must really be blind to blank out our own inwards oriented propaganda when we discuss Hezbollah's famous computer game as if it's something special.

There's of course more to tell about it than the quality of the mod (apparently not "good") or about specific claims on content and how evil it is (or how bad a "Rambo" movie is, for example).

Thinking about inwards propaganda (propaganda focused on the own people) led me to the conclusion that it's in fact an authoritarian concept that regrettably can often be a commercial success due to an entertainment effect.

In democracy (can) work fine when people are well-informed and can make good decisions before they vote.
Adding a subjective, manipulating element like propaganda instead of honest information into the system poisons it and let's it drift away from the ideal.

What could be the purpose, who could prefer such an endeavor?
In my opinion only authoritarian people who are not true democrats (I don't mean a specific party in just one of more than hundred nations of this world) could prefer it even after they thought about it in detail. These are people who distrust democracy so that they prefer the people - the sovereign - to be manipulated instead of just informed.

This is no conspiracy theory, it's just my theoretical reasoning about whether inward propaganda is good because of its mobilizing effect or evil because of its manipulative effect.

My conclusion is obviously that it's evil. It deteriorates our democracy and since democracy is what keeps sovereignty where it belongs - to the people. Propaganda is a tool that threatens our sovereignty, let's it fade away. Honest information is what we need.
Some NATO nations have learned this lesson again in the past years as they were misled by propaganda (well, the British people weren't that much mislead, rather their prime minister).

Anyway - everyone is invited to have his own opinion on propaganda of all sorts.

Let's hope that (s)he has decent information to process before (s)he arrives at a conclusion. This blog entry promotes just one point of view and is no sufficient information base, for example.

Sven Ortmann

edit 2008-12-02:

"Hilary Rosen, the former chairwoman of the Recording Industry Association of America, who was also present at the post-9/11 meetings, said that Mr. Rove and other White House officials were looking for the kind of support Hollywood gave the United States during World War II.

“They wanted the music industry, the movie industry, the TV industry to produce propaganda,” she said. “Rove was putting a lot of pressure on us.”"


1 comment:

  1. You make good points.
    I'm having trouble logging comments.