Lecture 3 & 4

Lecture 3 & 4 - The eternal conict between...

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The eternal confict between credulity and skepticism “Reason and arguments are incapable of combating certain words and formulas. They are uttered with solemnity in the presence of groups, and as soon as they have been pronounced an expression of respect is visible on every countenance, all heads are bowed.” Gustave LeBon “All men possess beliefs; very few are able to elevate themselves to knowledge.” LeBon, Opinions & Beliefs 1979:161
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Skepticism The intellectual self: rational logic Knowledge: “a conscious intuition ediFed exclusively by rational methods, such as experience and observation.” 1979:160 “Knowledge constitutes an essential element in civilization, being the great factor in its material progress.” 1979:162
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Credulity The affective self: affective logic and mystical logic Belief: “an unconscious intuition thar certain causes engender independently of our will.” 1979:161 “”Belief orients thoughts and opinion and, as a result, conduct.” 1979:160
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Propaganda as necessary for the public good 1. Recognition that humans are both rational and emotional creatures and that it is easier to ensure conforming behavior by appealing to emotions rather than reason. 2. Effort to create a psychological climate of desire, in contrast to the needs based culture. 3. Recognition that the methods employed to engineer/manufacture the responses of the masses in war were transferrable to control of the masses in peacetime. 3. Successes of public relations in commercial advertising encourage its use in other domains such as politics and religion. 4. Hypothesis that the only way to preserve democracy or any other socio- political system is for experts (employing reason, knowledge and craft) to create a culture in which masses of individuals respond appropriately within established guidelines, while believing they are operating according to their own will and desires.
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Pictures on the wall, pictures in our heads “Despite its rejection of Byzantium, the West was creating an imaged-ruled empire of its own, a shimmering electriFed web of pictures, unarticulated meaning, and passionate associations forged between unrelated ideas. This was how to do it: either starve the masses of meaning or expose them to so much that the sum of it would be unintelligible. Wireless cinema loomed. A man’s psyche would be continually massaged, pummeled, and manipulated so that he would be unable to complete a thought without making reference to some image manufactured for his persuasion. Exahusted, his mind would hunger for thoughtlessness. Political power and commercial gain would follow.” Kalfus, The Commissariat of Enlightenment p.262.
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The Commissariat of Enlightenment “Speech was too specifc. It individualized the actors, making them more human, when what was needed was to idealize them, to emphasize their mythic qualities: worker, peasant, soldier, plutocrat, soldier; Father, mother, child.” p.260
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Enlightenment “He now preferred that individual
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This note was uploaded on 02/23/2010 for the course LIGN 176 taught by Professor Ackerman during the Fall '09 term at UCSD.

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Lecture 3 & 4 - The eternal conict between...

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