Propaganda 101 – Name Calling, Moral Labels, Pinpointing the Enemy, Social Disapproval, Virtue Words, Slogans, Authority Appeals and Testimonies

by toxic_banana
Name Calling or Substitutions of Names or Moral Labels:
This technique attempts to arouse prejudices in an audience by labeling the object of the propaganda campaign as something the target audience fears, hates, loathes, or finds undesirable.
Types of name calling:
Direct name calling is used when the audience is sympathetic or neutral. It is a simple, straightforward attack on an opponent or opposing idea.
Indirect name calling is used when direct name calling would antagonize the audience. It is a label for the degree of attack between direct name calling and insinuation. Sarcasm and ridicule are employed with this technique.
Cartoons, illustrations, and photographs are used in name calling, often with deadly effect.
Dangers inherent in name calling:
In its extreme form, name calling may indicate that the propagandist has lost his sense of proportion or is unable to conduct a positive campaign. Before using this technique, the propagandist must weigh the benefits against the possible harmful results. It is best to avoid use of this device. The obstacles are formidable, based primarily on the human tendency to close ranks against a stranger
Pinpointing the Enemy:
This is a form of simplification in which a complex situation is reduced to the point where the “enemy” is unequivocally identified. For example, the president of country X is forced to declare a state of emergency in order to protect the peaceful people of his country from the brutal, unprovoked aggression by the leaders of country.
Social Disapproval
This is a technique by which the propagandist marshals group acceptance and suggests that attitudes or actions contrary to the one outlined will result in social rejection, disapproval, or outright ostracism. The latter, ostracism, is a control practice widely used within peer groups and traditional societies.
Virtue Words
These are words in the value system of the target audience which tend to produce a positive image when attached to a person or issue. Peace, happiness, security, wise leadership, freedom, etc., are virtue words.
Slogans
A slogan is a brief striking phrase that may include labeling and stereotyping. If ideas can be sloganized, they should be, as good slogans are self-perpetuating.
Testimonials
Testimonials are quotations, in or out of context, especially cited to support or reject a given policy, action, program, or personality. The reputation or the role (expert, respected public figure, etc.) of the individual giving the statement is exploited. The testimonial places the official sanction of a respected person or authority on a propaganda message. This is done in an effort to cause the target audience to identify itself with the authority or to accept the authority’s opinions and beliefs as its own. Several types of testimonials are: Official Sanction. The testimonial authority must have given the endorsement or be clearly on record as having approved the attributed idea, concept, action, or belief.
Four factors are involved:
Accomplishment
People have confidence in an authority who has demonstrated outstanding ability and proficiency in his field. This accomplishment should be related to the subject of the testimonial.
Identification with the target
People have greater confidence in an authority with whom they have a common bond. For example, the soldier more readily trusts an officer with whom he has undergone similar arduous experiences than a civilian authority on military subjects.
Position of authority
The official position of authority may instill confidence in the testimony; i.e., head of state, division commander, etc.
Inanimate objects
Inanimate objects may be used in the testimonial device. In such cases, the propagandist seeks to transfer physical attributes of an inanimate object to the message. The Rock of Gibraltar, for example, is a type of inanimate object associated with steadfast strength.
Personal Sources of Testimonial Authority:
Enemy leaders
The enemy target audience will generally place great value on its high level military leaders as a source of information.
Fellow soldiers
Because of their common experiences, soldiers form a bond of comradeship. As a result, those in the armed forces are inclined to pay close attention to what other soldiers have to say.
Opposing leaders
Testimonials of leaders of the opposing nation are of particular value in messages that outline war aims and objectives for administering the enemy nation after it capitulates.
Famous scholars, writers, and other personalities
Frequently, statements of civilians known to the target as authoritative or famous scholars, writers, scientists, commentators, etc., can be effectively used in propaganda messages.
Nonpersonal Sources of Testimonial Authority
Institutions, ideologies, national flags, religious, and other nonpersonal sources are often used. The creeds, beliefs, principles, or dogmas of respected authorities or other public figures may make effective propaganda testimonials.
Psychological Operations Field Manual No.33-1 31 August 1979 | Department of the Army

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