Archives For propaganda machine

For the second time in six months, Communist Chinese propaganda bullhorn, the Global Times, has published false accusations about Australia’s military involvement in Afghanistan.

The Maoist-state-affiliated organisation published a poster alongside a defamatory editorial, claiming Australian soldiers committed ‘sanctioned massacres’, were part of ‘cover-ups’, had ‘a kill list’, and photoshopped enemy activity to mask” ADF evils.

In the same month, the Marxist mouthpiece used selective comments from Australia’s Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo,  who the CCP rag accused of “sabre-rattling,” for warning against belligerency in his 2021, ANZAC Day speech,

“Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again, yet again, for the curse of war.” 

Pezzullo doesn’t mention China, but The Global Times (along with the Australian Labor Party) responded to his speech as an attack on Communist China’s position on Taiwan.

CCP propagandists then falsely used Pezzullo as an example of Australian politicians exhibiting a ‘high zeal for war.

The CCP’s manipulation of facts are its primary ingredient in their ramped-up belligerency against Australia.

There’s a clear, discernible pattern.

Take for instance, the bannable by Twitter standards, actions of Chinese Communist Party official, Zhao Lijian, who, in a Twitter post in November last year depicted photoshopped images of Australian soldiers beheading Afghan children. (The post inciting violence against Australians was reported, but Twitter neither blocked Lijian, or booted his account).

This follows The Global Times’ Beijing Bettys penning articles telling Australia to ditch the United States and embrace the CCP’s debt slave, ‘Belt and Road Initiative’, or else!

This includes the CCP’s incursion into Australian society, via money hungry Australian Universities, abuse of trade relations, and the bullying of Australian citizens, such as Australian swimmer Horton Mack.

Let’s not forget the unscheduled visit in June 2019 of three Chinese Warships who entered Sydney harbour unannounced, with sailors dressed in full combat gear.

This list doesn’t include cyber-attacks, the potential biological warfare origins of the Communist COVID virus, or the tariff war triggered by China’s Communist leaders, who view Australia as a puppet of the United States in need of some good ole’ Red Guard, gulag Marxist “liberatin’ lovin.”

Examine The Global Times’ latest song and dance routine.

Hu Xijin, the editor-in-chief of The Global Times, said Beijing should bomb Australia, if the Oceanic island continent decided to back a U.S lead defence of Tawain.

Affirming China’s ‘love for peace’, Xijin stated that ‘retaliatory punishment should include long-range strikes on the military facilities and relevant key facilities on Australian soil.’ 

Before reading Xijin’s military strategy, I said to my wife last week that I wouldn’t be surprised if the Communist Chinese Party did something like nuke a part of Australia in order to coerce submission through a show of force.

Although the CCP claim to adhere to a “no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy,” they’d appeal to Hiroshima and Nagasaki as examples; making out that our new “benevolent” and “glorious” Marxist rulers wanted to avoid bloodshed, or direct military confrontation.

America’s new Commander in Chief is weak. So is the jihadist leftist narcissistic party he serves.

Like the blind bats most of them in that category are, many on the Left would surrender and celebrate.

Biden would ramble out a few sentences through his mandatory mask, something like “that’s not nice, don’t do it again,” while the CCP laughs in his face, then maybe sinks a carrier battle group or two; as BLM, and PRIDE parades break out across America in celebration of the Communist destruction of the “racist and homophobic” West.

Think about it. There’s plenty of desert the CCP could use to scare the hell out of (paralysed by political correctness) fence sitting Aussies.

This kind of approach would also allow the CCP to encourage their Leftist sycophants in Australia to blame “warmongering right-wing extremists,” “racism” etc.; gaslighting Australians by saying: “you brought this on yourself; because of your “whiteness” warmongering. You only have yourselves to blame.”

Would it mean war? Not necessarily.

Australia would simply capitulate, ditching ANZUS, as quickly as Australia is ditched by the Pro-CCP Whitehouse Democrats. The surrender would be unconditional, with Australia’s leftist legacy media leading the charge – especially the ABC, and perhaps Eternity News – doing everything in their power to make that happen.

