The magic bullet – tueday talks


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The magic bullet – tueday talks

  1. 1. The Magic Bullet – from the cylinder to the target<br />Presented by:<br />Juby John Eipe<br />Tuesday Talks<br />
  2. 2. The Premise<br /><ul><li>Propaganda theories in the early 1900s
  3. 3. Immigrants, Culture, Politics and Conflict
  4. 4. Mass mediated propaganda
  5. 5. Mass Society theories – Media, one of the many disruptive forces</li></li></ul><li>The Premise<br />Media<br />Propaganda Theories<br />
  6. 6. Media Effects and influence<br />Propaganda Vs Democracy (1930s)<br />Censorship as a way out but one would hamper freedom to communicate<br />Education and awareness generation as options<br />Propaganda – lies and deception used to persuade<br />The optimism of education as the way out fades with the spread of Nazism and Communism<br />The great depression<br />The Premise<br />
  7. 7. “White Propaganda”<br />Intentional suppression of potentially harmful information and ideas, combined with deliberate promotion of positive information or ideas to distract attention from “problematic” events.<br />The technique spills over to the post World War II era in the arenas of Advertising and Public Relations.<br />The Premise<br />
  8. 8. Black Propaganda<br />Deliberate and strategic transmission of lies<br />Grey Propaganda<br />Transmission of information and ideas that might or might not be false.<br />The Premise<br />
  9. 9. Propaganda<br />The term propaganda comes from the Roman Catholic Congregation de Propaganda Fide (Committee for the Propagation of the Faith) – founded in an effort to suppress the Protestant Revolution.<br />- To change the way people act and to leave them believing that those actions are voluntary, that the newly adopted behaviours are their own.<br />
  10. 10. The secret of effective propaganda:<br />Simplify a complex issue<br />Repeat that simplification over and over again<br />Fritz Hippler, Head, Nazi Germany’s film propaganda division<br />Effective propaganda is covert and it –<br />Persuades people without seeming to do so<br />Features massive orchestration of communication and<br />Emphasises tricky language designed to discourage reflective thought<br />J. Michael Sproul<br />Propaganda<br />
  11. 11. Propagandists held elitist and paternalistic views about their audiences. They saw mass media as an effective mass manipulation tool for controlling large populations so that the dominant majority came to have and act on certain beliefs and attitudes. They thought people to be so irrational, so illiterate and so inattentive that it was necessary to coerce, seduce or trick them into learning bits of misinformation.<br />Propaganda<br />
  12. 12. The theories that influenced Propaganda Theories<br />Behaviourism – John B. Watson<br />Argues that all human action is merely a conditioned response to external environmental stimuli.<br />Behaviourists rejected the ‘mentalist’ views which assumed that higher mental processes ordinarily control human action. They argued that the only purpose served by consciousness was to rationalize behaviours after they are triggered by an external stimuli. <br />
  13. 13. The theories that influenced Propaganda Theories<br />Freudianism – Sigmond Freud<br />Notion that human behaviour is the product of the conflict among individuals’ Id, Ego and Super Ego<br />Id –Rational Mind<br />Ego – The egocentric pleasure-seeking part of the mind<br />Super ego – The internalised set of cultural rules<br />
  14. 14. The theories that influenced Propaganda Theories<br />Freudianism – Sigmond Freud<br />Propaganda would be most effective if it could directly appeal to the Id and overwhelm the ego.<br />If the Superego could be influenced to move the self in the direction of the Id, people’s darker impulses would become normal.<br />
  15. 15. The Magic Bullet Theory<br /><ul><li>A simplistic propaganda theory formed in the 1920s, combining Behaviourism and Freudianism.
  16. 16. Media stimuli were assumed to operate like magic bullets that penetrated people’s minds and instantly created associations between strong emotions and specific concepts.
  17. 17. The theory views people as powerless to consciously resist manipulation; as ones who could be conditioned in whatever way a master propagandist wanted.</li></li></ul><li>“The magic bullets of propaganda can penetrate the people’s defences and transform their thoughts and actions despite their social status and educational backgrounds.”<br />According to this theory, the mind is a mere façade, incapable of resisting powerful messages. The messages penetrate to people’s subconscious minds and transform how they think and feel.<br />The Magic Bullet Theory<br />
  18. 18. Orson Wells and Magic Bullet - 1938<br />
  19. 19. Other Propaganda Theories<br />Harold Lasswell’sPropaganda Theory<br />Argued that the economic depression and escalating political conflict had induced widespread psychosis and this made people susceptible to even crude forms of propaganda.<br />Master Symbols and Scientific Technocracy<br />Walter Lippmann’s Theory of Public Opinion Formation<br />The average citizen – a deaf spectator sitting in the back row without knowing what is happening, why it is happening and what ought to happen.<br />
  20. 20. Plato and the Bullet<br />In Plato's The Phaedra, Theuth, the Egyptian god of invention, explains the features of his new technology - the written word:<br /> "This invention, O King," said Theuth, "will make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories; for it is an elixir of wisdom and memory that I have discovered."<br />Thamos, the Pharaoh, responds:<br /> "Most ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another; and now you who are the father of letters may have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess. For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory."<br />
  21. 21. The Impact<br />The magic bullet theory assumes that the gun fires itself. It also assumes that audiences are targets who invariably succumb to the powerful impact of steel-jacketed projectiles. <br />Unfortunately for believers, audiences often act more like wily opponents than like sitting ducks.<br />
  22. 22. References<br /><br /><br />Baran, J. S & Davis, D. K. (2006). Mass Communication Theory – Foundations, Ferment and Future, Creative Learning India Private Limited: New Delhi<br />
  23. 23. Thank You<br />