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Propaganda general [message #95] Mon, 21 January 2019 12:34 Go to next message
Messages: 42
Registered: January 2019
Does anyone here have some good ideas for propaganda? It can be any type or medium, just discuss different types of propaganda and why it is effective. I'd actually argue that posters and leaflets are more effective then online activism because you would actually reach out to normies and people who have different political beliefs, while online activism mostly just attracts people who already agree with you.
Re: Propaganda general [message #98 is a reply to message #95] Mon, 21 January 2019 13:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 7
Registered: January 2019
Location: UK
Social media is the new battleground for propaganda. Stuff like Cambridge Analytica with targeted or near bespoke ads appealing to individuals issues seems like the ultimate weapon.

I think propaganda in general works best when it can identify a problem someone has and poses a solution for it.

Eg people being isolated -
Actual cause: Social media, break down in local community, less face to face contact
Rightwingers will use this to blame others "THEY killed YOUR culture!" or they'll harken back to some "better time" when you had identity. Some movements provide identity to people, like people join the EDL, Britain First or other extreme parties not for action but for identity and belonging.

People being poorer -
Actual cause: automation and outsourcing of jobs (mostly automation) and supply side economics (changing wealth distribution)
Rightwingers will use this to make you blame people on welfare or blame foreigners or try to shame public servants, they create a narrative of the "temporarily embarrassed millionaire" everyone thinks they're special so they can make it big and they'll look down on other poor people.

People feeling a loss of control -
Actual cause: Power being taken away by government or agency being taken away at work (a la marx's theory of alienation) also by people being less secure in the work place due to them being poorer
Right wingers again will blame the other, in the UK brexit was sold to people with the slogan "take back control" and in the US Trump ran using the "make america great again"

People feeling insecure with more anxiety -
Actual cause - pressures and expectations not being met due to bad economy, adverts creating unrealistic image of body and lifestyle.
Similar to the poor one above but with the added thing of calling people snowflakes.

People (eespecially guys) finding it hard to find dates and/or having less sex
Actual cause - Social media and online dating has drastically changed how people date. Everything our parents told us, stuff we learnt as kids (I'm 28) and stuff we see on TV shows (even modern ones) is out of date. People don't meet in bars, people don't ask others for dates anymore (or at least it's very rare).
The right wing will blame this on women being more empowered (as an attack on womens agency or women in the work place) They'll blame it on men not being masculine enough. Hucksters will exploit this issue to sell their "game" books. Racists will blame immigrant men for coming over and "taking your women!".

Every issue and insecurity can be exploited. One of the issues the right does so well is they have little to no standard of truth, they'll lie. They'll attribute all the problems to one or a small number of things. Every economic issue is caused by immigrants and welfare scroungers. People like a simple punchy slogan with simple reasoning. The beauty of all this is the doesn't fix the issue, so the right can keep on milking the same cow.

The right (with brexit and Trump) used Cambridge analytica to target ads on facebook, it would identify a concern in the user then target ads, so perhaps they find a person without a job the ads will sell brexit on a "more jobs" ticket or they find a racist it'll sell brexit on a "less immigrants" ticket. As time goes on this will become better and better. No longer a boring leaflet through the door with 9 of 10 irrelevant issues. The future will be a stream of propaganda, suited to exploit your fears and concerns, some obvious, some subtle.

Another issue is right wing propaganda is so profitable right now. Youtubers like Sargon of Akkad and other internet assholes have made a career out of this stuff, from online nobodies to offline celebrities. Tommy Robinson (formerly known as Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, an ex football firm thug, turned racist gang leader, turned "reporter") has made a fortune from his stuff, most recently getting donations for a legal case and using them to buy a big ass house. The founder of the group "knights templar international" (along with many others) has made over a million from donations and subscriptions. Thugs in the UK currently (protesting in london) record themselves being clowns simply for publicity, their aim isn't revolution or change, it's just to build content for their websites and grow their supporter/donator base. This isn't the case for all radicals, eg Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer and Erik Prince are already very rich and they use their influence to push an actual right wing agenda, either for a conservative christian state or for absolute corporate power.

