Ten Commandments of Propaganda

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By Brian Anse Patrick 

There is no escape from propaganda. Propagandists shape the informational sociology of our time. The Ten Commandments of Propaganda serves two purposes: offense and defense. It dispels mistaken, trivializing ideas about what propaganda is, and it is also a comprehensive guide to using and understanding propaganda effectively. The term propaganda holds a negative connotation in many people's minds due to its historical associations with totalitarianism and ideological crusades, but in fact the same methods and techniques of propaganda are employed by all types of political systems, social movements, and commercial or non-profit enterprises. In essence, propaganda is the scientific art of interpreting someone else's reality for them in order to benefit the propagandist. Propaganda is junk food for the mind. Like purveyors of junk food, propagandists thrive upon your lack of time and energy, and your need for instant gratification. They are more than willing to do your thinking for you. In equal parts theoretical discourse and practical guidebook, whether the reader desires to be an informed user, consumer or critic of propaganda, this work provides much-needed lessons about one of the most subtle, but vital, forces of our information-saturated age. The Ten Commandments, although easy to understand, have profound ramifications.

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Additional Info

BRIAN ANSE PATRICK is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Toledo. In addition to holding a Ph.D. in Communication Research from the University of Michigan, he is the author of Rise of the Anti-Media: In-Forming America's Concealed Weapon Carry Movement and The National Rifle Association and the Media: The Motivating Force of Negative Coverage. Prof. Patrick is nationally recognized as an expert on American gun culture and on the history and technique of propaganda.

Table of Contents

1. Control the Flow of Information
2. Reflect the Values and Beliefs of the Audience
3. Disambiguate
4. Use Group Pressure to Horizontally Shape Beliefs and Behavior
5. Cognitively Penetrate and Stick
6. Distance the Propaganda from its Source
7. Accommodate Informational Needs and Habits
8. Address Psychological, Spiritual & Social Needs
9. Personalize and Dehumanize as Appropriate
10. Dispense Truth, Facts, Logic and Science
11. Demonstrate Good Ethics (and Don’t Get Caught)

Appendix One: Definitions of Propaganda
Appendix Two: Horrors of the War
Appendix Three: The Tone of World War One’s Anti-German Propaganda
Appendix Four: Hitler the Uni-Baller and Other Propaganda Successes