Led, as they would be, by former “glorious” leader Kim Il-Kevin07, or another power hungry wanna-be from the Left at the helm.

The U.N would applaud the smashing of “Sinophobia, the patriarchy, racism, and homophobia.”

Anyone who still stood in their way would be punished under puppet state rules established by the Communist Chinese Party.

I’ll stop there. You get the point.

If you think this is a stretch.

Precedence would beg to differ.

Founding member of the anti-Vietnam war movement in the United States, David Horowitz, now an ex-Marxist, stated in a 1985 piece marking the 10th anniversary of the fall of Saigon:

‘Let this be perfectly clear. Those of us who inspired and then led the antiwar movement did not want to just stop the killing, as so many [antiwar protesters from back then] now claim. We wanted the Communists to win.’

Horowitz adds, we operated from a double standard, holding America to account, while ignoring the crimes of those America was fighting against.

Some of us, says Horowitz, ‘like Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda, provided a protective propaganda shield for Hanoi’s Communist regime while it tortured American war-prisoners; others engaged in violent sabotage against the war effort.’ (“My Vietnam Lessons”)

He concludes, ‘my experience has convinced me that historical ignorance and moral blindness are endemic to the American [and Australian] left.’

Horowitz couldn’t have described the response from the Leftist elite in Australia to the increasing belligerence of the Communists in China, more accurately.

In April, Australian Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong aligned with the CCP in openly criticising Pezzullo’s ANZAC address.

Wong, according to the Sydney Morning Herald rebutted Pezzello by accusing him of not using ‘sober and cautious language.’

Labor responded in kind to Australia’s Defence Minister, Peter Dutton’s well publicised concerns for the Taiwanese people, and Australian sovereignty.

Fast forward to this week.

Australian Labor’s Shadow Trade Minister, Madeleine King, demanded LNP member George Christensen be ‘sacked.’

As Wong did with Pezzullo, King took Christensen’s’ words out of context, then accused him of being an ‘unhinged’ warmongerer, for pointing out Communist Chinese warmongering.

Christensen is right.

Contra to King, honest observers would acknowledge that it’s China, not Australia, who’s militarising the South China Sea, and its maritime navigation lanes.

Likewise, as much as the majority of Australians don’t like how it enslaves the Chinese people, Australia isn’t infiltrating Moa’s dystopian society by way of the wolf diplomacy, intimidation, or belligerency.

Australia isn’t invading Taiwanese airspace, or practising chest-beating invasion drills. Neither is Australia seeking militant global dominance.

More to the point, unlike China, Australia isn’t a nuclear power, with unelected bureaucrats encouraging its bureaucratic caste to bomb another country!

Despite the CCP’s claims to the contrary, – including criticisms from self-hating, clueless Leftists who have a distaste for ANZUS, The QUAD, Five-Eyes, and America’s close relationship with Australia – accusations from China’s Communist propaganda arm best fit the ‘sabre rattling’ of the Chinese Communist Party, not Australia.

With help from blind bats in the Australian Labor Party, Beijing Betty from the CCP’s cut and piece propaganda department is projecting.

No Australian wants a war with the Communist Chinese Party or its indoctrinated Marxist minions, but it’s treasonous to advocate we walk around ignorant of the drums of war.

Far better to draw a line in the sand, than bury our heads in it.

As I argued in May last year:

Appeasement of the Chinese Communist Party is treason.


First published on Caldron Pool, 12th May 2021.

©Rod Lampard, 2021.

The second impeachment trial of Donald J. Trump has ended in an acquittal.

The charge of ‘incitement of insurrection’ concerned the January 6th security breach in Washington D.C., when a mob participating in a MAGA rally broke from the majority, and forced their way into the Capitol building.

The mob, described as rioters by legacy media, carried out acts of vandalism, which culminated in the tragic deaths of two people.

9News reported that Ashli Babbitt, a female veteran was ‘fatally shot by police’ as she entered the building. In addition, The Guardian reported that Officer Brian Sicknick, died due to head injuries inflicted by Capitol Hill vandals, who are alleged to have struck Sicknick with a fire extinguisher.

