Before completing the Cambridge Analytica series, there is something to discuss. The difference between propaganda and gaslighting and why this matters when considering GE2019 Election Fraud.
Propaganda is a very powerful tool to sway populations to particular viewpoints. It can be used for good or ill. Product advertising uses propaganda techniques – or is that vice versa!? Along with the details of propaganda – taken from experts in the subject – there are also things you can do to counter propaganda.
Propaganda (and how to avoid it)
1 – Truth is not the absence of propaganda; propaganda thrives in presenting different kinds of truth, including half truths, incomplete truths, limited truths, out of context truths. Modern propaganda is most effective when it presents information as accurately as possible. The Big Lie or Tall Tale is the most ineffective propaganda.
Counterpropaganda: A concrete fact is better than propaganda and failing anything scientifically provable, honest opposition is practical, moral and unbiased can counter any false propaganda message. Propaganda if revealed, will be seen as biased and negated. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32 New English Bible
2 – Propaganda is not so much designed to change opinions so much as reinforce existing opinions, prejudices, attitudes. The most successful propaganda will lead people to action or inaction through reinforcement of what people already believe to be true.
Counterpropaganda: The only way to defend against it is to be more aware of the tactics being used and counter uneducated opinions and views early.
3 – Education is not necessarily the best protection against propaganda. Intellectuals and “the educated” are the most vulnerable to propaganda campaigns because they (1) tend to absorb the most information (including secondhand information, hearsay, rumors, and unverifiable information); (2) are compelled to have an opinion on matters of the day and thus expose themselves more to others’ opinions and propaganda campaigns; and (3) consider themselves above the influence of propaganda, thereby making themselves more susceptible to propaganda.
Counterpropaganda we are all susceptible of propaganda! To say that one is free of the influence of propaganda is a sure sign of its pervasive existence in society.
4 – What makes the study of propaganda so problematic is that it is generally regarded as the study of the darker side of our nature; the study of their evil versus our good. Those whom we consider evil thrive in propaganda, while we spread only the truth. The best way to study propaganda is to separate one’s ethical judgments from the phenomenon itself. Propaganda thrives and exists, for ethical and unethical purposes.
Counterpropaganda: propaganda is a powerful tool which can be used for good or ill. The way to decide its value is to use the principle of cui bono: “who benefits”.
5 – Propaganda seeks to modify public opinion, particularly to make people conform to the point of view of the propagandist. In this respect, any propaganda is a form of manipulation, to adapt an individual to a particular activity.
Counterpropaganda watch out for arguments that are logically inconsistent or attack the person rather than the point of view.
6 – Modern forms of communication, including mass media, are tools for propaganda. Without the monopoly concentration of mass media, there can be no modern propaganda. (Before mass media there was only rhetoric.) For propaganda to thrive, the media must remain concentrated, news agencies and services must be limited, the press must be under central command, and radio, film, and television monopolies must pervade.
Counterpropaganda: use of different information sources including non-main stream sources allows you to pick apart propaganda. Always treat a single source of information as suspect or fake news.
7 – One must become aware of propaganda: limitations, strengths, influence, and persuasive qualities, for it to be effective.
Counterpropaganda: propaganda only works where there is “fertile ground”. Preparation is required. A need must be articulated. Watch out for prepared Problem/Reaction/Solution scenarios.
8 – In the west private commercial propaganda is as important to notions of democracy as governmental propaganda. Commercial appeals to the people through advertising, which plays on irrational fantasies and impulses, are some of the most pervasive forms of propaganda in existence today.
Counterpropaganda: anything overly simplistic eg “take back control” or “get Brexit done” have only one purpose: to hide complexity and realities.
9 – Propaganda in a democracy establishes truth in the sense that it creates “true believers” who are as ideologically committed to the democratic progress as others are ideologically committed to its control. The perpetuation of democratic ideals and beliefs in the face of concentrated power in propaganda institutions (media, political institutions) is a triumph of propaganda in modern society.
Counterpropaganda: without access to media and political institutions then democracy will fail.
As mentioned in previous Daily GasLamp articles, GE2019 was more than propaganda – point 9 above should give most people pause for thought. It was a PysOp – another name for “Gaslighting”
What is Gaslighting and how do you know we are subject to it?
Patricia Evans, seven “warning signs” of gaslighting is that the abuser will
- Withhold information from the victim;
- Counter information to fit the abuser’s perspective;
- Discount information;
- Using verbal abuse, often in the form of jokes;
- Block and divert the victim’s attention from outside sources;
- Minimise the victim’s worth; and,
- Undermining the victim by gradually weakening them
While psychologist Elinor Greenberg describes three common methods of gaslighting:
You can easily see examples in the past where Gaslighting has been carried out, preparing the ground to make propaganda effective.
If the UK electoral has been gaslighted lets look for the warning signs and methods:
- Withhold information: the unsuitability of BJ as being PM has been withheld. It should have been front page news (it was… but never followed up).
- Counter information: the leaks about the NHS in US trade talks where countered by Sky News with “it was a leak from Russia”…
- Discount information: the Labour Manifesto hardly mentioned by the BBC
- Using verbal abuse, often in the form of jokes; Just listen to BBC Radio and TV Comedy: constant potshots over the issue of A-S
- Block and divert the victim’s attention from outside sources: World wide concerns over the Conservatives Hard Brexit were never mentioned.
- Minimise worth: the crowds greeting JC as he toured the country were never given any airtime.
- Undermining the victim by gradually weakening them: constant questions on A-S. Intense interrogations on TV but only on issues that suited
- Hiding. BJ and other conservatives never given intense interviews.
- Changing. Trying to change the Labour leadership that had made the UK Labour Party the largest political organisation in Western Europe.
- Control. Control of airtime, column inches and when there was some exposure, the agenda was changed to meet the propaganda objective.
So Gaslighting is more than propaganda and more than just the control of the Main Stream Media… there’s more. To be followed up in the Daily GasLamp….