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View Diary: Propaganda: What it is and what it isn't. (79 comments)

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  •  Okay but as I've said (1+ / 0-)
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    if you're going to treat propaganda as synonymous with lying, you have to treat it as subject to the same proofs as an accusation of lying.

    Labeling an opposing view as propaganda without such proof and then arguing that it ought to be dismissed or ignored as such is dishonest and demagogic. It is itself an attempt shut down discussion and limit debate.

    So our choices are either to fight the linguistic battle or to insist that people using the word in this fashion treat it as an accusation of lying.

    Or I suppose we could just close our eyes to what's going on in the name of serving some "greater good."    

    Nothing human is alien to me.

    by WB Reeves on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 12:09:10 PM PDT

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    •  But it's not synonymous with lying (1+ / 0-)
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      WB Reeves

      It's more subtle than just lying. It's presenting information in a misleading manner. That's why people don't just say that it's lies. The use of the "hundreds of dead children" meme is an example of propaganda. It's certainly true, so propaganda isn't just lies. The constant repetition of Saddam's name while talking about 9/11 while not explicitly linking the two is another example of propaganda that isn't lying.

      •  Okay (1+ / 0-)
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        but that's the equivalence that's being presented here. Sorry if I incorrectly assumed it was your view.

        But this gets to the core of the problem. If we aren't going to use a standard definition, if instead we appeal to some nebulous "common" usage, what is that usage?

        All that's been presented is that propaganda is synonymous with falsehood and half truth. If you reject that as well as the dictionary, what common understanding can we appeal to? A word that can mean anything means nothing in particular.

        Your examples of propaganda seem to comport with my central point; that Propaganda is simply any polemical argument, regardless of its truthfulness or lack there of. Consequently, labeling something as propaganda isn't, in itself, a viable refutation of an argument.

        What is it exactly that we are disagreeing about?  

        Nothing human is alien to me.

        by WB Reeves on Sun Sep 08, 2013 at 12:52:45 PM PDT

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