23 September 2010

Letter from Lhasa, number 191. (Marlin 2002): Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion

Letter from Lhasa, number 191. (Marlin 2002): Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion

by Roberto Abraham Scaruffi

Marlin, R., Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion, Broadview Press, 2002.

(Marlin 2002).

Randal Marlin

“What Ellul writes about technique is fundamentally connected to his thoughts about propaganda:

Technique has become autonomous; it has fashioned an omnivorous world which obeys its own laws and which has renounced tradition. Technique no longer rests on tradition, but rather on previous technical procedures; and its evolution is too rapid, too upsetting, to integrate the older traditions.

“In other words, propaganda is itself a technique, resulting partly from the application of the social sciences, including psychology, to technology. It is a technique used to promote acceptance of other techniques.”

(Marlin 2002, p, 32)

Pre-propaganda predisposes people to be more receptive to propaganda. An example of pre-propaganda is myths. A myth creates an accepted frame inside which people may be more easily conditioned. Already rhetoric, as well as all forms of suggestion, was propaganda. Whatever accredits what one wants while discrediting what one would like to discredit is propaganda. One needs just to know the polychromatism of individuals’ and people mind or, eventually, even only techniques have already worked so should eventually work. Obviously, more everything seems or really is genuine, more it works. Also more everything seems natural and supernatural, more it works. Unquestionable and irresistible forces are more accepted than what appears or is ephemeral, uncertain, unsafe. Human beings are more idiotic and elementary than they prefer to believe, but never tell them that. Probably, also the propagandist needs to be or to play at this level without an excessive cleverness (cleverness is generally intertwined with doubts), or to be an excellent actor. Each job is for people showing the right level of universally wished mediocrity. Propaganda is not an exception. Improbably, geniuses could be good or excellent propagandists although even an excellence in mediocrity might be perhaps or probably considered a form of geniality. Give people what they want or convince them that they want what you give them.

The book discusses not only the propaganda’s techniques but also their morality. These about morality are vain discussions. According utilitarianism, for instance, is moral, in practice, whatever one claims be moral. The author presents lots of sophisms.

Actually, it is everything considerably easier. Truths are moral while lies are immoral. When one lies and pretends to convince people by lies it is because one is addressing, or thinks be addressing, louses not humans. If deception is largely successful, it is because louses are easily convinced by lies. Louses accept everything coming from power or from what is supposed by be power. Louses only need, eventually, sounding lies, although they accept whatever coming from who seem power. Satisfied pigs cannot simulate being dissatisfied humans. Pigs/louses are satisfied and cannot not to be satisfied from whatever lie. They are satisfied also without lies. It is sufficient to tell them what to think or also nothing. They are already convinced. Pigs/louses obey “orders”, whatever order.

Since governments/States progressively expand their criminal activities, they growingly classify information, alias they cover their crimes by what is called, in certain areas, “State’s secret”. The information provided from governments/States is censored information. Free press/media and a real society cannot really exist in such context. Only insane and criminal States/governments exist, and insane and criminal subjects obey them.

That Internet could improve such reality is a miserable lie. Internet gives the illusion of a backboard where to write. Theoretically everybody could read everything. In practice, nobody read anything, overall dissent voices.

Marlin, R., Propaganda and the Ethics of Persuasion, Broadview Press, 2002.