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Fri Apr 1, 2022, 07:20 PM

The Power of Propaganda

Americans have had a taste of propaganda’s strong lure, seen the devastating effects on our body politic and discourse. Many of us have experienced family members being drawn into the circles of disinformation where no manner of reasoning or logic can make a dent. Too frequently, anger and frustration are the only winners in these endless debates.

So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a rift in Russian families has been reported over the recent war/special military operation in Ukraine. Think Fox News on steroids, a constant barrage of disinformation from . . . everywhere over the course of a lifetime.

The Daily Beast has an article up today on the subject (sorry it’s behind a paywall). I found it interesting because it sounds so familiar—these splits between family members, parents disavowing their kids for uncomfortable ideas or speaking out against Putin on social media. Here’s a two-paragraph sample:

Even the most loving and tight knit Russian families are having painful fights over the war in Ukraine. Anna Zekria, a 42-year-old photo curator, told The Daily Beast she has always had healthy discussions with her 74-year-old father about political issues in Russia in the past.

But this time around, things were drastically different. “My father has always respected my political views, I am not even sure what happened. It was a sudden change,” Zekriya told The Daily Beast on Thursday. “My father is trying to convince me and my brother that geopolitics are more complicated than we know, that ‘Putin had no choice but to invade Ukraine,’ that ‘Nazis run Ukraine.’”

There’s another story about a young biracial man, now living in France, whose Russian mother raised him as a single mother and ‘always had his back.’ This is an educated woman, a linguist. No matter. She idolizes Putin, was mad as hell when the son refused to vote for the man in the last election. They managed to patch over that dispute. But now, the son’s distaste for a senseless war has irrevocably broken the relationship.

“You are no longer my son,” the mother said.

The power of propaganda can destroy families and friendships. Americans have yet to find an antidote for our own tidal wave of Qanon fantasies, white nationalist fervor, Trumpism, religious intolerance, racial bigotry, etc. Bothsiderism, whataboutism are off-shoots in the propaganda wars, techniques used by our own media, presumably for ‘balance.’

If everyone does it then it’s no biggie, right?

Using the Russian example where reportedly 83% of the population support Putin during this unprovoked invasion,

https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2022-03-31/putins-support-strong-in-russia-amid-ukraine-war-poll

it behooves Americans supporting democratic institutions to find/use effective anti-propaganda tools before the endless lies win on our own soil.

Yes, right here in the good ole USA.

A good portion of America fell for the propagandized debacles in the Mideast, blood and treasure spilled in all the wrong places. The tentacles of that propaganda machine, now fine-tuned, have spread throughout the American ether. Putin may be the master of propaganda, but those who would reshape America in their own image or that of their favorite autocrat are catching up.

The Ukrainian war has offered a stark example of how powerful the tools of propaganda truly are. Zelenskyy has certainly won the world-wide information war zeroing in on Putin’s misinformation, rallying his own citizens to the cause of independence and democratic rule. The man has inspired millions around the globe with his transparency, courage and resilience.

But Putin has also won a propaganda war with most Russian citizens by closing off criticism and dissent, jailing protestors and disappearing any and all dissenters/activists using the hard fist of fear, intimidation. Projection, deception, deflection, gross hyperbole and/or gas-lighting have been used to great effect. The most recent gaslighting I’ve read? Ukraine is now ‘Biden’s War.’

Is there any better example of which country you’d rather live in? Is there any better contrast between a striving (though struggling) free society and a dystopian-like nightmare of a country?

I know what my answers are.

Oh, and btw? We have elections coming up.



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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Power of Propaganda (Original post)
peggysue2 Apr 2022 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Apr 2022 #1
peggysue2 Apr 2022 #3
ymetca Apr 2022 #2
peggysue2 Apr 2022 #4
Crunchy Frog Apr 2022 #5
MustLoveBeagles Apr 2022 #6
maxsolomon Apr 2022 #7
niyad Apr 2022 #8
kentuck Apr 2022 #9

Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 08:15 PM

1. A big fat K&R! n/t

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 09:18 PM

3. Thank you, Peggy

From another Peggy.

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 08:29 PM

2. The truth will set you free

only nobody really knows what it is.

Science tries to refine the search, but The Answer (is there one?) is ultimately a mystery. All "truth" is temporary, tentative, until better evidence is elucidated.

Such ambiguity makes for difficulties organizing any sort of modern complex society, since our social constructs are always flawed, always marginalizing some, while unfairly elevating others.

It's worse than state (or corporate) sponsored propaganda at this juncture. We have the whole world to consider now, and every living thing. All our cultural barriers are starting to wither, to break down, through global social media, and no one single person can possibly determine what are our best next efforts for our survival. We have to come to a larger, more encompassing consensus on a myriad of issues affecting us all.

Which makes the democratic process all the more essential. Indeed, we need a New World Order of some sort. But the only way it works is if everyone on this planet has an equal vote in the process. It can be done. Else, the naysayers will destroy us all in their greed and corruption, and their mad lust for power.

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Response to ymetca (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 09:25 PM

4. Don't disagree with any of this, ymetca

President Biden refers to the current situation as an 'inflection point.' Not limited to the Ukraine debacle but encompassing the entire world. The issues are huge and our very humanity is at stake.

And yes, it makes the democratic process all the more important. For all of us.

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 09:51 PM

5. This is a good video dealing with one such family rupture.

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 09:55 PM

6. K&R

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2022, 10:00 PM

7. Its heartbreaking; older people are so susceptible to repetitive lies.

I don't say that lightly, because we see that phenomena here as well. I've seen it in my own family. Yes, it's not JUST old people, but look at Trump voter demographics.

And there is no counter. It is resistant to pleading, resistant to facts.

Russia is making its own nightmares come true.

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2022, 01:14 AM

8. KNR and bookmarking. Thank you for this excellent information.

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2022, 08:43 AM

9. I am not sure that Putin did not engineer the propaganda that divided this country...

...thru his puppet, Trump.

Many people think so.

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