Britannica describes propaganda as follows;
Propaganda is the more or less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of symbols (words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, hairstyles, designs on coins and postage stamps, and so forth). Deliberateness and a relatively heavy emphasis on manipulation distinguish propaganda from casual conversation or the free and easy exchange of ideas.Click here for more details
The systematic effort to control ideas sounds very similar to the current day world. The clampdown in the media of opposing viewpoints including but not limited to; David Icke’s ban from Youtube, the possible ban of Anti-vaxxers from going to work, calling rioters, protesters, and supposed ”transphobic” tweets being probed by the local police force.
In a free society we should be able to have open discussions about anything without authorities such as ; facebook, twitter or even governments banning you. This is breaking one of our human rights: freedom of expression under Article 10 of the Human Rights Act.
Article 10 protects your right to hold your own opinion and to express them freely without government interference.
This includes to express your views aloud (for example through public protest and demonstrations) or through:
-published articles, books or leaflets
-television or radio broadcasting
-the internet and social mediaClick here for more details
Of course there’s restrictions to freedom of speech such as; threatening language and bullying.
Despite these established laws on a day to day basis we are bombarded by the establishment with information in the form of advertisements, news stories with a bias twist, catchphrases and demonisation of members of the public. All these examples are forms of propaganda however in our modern society many people believe its something that doesn’t occur anymore.
This is false.
Propaganda has either become more subtle or people are now unaware of its presence, as the establishment understand how to better control the masses.
Repetition is a brilliant method at ensuring the population will eventually submit to the governments whims of wearing a tiny face-mask, to protect yourself against a supposed deadly virus. A virus that kills less than 1% of people who are infected.
This clip was played during advertisement breaks reinforcing the idea you must stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. This message puts the guilt on the individual that if you go outside, you are contributing to the less than 1% proportion of the population who are dying from Covid-19. Or dying within 28 days of a positive test.
Another clip below gets repeated on London buses constantly.
Scapegoating is a method at ensuring the population submits. This method generally targets portions of the population such as Anti-Vaxxers, conspiracy ”theorists” or whistle blowers. Emotional language tends to be used instead of raw facts or even debating with these groups head on. Phrases such as ”they’re selfish”, ”they’re not listening to the professionals”, ”it’s wrong, they’re nutjobs” and so on tend to be used. Instead the establishment should acknowledge why people are opposed to vaccinations, why people whistle blow and why so called conspiracy theorists exist. Away from these situations another form of scapegoating is assuming rap music fuels violence in certain communities and not the societal inequalities. Though I personally believe music can influence you, I also believe music is created as a response to their experience of society and already existing mind-sets.
Minimisation is probably the most effective one as anyone can reduce the seriousness of a topic especially individuals that may be considered authority figures such as; the cdc, science correspondents, politicians and doctors. One high profile case of minimisation is the reporting of Grenfell tower fire which was corporate murder. Minimising this situation for the benefit of the corporations and the local authority, Kensington & Chelsea.
In summary propaganda is here with us, and we all must be vigilant not to just protect ourselves against viruses but also against individuals who have a power to influence us. As a species we owe it to ourselves to ensure the information we receive isn’t distorted, because our naivety can lead us down a slippery slope…