IHUM Spring - Final Project Writeup

IHUM Spring - Final Project Writeup - Rough Sketch of...

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Rough Sketch of Presentation Introduction A: The role of propaganda in public society is an ever changing one. Each government has its own priorities and goals in mind when such material is released and distributed to the public, and yet there remains a core set of propagandistic principles that reigns over all such works of persuasion. Our goal in completing this project is to examine the ways in which the use of propaganda has changed over the years. Obviously, we cannot detail all countries of the world, so we will focus on two of the most infamous and well-known propagandistic regimes: Nazi Germany and modern day North Korea. I: Striking connections can be drawn between the propaganda, both written and visual, released by these two governments. A philosophical progression permeates the written propaganda of the two countries. Simply stated: North Korean propaganda emerged after World War II and the fall of Nazi Germany. It was a direct reaction to the failure of Nazi propaganda in that it attempts to incorporate ideals of the public sphere into conveying its own dictatorial message, a message very similar to that of the Nazis. It uses dialogical reasoning in an attempt to persuade its audience, rather than the failed legislative fascist approach of the Nazis. Yet therein lies the irony: it uses ideas of the public sphere in order to support ideas of fascism. It uses a new strategy for the same terrible end. We will prove this point by examining the written works of the two countries. A: We will then move onto an investigation of the two countries’ cinematic propaganda films. Abundant similarities exist between these films: they are founded using the theme of the scapegoat, and they both rely on instrumental reason—as we will explain further. Throughout the presentation, we will draw connections between the two countries’ propaganda by citing the works of Habermas and Kluge…So, to begin, the ideological basis for both types of propaganda is found in the writings of the respective times. Both leaders, Hitler and Il Sung (and more recently, Jong Il), released multiple works that were meant to persuade their respective countries of what they deemed ‘the truth.’ Written Propaganda I: Let us first examine, Mein Kampf . In his chapter on propaganda, Hitler specifically states, “The function of propaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.” In this manner, Hitler unabashedly advocates that the government assume the role of an ‘unquestioned leader’ for the masses. He berates the capabilities of the individual, directly opposing any type of dialectical ideal, erring rather in favor of dictatorship. A: He reinforces this point, going on to say, “The function of propaganda is . . . not to
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course IHUM 53 taught by Professor Nightingale,white during the Winter '08 term at Stanford.

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IHUM Spring - Final Project Writeup - Rough Sketch of...

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