..Bullshit is a greater enemy of truth than lies are.
. ~ Harry G. Frankfurt ~ ..
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.
The basis of most deception
The great demigod is a master of bullshit
You don't know its bullshit and it's deceptive
This kind of bullshit will cost you
Because "bullshit" hides the truth
The basis of most inspiration
The great actor is a master of bull shit
You know its bull shit and it's revealing
This kind of bull shit you'll pay for
Because "bull shit" reveals the truth
Propaganda is a specific type of message presentation, aimed at serving an agenda. Even if the message conveys true information, it may be partisan and fail to paint a complete picture. Jowett and O'Donnell in their book “Propaganda and Persuasion” define propaganda as:
"The deliberate, systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behavior to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist."
In a narrower and more common use of the term, propaganda refers to deliberately false or misleading information that supports a political cause or the interests of those in power. The propagandist seeks to change the way people understand an issue or situation, for the purpose of changing their actions and expectations in ways that are desirable to the interest group. In this sense, propaganda serves as a corollary to censorship, in which the same purpose is achieved, not by filling people's heads with false information, but by preventing people from knowing true information. What sets propaganda apart from other forms of advocacy is the willingness of the propagandist to change people's understanding through deception and confusion, rather than persuasion and understanding. The leaders of an organization know the information to be one sided or untrue but this may not be true for the rank and file members who help to disseminate the propaganda.
Some of the most effective propaganda techniques work by misdirecting or distracting the public's finite attention away from important issues. It's important to read between the lines of the news and see what isn't being reported, or what is reported once, quietly, and not followed up. In an age of information overload, distraction techniques can as effective as active propaganda. One way to test for distraction is to look for items that appear repeatedly in foreign press (from neutral and hostile countries) and that don't appear in your own. But beware of deliberately placed lies that are repeated with the hope that people will believe it if it is repeated often enough.
All active propaganda techniques can be tested by asking if they tend the target audience to act in the best interests of the distributor of the propaganda. Propaganda presents one point of view as if it were the best or only way to look at a situation.
Sometimes propaganda can be detected by the fact that it changes before and after a critical event, whereas more honest information should largely remain the same after the event as before. If there are big disparities, or if some "valuable lesson" or "wake-up call" has occurred, it means that what was provided before the fact was not really "instruction" or "information", but... propaganda.
Techniques of Propaganda
Card Stacking: A way of manipulating audience perceptions by emphasizing one side of an argument which reinforces your position, while repressing dissenting opinions. Examples of this would be articles and media events which compare and contrast the best possible scenarios with the worse examples.
Symbolism: The act of creating a concept, thing, object, or idea that represents an abstraction or an instance of that abstraction, such as a flag or an Uncle Sam.