Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World

Celebrating the Love of Friends in a Loving World
Red Roses for You, My Sweet Friends ... Total Love.

My Sweet Friends

My sweet friends,

We grow closer to each other;

When we interact together and share ideas;

The common faith that we share,

Binds our hearts in one accord.

For sweet friendships last a life time,

When built on mutual respect, humility and understanding;

Throughout each different season,

We find we are one in life.

Sweet friends are there through times of grief;

And times when hope is gone;

Always there with encouragement;

So we can carry on.

I thank the Lord for you,

My true and faithful friends;

To fondly speak with you, whether we agree or not,

On this, our beloved blog;

For sweet friends will stay, no matter what;

Giving support.

Together, our hearts and minds truly unite;

With the amazing love of sweet friends.

In the spirit of true friendship,

Best wishes, my sweet friends;

May the Lord bless you abundantly.

I remain, yours truly,

B.B. Bakampa.

Search This Blog

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Translate

Google+ Badge

Google+ Followers

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Politics And State Management: The Role Of Propaganda

BY DENNIS KAMAU WANYEE
THE FREE PROLETARIAT.


UNGA UNGA!!! STOMACH TOUCHING SPINE!!! No one heeded to our cry. Perhaps they were too busy indulging in dirty politics and this drove the proletariat to the habit of having a cigarette for breakfast, pride for lunch and sleep for dinner.

IN WATCHING the course of political events I am always struck by the active part which propaganda plays in them. I see that it is an instrument, which the politicians know how to handle in a masterly way and how to put it to practical uses. Thus I have soon come to realize that the right use of propaganda is an art in itself and that this art is practically unknown to our proletariat. This urged me to consider the problem of propaganda in a comprehensive way. I have had ample opportunity to learn a practical lesson in this matter; for unfortunately it is only too well taught to us by the enemy. The lack on our side is exploited by the enemy in such an efficient manner that one could say it shows itself as a real work of genius. In that propaganda carried on by the enemy I find admirable sources of instruction. The lesson to be learned from this has unfortunately no attraction for the geniuses on our own side. They are simply above all such things, too clever to accept any teaching. Anyhow they do not honestly wish to learn anything.

Our people do not seem to be clear even about the primary question itself: Whether propaganda is a means or an end?

Propaganda is a means and must, therefore, be judged in relation to the end it is intended to serve. It must be organized in such a way as to be capable of attaining its objective. And, as it is quite clear that the importance of the objective may vary from the Standpoint of general necessity, the essential internal character of the propaganda must vary accordingly.

The political arena is similar to a battle front.

Politicians have mastered and seem to conduct their affairs in line with Niccolo Machiavelli’s notion “for if everything is considered carefully, it will be found that something which looks like virtue, if followed, would be his ruin; whilst something else, which looks like vice, yet followed brings him security and prosperity”. Politics can be compared to war my fellow proletariat! When politicians are fighting for their existence on this earth, when the question of 'to be or not to be' has to be answered, then all humane and aesthetic considerations must be set aside; for these ideals do not exist of themselves somewhere in the air but are the product of man's creative imagination and disappear when he disappears. Nature knows nothing of them. Moreover, they are characteristic of only a small number of nations, or rather of races, and their value depends on the measure in which they spring from the racial feeling of the latter. Humane and aesthetic ideals will disappear from the inhabited earth when those races disappear which are the creators and standard-bearers of them. Perhaps what drove U.S. politician and reformer, Hiram W. Johnson to say, “The first casualty when war comes is truth”. All such ideals are only of secondary importance when a politician is struggling for his existence. They must be prevented from entering into the struggle the moment they threaten to weaken the stamina of the politician that is waging war. That is always the only visible effect whereby their place in the struggle is to be judged. In regard to the part played by humane feeling, Moltke stated that in time of war the essential thing is to get a decision as quickly as possible and that the most ruthless methods of fighting are at the same time the most humane. When people attempt to answer this reasoning by highfalutin talk about aesthetics, etc., only one answer can be given. It is that the vital questions involved in the struggle of a politician for his existence must not be subordinated to any aesthetic considerations. Since these ideas of what is beautiful and humane have no place in warfare, they are not to be used as standards of war propaganda. Propaganda is a means to an end. Those in what are called positions of authority have long realized this and employ propaganda as a weapon; for it is nothing but a weapon, and indeed a most terrifying weapon in the hands of those who know how to use it.

The role of the press in propaganda propagation.

At this point I consider it of at most relevance to highlight the role the press plays as used by politicians in spreading and propagating propaganda.

In journalistic circles it is a pleasing custom to speak of the Press as a 'Great Power' within the State. As a matter of fact its importance is immense. One cannot easily overestimate it, for the Press continues the work of education even in adult life. Generally, readers of the Press can be classified into three groups:
First, those who believe everything they read;
Second, those who no longer believe anything;
Third, those who critically examine what they read and form their judgments accordingly.

Numerically, the first group is by far the strongest, being composed of the broad masses of the people. Intellectually, it forms the simplest portion of the nation. It cannot be classified according to occupation but only into grades of intelligence. Under this category come all those who have not been born to think for themselves or who have not learnt to do so and who, partly through incompetence and partly through ignorance, believe everything that is set before them in print. To these we must add that type of lazy individual who, although capable of thinking for himself out of sheer laziness gratefully absorbs everything that others had thought over, modestly believing this to have been thoroughly done. The influence which the Press has on all these people is therefore enormous; for after all they constitute the broad masses of a nation. But, somehow they are not in a position or are not willing personally to sift what is being served up to them; so that their whole attitude towards daily problems is almost solely the result of extraneous influence. All this can be advantageous where public enlightenment is of a serious and truthful character, but great harm is done when scoundrels and liars take a hand at this work.

The second group is numerically smaller, being partly composed of those who were formerly in the first group and after a series of bitter disappointments are now prepared to believe nothing of what they see in print. They hate all newspapers. Either they do not read them at all or they become exceptionally annoyed at their contents, which they hold to be nothing but a congeries of lies and misstatements. These people are difficult to handle; for they will always be skeptical of the truth. Consequently, they are useless for any form of positive work or shall I say negative work.

The third group is easily the smallest, being composed of real intellectuals whom natural aptitude and education have taught to think for themselves and who in all things try to form their own judgments, while at the same time carefully sifting what they read. They will not read any newspaper without using their own intelligence to collaborate with that of the writer and naturally this does not set writers an easy task. Journalists appreciate this type of reader only with a certain amount of reservation.

Hence the trash that newspapers are capable of serving up is of little danger--much less of importance--to the members of the third group of readers. In the majority of cases these readers have learnt to regard every journalist as fundamentally a rogue who sometimes speaks the truth. Most unfortunately, the value of these readers lies in their intelligence and not in their numerical strength, an unhappy state of affairs in a period where wisdom counts for nothing and majorities for everything. Nowadays when the voting papers of the masses are the deciding factor; the decision lies in the hands of the numerically strongest group; that is to say the first group, the crowd of simpletons and the credulous.

It is an all-important interest of the State and a national duty to prevent these people from falling into the hands of false, ignorant or even evil-minded teachers. Therefore it is the duty of the State to supervise their education and prevent every form of offence in this respect. Particular attention should be paid to the Press; for its influence on these people is by far the strongest and most penetrating of all; since its effect is not transitory but continual. Its immense significance lies in the uniform and persistent repetition of its teaching. Here, if anywhere, the State should never forget that all means should converge towards the same end. It must not be led astray by the will-o'-the-wisp of so-called 'freedom of the Press', or be talked into neglecting its duty, and withholding from the nation that which is good and which does good. With ruthless determination the State must keep control of this instrument of popular education and place it at the service of the State and the Nation.

What then happens when the state its self is composed of selfish politicians who use this knowledge and take advantage of the press to propagate propaganda at the expense of the proletariat?

The second question of decisive importance is this: To whom should propaganda be made to appeal? To the educated intellectual classes? Or to the less intellectual?

Niccolo Machiavelli put it forward, “But it is necessary to know well how to disguise this characteristic, and to be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived. One recent example I cannot pass over in silence. Alexander the Sixth did nothing else but deceive men, nor ever thought of doing otherwise, and he always found victims; for there never was a man who had greater power in asserting, or who with greater oaths would affirm a thing, yet would observe it less; nevertheless his deceits always succeeded according to his wishes, because he well understood this side of mankind”.

In political affairs I consider it important that the proletariat take notice of the Italian proverb, Alexander never did what he said, Cesare never said what he did.

Propaganda must always address itself to the broad masses of the people. For the intellectual classes, or what are called the intellectual classes’ to-day, propaganda is not suited, but only scientific exposition. Propaganda has as little to do with science as an advertisement poster has to do with art, as far as concerns the form in which it presents its message. The art of the advertisement poster consists in the ability of the designer to attract the attention of the crowd through the form and colors he chooses. The advertisement poster announcing an exhibition of art has no other aim than to convince the public of the importance of the exhibition. The better it does that; the better is the art of the poster as such. Being meant accordingly to impress upon the public the meaning of the exposition, the poster can never take the place of the artistic objects displayed in the exposition hall. They are something entirely different. Therefore, those who wish to study the artistic display must study something that is quite different from the poster; indeed for that purpose a mere wandering through the exhibition galleries is of no use. The student of art must carefully and thoroughly study each exhibit in order slowly to form a judicious opinion about it.

The situation is the same in regard to what we understand by the word, propaganda. The purpose of propaganda is not the personal instruction of the individual, but rather to attract public attention to certain things, the importance of which can be brought home to the masses only by this means.

Here the art of propaganda consists in putting a matter so clearly and forcibly before the minds of the people as to create a general conviction regarding the reality of a certain fact, the necessity of certain things and the just character of something that is essential. But as this art is not an end in itself and because its purpose must be exactly that of the advertisement poster, to attract the attention of the masses and not by any means to dispense individual instructions to those who already have an educated opinion on things or who wish to form such an opinion on grounds of objective study--because that is not the purpose of propaganda, it must appeal to the feelings of the public rather than to their reasoning powers.

All propaganda must be presented in a popular form and must fix its intellectual level so as not to be above the heads of the least intellectual of those to whom it is directed. Thus its purely intellectual level will have to be that of the lowest mental common denominator among the public it is desired to reach. When there is question of bringing a whole nation within the circle of its influence, then too much attention cannot be paid to the necessity of avoiding a high level, which presupposes a relatively high degree of intelligence among the public.

The more modest the scientific tenor of this propaganda and the more it is addressed exclusively to public sentiment, the more decisive will be its success. This is the best test of the value of a propaganda, and not the approbation of a small group of intellectuals or artistic people.

Law 32 of the 48 laws of power-play to people’s fantasies. Says, Life is so harsh and distressing that people who can manufacture romance or conjure up fantasy are like oases in the desert: Everyone flocks to them. There is great power in tapping into the fantasies of the masses.

The art of propaganda consists precisely in being able to awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses. That this is not understood by those among us whose wits are supposed to have been sharpened to the highest pitch is only another proof of their vanity or mental inertia.

Once we have understood how necessary it is to concentrate the persuasive forces of propaganda on the broad masses of the people, the following lessons result there from:
That it is a mistake to organize the direct propaganda as if it were a manifold system of scientific instruction.

The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. If this principle be forgotten and if an attempt be made to be abstract and general, the propaganda will turn out ineffective; for the public will not be able to digest or retain what is offered to them in this way. Therefore, the greater the scope of the message that has to be presented, the more necessary it is for the propaganda to discover that plan of action which is psychologically the most efficient.

What, for example, should we say of a poster which purported to advertise some new brand of soap by insisting on the excellent qualities of the competitive brands? We should naturally shake our heads. And it ought to be just the same in a similar kind of political advertisement.

The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favorable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favorable to its own side.

Law 32 of the 48 laws of power-play to people’s fantasies. Says, the truth is often avoided because it is ugly and unpleasant. Never appeal to truth and reality unless you are prepared for the anger that comes for disenchantment.

And what is the consequence of these half-measures? The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another

The great majority of a nation is so feminine in its character and outlook that its thought and conduct are ruled by sentiment rather than by sober reasoning. This sentiment, however, is not complex, but simple and consistent. It is not highly differentiated, but has only the negative and positive notions of love and hatred, right and wrong, truth and falsehood. Its notions are never partly this and partly that. Mr. Politician especially understands this in a marvelous way and put what he understands into practice. He allows no half-measures which might give rise to some doubt.

No matter what an amount of talent employed in the organization of propaganda, it will have no result if due account is not taken of these fundamental principles. Propaganda must be limited to a few simple themes and these must be represented again and again. Here, as in innumerable other cases, perseverance is the first and most important condition of success.

Particularly in the field of propaganda, placid aesthetes and blasé intellectuals should never be allowed to take the lead. The former would readily transform the impressive character of real propaganda into something suitable only for literary tea parties. As to the second class of people, Mr. Politician is always aware of this pest; for, in consequence of their insensibility to normal impressions, they are constantly seeking new excitements.

Such people grow sick and tired of everything. They always long for change and will always be incapable of putting themselves in the position of picturing the wants of their less callous fellow-creatures in their immediate neighborhood, let alone trying to understand them. The blasé intellectuals are always the first to criticize propaganda, or rather its message, because this appears to them to be outmoded and trivial. They are always looking for something new, always yearning for change; and thus they become the mortal enemies of every effort that may be made to influence the masses in an effective way. The moment the organization and message of a propagandist movement begins to be orientated according to their tastes it becomes incoherent and scattered.

It is not the purpose of propaganda to create a series of alterations in sentiment with a view to pleasing these blasé gentry. Its chief function is to convince the masses, whose slowness of understanding needs to be given time in order that they may absorb information; and only constant repetition will finally succeed in imprinting an idea on the memory of the crowd.

Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula. In this way alone can propaganda be consistent and dynamic in its effects.

Law 33 of the 48 laws of power-discover each man’s thumbscrew. Says, everyone has a weakness, a gap in the castle wall. That weakness is usually an insecurity, an uncontrollable emotion or need; it can also be a small secret pleasure. Either way, once found, it is a thumbscrew you can turn to your advantage. For sure Mr. Politician has found the proletariat’s thumbscrew.

Only by following these general lines and sticking to them steadfastly, with uniform and concise emphasis, can final success be reached. Then Mr. Politician will be rewarded by the surprising and almost incredible results that such a persistent policy secures. At first all of it appeared to be idiotic in its impudent assertiveness. Later on it was looked upon as disturbing, but finally it is believed.

Mr. Politician came to understand something further: namely, that the possibility of success in the use of this spiritual weapon consists in the mass employment of it, and that when employed in this way it brings full returns for the large expenses incurred. Propaganda is regarded as a weapon of the first order in the game of politics.

Law 3 of the 48 laws of power-conceal your intentions. Says, keep people off-balance and in the dark by never revealing the purpose behind your actions. If they have no clue what you are up to, they cannot prepare a defense. Guide them far enough down the wrong path, envelope them in enough smoke, and by the time they realize your intentions, it will be too late. The long and short of it is that propaganda is meant to deceive. Yes Mr. Politician deceives.

Taken all in all, its results are negative.