It is imperative for all citizens to have a knowledge of history and varied methodologies of propaganda. In any mode, to win the hearts and minds of people, a propaganda operation must present the information in a method that inspires and persuades the consumer. And we are looking at the propaganda that was utilized by Great Britain and Germany in the World War II era. Currently, in this article series, we have just covered the first of the seven domestic propaganda persuasion techniques– name calling. Now, let’s take a look at the remainder six of them.
Technique #2: Plain Folk
Widely known, by applying the “plain folk” method, one takes on the appearance of a commoner through verbal and non-verbal manners, out of efforts to blend in with the general masses. Nazi “politicians, labor leaders, business men, and even ministers” utilized the plain folk method to further their ability to gain the support and “confidence of the people” by seeming to have associated commonalities with them.
Technique #3: Glittering Generalities
Less known, one employs “glittering generalities” to appeal “to [another’s] emotions of love, generosity, and brotherhood”. In this, the propagandist integrates well-meaning terms with which to associate the program. For the Nazi’s, “the word Volk [meaning folk or people]” substituted for unification purposes. With this method of persuasion, the Nazi party would incorporate the term “science” in order “to sanction practices, policies, beliefs, and races that it wanted approved”. Of course, “only the conclusions of “German science” as approved by the Fuehrer may be accepted.”
Technique #4: Testimonials
Similarly, through “testimonials”, an audience becomes more likely to “accept anything”. With this method, truth becomes relative. By incorporating doctors, politicians, lawyers, and engineers, testimonials can stimulate a substantial influence on persuading the public domain.
Technique #5: Transfer
When a propagandist finds that the subjects oppose the desired effect, such as when attempting to alter the beliefs of children that their parent’s instilled in them from birth, they employ the “transfer” method of persuasion. As an effort to win the heart of its target audience, transfer allows the propagandist to extinguish the competition of the consumer’s heart-felt principles and replace them with their own. In this way, the children of Germany became manipulated. This was accomplished by the “words and symbols appertaining to war… toy soldiers, tanks, machine guns, and simplified battle instructions… [all] symbols to transfer sanction to the later use of real tanks and machine guns.”
Hitler’s Youth Program Integrated the Transfer Technqiue
Furthermore, the Hitler Youth program’s leader, Baldur von Schirach, integrated the transfer technique into the program by prescribing all program attendees to recite a prayer to pay homage to Adolf Hitler. In it, the prayer promotes faith in and dependency on the leadership. It also instills comradery and carries a sense of Hitler’s ownership of the pupil. As it refers to him as the “standard-bearer”, the prayer promotes the idea of his omniscience. A raw form of brainwashing, among other aspects, instituting children to worship a leader promotes a cyclic nature of beliefs.
This eventually allows the government to control every aspect of life. Ultimately, this control lead to the German populace adapting the ideas of and promoting a racial state. Citing from “The Words of Hitler”, “The racial state will have to make sure that by proper education of youth, it will one day obtain a race ripe for the last and greatest decisions on this Earth.”
Technique #6- Band Wagon
The “band wagon” technique emphasizes the “everybody is doing it [so why not me] mentality”. Applications of the band wagon technique created a pseudo united atmosphere for the average German citizens.
Technique #7- Card Stacking
When the band wagon technique and the previously mentioned are combined in an all-out assault, it is known as “card stacking.” Employing all the arts of deception to win support places all information against the truth, or in a consorted effort to create the truth. Through the “underemphasis and overemphasis” of different techniques and altering potencies, the producer can obscure the facts. Hence, the Nazi regime altered public information in a way that suspended reality away from the German populace.
