Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Five Rules of Propoganda


Here are five basic rules of propaganda, courtesy of Norman Davies in his extraordinary book "Europe: A History":

* The rule of simplification: reducing all data to a simple confrontation between 'Good and Bad', 'Friend and Foe'.

* The rule of disfiguration: discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies.

* The rule of transfusion: manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one's own ends.

* The rule of unanimity: presenting one's viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people: draining the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of star-performers, by social pressure, and by 'psychological contagion'.

* The rule of orchestration: endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations.