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Propaganda Derives from Latin word for “propagate”

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Presentation on theme: "Propaganda Derives from Latin word for “propagate”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Propaganda Derives from Latin word for “propagate”
From the name of a missionary organization started by Pope Gregory XV in 1623, Congregatio de propaganda fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith) Common definition: (the spreading of) ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping an institution, cause, or person

2 “Appeals”: Methods Used
Glamor (2) Shame (1) Fear (4) Name-Calling (1) Glittering Generalities (1)

3 Glamor Appeal … poster 1 of 10
German WWII propaganda poster

4 Glamor Appeal … poster 2 of 10
American WWII propaganda poster

5 Shame Appeal … poster 3 of 10
American WWII propaganda poster

6 Fear Appeal … poster 4 of 10 American WWI propaganda poster

7 Fear Appeal: Demonization
Make the enemy inhuman and, therefore, easier to exclude (and easier for us to have no qualms about killing) Hide the enemy’s eyes; give “it” demonic features (claws, etc.) Less human suggests less moral “Evangelical references satanized the enemy, and imparted a sense of justice, even holiness, on the actions the Allies were taking against them. “Another method utilized Darwinian beliefs. The Allies were portrayed as evolutionarily superior, and the Germans in contrast, were cruel almost inhuman savages. WWI Posters like “Stop Him!” (#4): Source for quotations:

8 Undoing Demonization? “In creating deep-seated beliefs to garner support for the war, propagandists effectively made it more difficult to end the war. How does a nation transform itself from the great demon of the time to a friendly neighbor once again? The second World War started, in part, because of the peace that ended the first Great War. World War I propaganda might thus have contributed, though indirectly, to the start of World War II.” Source:

9 Fear Appeal … poster 5 of 10 British WWII propaganda poster

10 Fear Appeal … poster 6 of 10 Australian WWII propaganda poster

11 Fear Appeal … poster 7 of 10 American WWII propaganda poster
“These posters rock people out of their complacency with grim, unromantic visions of war. They depict the human cost of war, confronting the viewer with corpses, bloodshed, and gravestones….These images appeal to darker impulses, fostering feelings of suspicion, fear, and even hate.” Source: Nat’l Archives Exhibit on U.S. in WWII American WWII propaganda poster

12 Name-Calling Definition … p. 1 of 3
The name-calling technique links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol. The propagandist who uses this technique hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence. Methods: Bad Names (less subtle) Negative Emotional Charge (more subtle) Source:

13 Name-Calling Definition … p. 2 of 3
Bad Names: Commie Fascist Pig Yuppie Scum Queer Feminazi Source:

14 Name-Calling … poster 8 of 10
German WWII propaganda poster

15 Name-Calling Definition … p. 3 of 3
“A more subtle form of name-calling involves words or phrases that are selected because they possess a negative emotional charge. Those who oppose budget cuts may characterize fiscally conservative politicians as ‘stingy.’ Supporters might prefer to describe them as ‘thrifty.’ Both words refer to the same behavior, but they have very different connotations. Examples of negatively charged words include: social engineering radical stingy” Source:

16 Glittering Generalities … poster 9 of 10
Canadian WWII propaganda poster

17 Glittering Generalities … p. 1 of 2
“We believe in, fight for, live by virtue words about which we have deep-set ideas. Such words include civilization, Christianity, good, proper, right, democracy, patriotism, motherhood, fatherhood, science, medicine, health, and love. “…We call these virtue words "Glittering Generalities" in order to focus attention upon this dangerous characteristic that they have: They mean different things to different people; they can be used in different ways. “This is ... a criticism of the uses to which propagandists put the cherished words and beliefs of unsuspecting people.” Source: IPA website at

18 Glittering Generalities … p. 2 of 2
“The Glittering Generality is, in short, Name Calling in reverse. While Name Calling seeks to make us form a judgment to reject and condemn without examining the evidence, the Glittering Generality device seeks to make us approve and accept without examining the evidence. In acquainting ourselves with the Glittering Generality Device, therefore, all that has been said regarding Name Calling must be kept in mind…” See also: “Addendum to Propaganda” slide 5 Source: IPA website at

19 Follow-up: Alternate List of Methods Used
same co-opt use of an emotion-stirring symbol seem to align with a respected person that leader is just like you or me stack the deck: bias in giving evidence “everyone’s doing it” Alternate List: Name-Calling Glittering Generalities Transfer Testimonial Plain Folks Card-Stacking Band Wagon Source: The Institute For Propaganda Analysis, 1937

20 Transfer … poster 10 of 10 British WWII propaganda poster
“In the Transfer device, symbols are constantly used. The cross represents the Christian Church. The flag represents the nation. Cartoons like Uncle Sam represent a consensus of public opinion. Those symbols stir emotions . At their very sight, with the speed of light, is aroused the whole complex of feelings we have with respect to church or nation.” Source: IPA website at propaganda/transfer.htm British WWII propaganda poster See also: “Addendum to Propaganda” slide 6

21 All these “propaganda methods” rely on fallacious logic
Here is a particular type of syllogistic fallacy called “fallacy of the undistributed middle term.” Premise 1: Bill Clinton supported gun-control legislation. Premise 2: All fascist regimes of the twentieth century passed gun-control legislation. Conclusion: Bill Clinton was a fascist. Summary: propaganda relies on its recipient not thinking Source: IPA website at

22 Key question: Who thinks?

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