As the left we gotta do better, we gotta make simple counters to the rights false solutions. We gotta learn how to easily address the issues, we gotta find ways to distributing information to help people fight off fake information. I think also praxis should perhaps involve trying to changes to social issues like isolation and anxiety, secure people are less likely to support far right extremism.

Most of this post is regarding UK based stuff since it's what is most familiar to me. I know that groups operate in the America is a similar manner, especially regarding identity and a faux-patriotism.
Re: Propaganda general [message #218 is a reply to message #98] Mon, 11 February 2019 15:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Messages: 21
Registered: January 2019
I think you make a very insightful suggestion about the problem/solution approach to propaganda.

We should be very careful when trying to fight any battles over socail media though. The terrain favours the enemy.
Even if the big platforms don't have any inherent right-wing bias flowing from their owners, shareholders and ties to the state, they're still going to be biased towards whoever can spend the most on advertising. Any fight that comes down to outspending the opposition is one the left's going to lose.

Where we do have the advantage, however, is the numbers of enthusiastic volunteers. For this reason, I think one battleground where we have the advantage over the right is in the streets. We can try spreading our propaganda through graffiti, but I suspect most people don't look twice at graffiti and it blends into the backdrop of the city for them.
My medium of choice then, would be wheatpasted posters. Print some short, clear points on paper as large as you can manage, and go out one night sticking them up in the busy parts of your city.
If you get the consistency right, wheatpasted posters can last months or even years. People are more likely to be curious about something which doesn't immediately fit their expectations, so don't make it look like advertising.
Postering in physical space also has the advantage that it's almost inherently tied to the local community. If a poster in [CITY] says eg. "[CITY] against property speculation!", that message is going to be linked to a sense of local pride and authenticity in a way a facebook ad or post never can.
In addition, going out as a group after dark, in secret, with a sense of (very very mild) danger to do your postering is a great way of building group bonds and making people feel like they're engaging in meaningful activity for change, which is vital for keeping a movement alive.
Re: Propaganda general [message #361 is a reply to message #98] Tue, 19 March 2019 10:23 Go to previous message
Messages: 30
Registered: January 2019
As the left we gotta do better, we gotta make simple counters to the rights false solutions. We gotta learn how to easily address the issues, we gotta find ways to distributing information to help people fight off fake information.
I agree. I often wonder though, if people arrive at right-wing conclusions without using reasoning, logic or critical thinking whose to say that these people can be convinced using the three aforementioned things? I notice that on right-wing websites, namely /pol/, they love to use "facts" and "evidence" to support their claims. Anyone with a modicum of critical thinking skills could see right through their shit, the biased sources, the nitpicking of information, straight out lies. But I'm afraid a lot of people don't have the necessary critical thinking skills and are swayed by the appearance of it being evidence-based. Often, confirmation bias will do all the work, which means that they spring "facts" and "evidence" on people once they have been attracted by the anti-Muslim/immigrant/poor/LGBTQ rhetoric.

Furthermore, the people we're trying to persuade have grown up in capitalism. A lot of people believe that rich people deserve to be rich, that they worked hard for it. A lot of people don't like the idea of 'redistribution' or at least effective redistribution. How do we vilify the rich the same way they vilify immigrants or people with a different skill colour? Maybe that is the key. Find images, infographics, graphs, that show how fucked up the rich live. That billionaire was caught with a plane that transported children to be fucked by the rich and powerful in the US. CEOs have a largest percentage of psychopaths than any other profession. The information is out there, we just need to compile it into forms that can be distributed and digested.

We like to talk about material analysis and we like to feel academic. The fact is, to reach people, we have to use every tool at our disposal, including appeals to emotion and provocative rhetoric.
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