With elections about to take place all over the United States, we have all been exposed to our share of political propaganda. It refers to propaganda by any government or political group in an effort to convince you to see issues, the same as they do.
Political propaganda is used throughout the world, not just in the United States. The Soviet Union and Germany have both admitted to using propaganda techniques favoring communism in all areas of public expression. It is claimed that the working of Marxism were all done under the umbrella of propaganda as well
Propaganda continues to exists and is widespread because it serves various social purposes. Many institutions such as media, private corporations, and governments fuel the influence of the propaganda system that they help create and maintain. They have an advantage of knowing what they want to promote, who they want to promote it to, and to make sure their one-sided purposes are achieved.
To protect ourselves against the effects of propaganda, education is the key. By understanding that not everything we see and hear is true, we will feel confident in questioning the claims made as well as conducting our own research into the issues. We can then make an educated choice based on our knowledge rather than on the shady techniques of propaganda that some many have grown to rely on to promote their products or services.
Propaganda is information that is spread to promote something. It is the most popular type of advertising in the world wide market today. For example, a commercial of a woman with a headache who looks miserable takes a couple of aspirin. The commercial later shows her feeling much better. The commercial is using propaganda to promote the effectiveness of their type of aspirin. In the United States, propaganda is commonly referred to as the most common form of using information for the purpose of manipulation.
While the example above is a very obvious form of propaganda, called revealed propaganda, concealed propaganda is widely used. It is similar except that the general observer does not realize that they are being influenced and possibly victimized by concealed propaganda. For example, a hand bag designer pays a popular actress to use their bags in her everyday activities. The photos of her in the magazines and tabloids will show her with such bags on numerous occasions. Without your knowledge, you have been exposed to an ongoing advertisement for their products.
Propaganda is marketed primary to influence a person to believe, or some cases not to believe something in particular. Often, such tactics will appeal to a person’s emotions. The voice of propaganda is often loud, meaning it is repetitive. Have you ever sat through a program and noticed the same ad over and over again? Later, you remembered it and maybe couldn’t get a particular part of it out of your mind.
This technique works in all areas, including religion, politics, and economics. Propaganda is used in all cultures and in all areas around the world. It is often said to be at the core of the free market system. Since propaganda often shapes one’s belief about something, it is very important to understand that not everything you see on TV, read in a magazine, or come across on the internet is true. You will need to do further research to find out the actual facts, as the goal of propaganda is to sell what ever the particular item or issue is. Therefore, only positive views will be given in any particular issue or item. Propaganda is a wide open area in the United States, due mainly to freedom of speech issues. It is much more controlled in other countries.
Most of us have seen the poster of Uncle Sam in the huge hat with stars. He is pointing his finger, saying I want you. It then goes on to encourage people to put their faith in the freedom of America. Such designs are known as propaganda posters. This one of Uncle Sam is probably the most famous in the United States, followed by the one of a woman in a work uniform and hair up in a handkerchief. She has her sleeve rolled up with her muscles flexed. It is to represents the power of women in the workforce. The United States made a bold statement with a propaganda poster, showing a pilot on his plane with the words “you back the attack, we’ll bomb who we want”. Propaganda posters began being used in World War I from 1914 to 1918. In addition to promoting a stand on the war, the posters were sold to encourage men to join the military and to supplement money to support the cost of the war.
While those examples date back in the history of the United States, propaganda posters continue to be a tool used to stir emotions in people and encourage them to take action. Current propaganda posters include the army man with a gun pointing out, with the wording “If you’re not terrorist, then stop asking questions!” and huge eyes watching a silhouette saying “surveillance means security!”
The purpose of poster propaganda is to stir up emotions in each person who sees it, in the hopes it will cause them to think about what the poster is saying, and take action that supports it. The largest collection of propaganda posters were used in Germany from 1933 to 1945. They were used to support the Nazi’s taking over the Jewish population.
Poster propaganda continues to be a popular way to promote views in the United States as well as in other countries. Sometimes a person seeing such propaganda may not have the same view as the poster, yet they feel they should feel that way because of it being advertised. While they may not speak up for the cause in the poster, they are more likely to keep their own view to themselves rather than expose it after seeing such a propaganda poster.
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