Propaganda...Recognize It, Protect Yourself...Use it for Good
By Kevin Hogan and Allen Loren
Always, always, always BE ON GUARD FOR OMNIBUS WORDS. Because, omnibus words make you the easy dupe of propagandists.
"Community Reinvestment Project."
"Health Care Reform."
Omnibus, or "carry-all" words, are words that are extraordinarily difficult to define. This means they carry all sorts of meanings and are defined by each one of us individually. Therefore, the best test for the truth or falsity of propaganda lies in specific and concrete definitions of the words and symbols used by the propagandist.
If you want the best inoculation of your being duped by words and symbols that carry a high charge of emotion – you need to sharply define those symbols and words.
Further, you need to fully understand your definition and the speaker's definition. They most likely are not the same meaning.
KEYPOINT: Once you know that a speaker or writer is using one of any of the seven propaganda devices in an attempt to convince you of an idea... you can separate the device from the idea and see what the idea amounts to on it's own merits.
(Note: similar to the Internet scams you would probably not believe if confronted by someone actually saying it to you; but you let down your guard if it comes in email, so you don't vet it as much you normally would.)
Remember, the idea may be good or it may bad when you judge it in the light of available evidence and in terms of our own experience and interests. But knowing these seven propaganda devices and how they are used, now it’s time to investigate the idea. It keeps you from having your thought process blocked by an illusion. It keeps you from being fooled. It helps you think critically.
In testing each statement of a propagandist, then, you merely have to ask yourself: When stripped of tricks, what is he trying to sell me? Is it something I want? Something I can use? Something that I will enjoy?
Next time, we’ll show you how to defend against each of the seven propaganda devices...and perhaps offer suggestions for using the power for the good side of the “force!”
Allen Loren is a propaganda expert and I appreciate his time in helping develop this series of articles...
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