COMS 361 - Lesson 2.docx - Lesson 2 Propaganda History and...

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Lesson 2: Propaganda History and TheoryReading Summary: Randal Marlin – History of PropagandaThe Long History of PropagandaContemporary understanding of propaganda came into use around World War IEffort to mobilize beliefs and attitudes or ‘the battle for men’s mind’ goes back much furtherEarly HistoryAncient Greeks pioneered powerful techniques to influence public opinion-Victim hegemony practiced by the Greek tyrant Peisistratus-Technique describes oneself or one’s group as the victim of unjust behaviour to gain public support and power-ex: Peisistratus wounded himself and his mules to make it seem as though enemies had tried to injure himOne country will invent, or provoke an incident involving insult or violence to some of its citizens-Resulting wave of anger will be used to support a pre-planned war effort Propaganda of IntegrationPericles, another ancient statesman, practiced a model of oratorical persuasion-Honoured Athenians killed in battle while also strengthening the resolve of survivors to continue to fight-Propaganda of integration: provides the audience w a sense of belonging to a special group or nationEarly Christian EraSymbols were important in cementing the Church’s power as ancient deities were replaced by Christianity in Rome and its broadening empireSpreading this message was of foremost importanceImportant in helping to propagate the faith and its message The Middle Ages to the EnlightenmentAtrocity propaganda played an important part in fueling the wars of the Crusades -Vivid imagery used to depict gross acts of cruelty by the Turks to motivate Christians to fight them-Jacques Ellul suggests that when monarchial power was promoted by the Anglo-Norman princes, the main agents of propaganda were the Legists, the legal philosophers
-Objective: justify the new centralized monarchy through persuasive arguments w keen knowledge of the popular mentality -The use of slogans contributed to their success“The king is above the Law. All justice comes from the king. To govern is to make believe.” Ellul, ‘Histoire de la propagande’, 1967Colonial LegacyEdmund Spenser wrote propaganda that encouraged the colonization of Ireland by the English-Method of persuasion became a prototype for colonization-Stereotyped the Irish as:-ignorant ppl-living in dirty inferior surroundings-held in thrall by a superstitious religion-The propaganda operates by omitting the voice of the Irish ‘rebels’ and the one-sidedness of the claimsThe TermPropaganda:-Came into common usage in Europe in response to missionary activities of the Catholic Church -Connotes propagate (spread the faith)-Initially viewed as honourable, later associated w negative persuasionPope Urban VIII Set up a College of Propaganda to train priests for the missionsPope Gregory XV Created the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith (1622)Charged w spreading the faith and regulating church affairs Propaganda of Prestige Louis XIV (1638-1715)He was fond of bolstering his power-

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