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Saturday, June 21, 2008

I smell propaganda

Being in a post-communist (whatever that might mean) country has some advantages. For example it sensitives you to propaganda. You can smell it instinctively and immediately you start to raise questions: how true is this? what are the supporting facts?

Wikipedia defines propaganda as:

Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience.

Why am I writing this? Because I'm watching the story of stuff. Now I do believe that there are some (major) problems, but this presentation is still pure propaganda. It uses generalization, figures pulled out of thin air and argumentation via authority (I've been looking into this for ten years. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about). Pure propaganda.

Incidentally, I remember a presentation from the local Chinese cultural days I went to some years ago and they showed a very nicely done propaganda piece. It was very reminiscent of the pieces we've been fed (the soundtrack was available in 30+ languages!). So if people are ready to buy that, they will surely be swung by this.


  1. Yeah, I watched that video some time ago. They took a few granules of truth and built a house of turds with them.

  2. Daniel C.4:53 PM

    Now really...propaganda for what?

  3. Propaganda for their ideas. The definition of propaganda doesn't say that it only applies to certain types of ideas ("bad", "unethical", etc). The qualities of the idea are beside the point, as long as it tries to convince people using subjective methods.

  4. Anonymous9:41 AM

    so... what's your point? Propaganda or not its still a form of communication. "Know the evil and apply it to good". But let me guess... you're a consumerist... like the rest of them. Fucking douchebag.

    go on... moderate my comment...

  5. Daniel C.2:17 AM

    Dear "Anonymous", I think that surely you are the pointlessly aggressive one here...and the fact that you don't take responsibility for your actions/words by not giving your name or/and email makes me think that you are just looking to insult for no reason, which makes you a [...]

    The fact that cdman thinks that some parts of rhetoric are just to "trick the masses", regardless of their origin, doesn't mean that he disagrees with the content of the message. For example we don't call propaganda spreading christianity or democracy, but we have to admit that it's done trough similar, if not the same, means. Plus, in my opinion, there aren't lots of "objective" (if none) points of view on anything, thus we can say that almost anything that implicates convincing a large number of people could be called propaganda.

    The fact that the post didn't got "moderated" is just that people like you can realize to shut up once in a while. Or just say something worthwhile.

    Also, besides the point was if he was a consumerist or not, because he pointed out the mean of communication and not the content of it. And I have a strong feeling that you are a consumerist too...but that is besides the point insn't it?