Card Stacking as Most Essential Component of Nazi Propaganda System
Yourman argues that card stacking developed as the most essential component in the Nazi propaganda system. And he claimed that with its use “the regime [could] suppress facts, prevent discussion and expression of discontent and opposition… [accounting] for the fact that many visitors on returning from Germany report that they have heard no expression of discontent.” In other words, it enabled the government to produce complete fallacies. In this manner, German mothers and fathers put complete faith and confidence into the public education system, better known as the Hitler Youth Program. By means of the Nazi regime’s educational text book, The Hitler Youth Manual, Hitler clearly indoctrinated the youth “to foster” a pro-Nazi “political will.” To him, no child should graduate before realizing “the necessity and essence of blood purity.”.
As for the use of symbols, the well-known Swastika actually represented “the mission of the struggle for the victory of Aryan man and… the idea of creative work”, according to Hitler Aforementioned, most examples include much simpler types. Other, more complicated examples include the eagle, skull and cross bone, Hitler himself, et cetera.
Neurological Process of Interpreting Symbols
Nonetheless, by understanding the neurological process of interpreting symbols allows for one to grasp the full power of propaganda. Throughout time, simple pictures and logos “have been an important part of culture and religious rituals.”Though images better overcome language barriers and are easier to infer than words, due to the fact an image implies its true meaning, the brain works in such a way that it inhibits the ability to decrypt its purpose.
According to Lindsay Kolowich, a marketing analyst, due to the wiring of the brain, “[a] whole lot happens in the 400 milliseconds it takes for [someone] to see a logo, process it, and react to it – and it all has to do with color, shape, meaning, [and] prior experience.” Not surprisingly, the process even complicates the leading experts, which agree that “there [is not] a single place in the brain where symbols are processed.”
Eight Areas of Brain Involved In Either Accepting or Rejecting An Emblem
As of now, scientists have determined eight areas where the human brain analyzes, synthesizes, and either accepts or rejects an emblem. From the hippocampus and the pre-frontal cortex to the amygdala, five known processes occur. When a person first sees a logo, their eye initially perceives color. Then, one identifies the shape and form of the insignia. Less than half a millisecond later, the visual cortex sends a signal to the memory stores. These elements are then “grouped” to identify the object. Next, the brain matches the visual pattern to any previous experience with the same pattern from stored memory. Finally, and most importantly for this paper, the brain adds “semantic attributes” from previous experiences with the logo. All of this happens in less than one-half of a second, in which the human brain not only acknowledges a logo exists but also reacts to it!
We Interpret From a Predisposed Position
In conclusion, due to the speed at which the brain operates, coupled with the “semantic attributes”, it becomes nearly impossible for a person to not interpret from a predisposed position. In the rare case, only when one becomes aware of a scenario through pure facts, can they determine a pure and honest perception. Therefore, viewing historic events through the present context prompts a biased judgment.
Research Analyzes Democratic and Communist Propaganda Procedures
To counter these results, this research analyzes democratic and communist propaganda procedures to obtain a more comprehensive result. Moreover, a society ruled by an imposing and manipulating government eventually succumbs to accepting or resisting its effects. In either case, it stirs an action.
As for the former, when the society allows for institutions, such as Hitler Youth, to indoctrinate children to accept a predetermined rationale, an ideology eventualizes into a populace that accepts and promotes the same ideology. Thus, from a misconstrued standpoint, on the basis of manipulated beliefs and under the romance of unity, powerful demonstrations occur. When world super powers collide due to the propagation of varying ideas, the complications and thus the danger heightens, producing events such as world wars.
Nazi Propaganda Outperformed British Because of Increased Use of Symbols
Though the British ran a highly successful propaganda campaign by completely controlling the transfer of information, because the Nazi’s propaganda scheme fused an increased use of symbols with an emphasis on childhood development, their propaganda proved to outperform their British rival’s. In fact, by the end of WWII, while the children of Germany took up arms against the allies in total war conditions, and as allied bombs exploded in Berlin, some brainwashed, manipulated, and naive Germans visited the cinemas while still perceiving their war campaign as an ongoing triumph of their will.
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SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been another entry for Round 75 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
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- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
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Round 75 ends on March 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.