Three other people died during the incident, in what 9News referred to in speech marks as “medical emergencies.”

According to The Guardian, 50-year-old Benjamin Phillips, a computer programmer and huge Trump fan, died of a stroke. 55-year-old Kevin Gleeson, died of an ‘apparent heart attack, related to a history of high blood pressure’; and Rossane Boyland, 34, who had a ‘criminal history, including possession and distribution of heroin,’ lost consciousness, due to what 9News alleged was the direct result of being ‘crushed by the crowd.’

The Democrat push to pin the security breach, and subsequent vandalism from both known, and alleged MAGA supporters, on Donald Trump, as “insurrection at the Capitol”, was supported by big government Democrats, big media, big tech and big business.

The Guardian were quick to label the tragic event a ‘planned insurrection,’ joining legacy media’s chorus of buzzwords such as “invasion,” “attack,” and “incitement.”

Joe Biden called it ‘an assault on the citadel of liberty’; and Nancy Pelosi (speaker of the house) – among others – laid the blame on the then sitting President Trump, calling for him to be removed from office.

Silicon Valley joined the assault, using the constructed narrative of “insurrection at the Capitol” as an excuse to boot Trump from their social media platforms; killing off a competitor through the equivalent of a permanent D.O.S (denial of service) attack on Parler; which was justified through the distorted claim that the fervent freedom of speech, social media service, was a hotbed for ‘right-wing extremism.’

The January 6th tragedy involving between 500-800 people was a nexus for Trump’s nemeses.

Four-year-long “hate Trump because love trumps hate” campaigners, got in before a clearer picture emerged, and the dust settled. They called for impeachment, capitalising on the momentum of public confusion and concern.

The following weeks saw Trump’s enemies salivate over the possibility of connecting Trump, and Conservatives to the deaths, security breach, and vandalism.

This involved a ‘new rhetorical framing,’ or ‘rhetorical inflation’:

‘[Where] Trump supporters used to be portrayed as nationalists, as extreme patriots whose desire to “make America great again” was too laudatory of the U.S.A.  Now they are being portrayed as insurrectionists and [anti-American jihadist] terrorists who are trying to destroy America.’ – (Gene Veith/Jonathan S. Tobin)

Far-left Democrats are being true to their “whatever it takes to win” promise. It’s a zero-sum game and they know it.

Just like they knew what they were doing when they ‘played an edited video of former President Donald Trump’s speech on January 6, 2020, at the beginning of the impeachment trial on Tuesday, leaving out his call for supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” (Breitbart)

Tackling this ‘new rhetorical framing,’ CBN called out the hypocrisy of those citing Trump’s use of the phrase “fight like hell” as proof of incitement to insurrection. Stating that ‘several members of the impeachment team, have used similar rhetoric in the past.’

Such as, but not limited to, ‘Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., as well as Reps. Joe Neguse of Colorado and Eric Swalwell of California, [who’ve all used] “fight like hell” or similar phrasing in their past statements.’ (Fox)

Rand Paul (Rep.Kentucky) used the example of Chuck Schumer’s speech given during the Kavanaugh trial to a mob in front of the Supreme Court, when the leading Democrat said:

“you have unleashed the whirlwind and you will pay the price, and you won’t know what hit you.” – ‘the mob charged the door of the Supreme Court and they tried to tear it down. They stood on top of statues, they were confronting and belligerent.’

Paul, in Trump’s defence then appealed to context, saying,

“The thing [here] is [that] you have to look at the President’s actual words. What did he say? He said go fight. Let your voices be heard, and he said march peacefully and patriotically. How can you twist that into words that incite violence?…I think Democrats if they look in the mirror, they’ve been guilty of much more than they’re accusing Trump of.”

The far-left failing to secure a second impeachment against Donald Trump is a blow to their ‘planned’ “insurrection at the Capitol” narrative (new rhetorical framing).

Stakeholders should take note. This push for the impeachment Trump, on trumped up charges, also shows that the far-left’s libido-dominandi driving the hate-fest for anyone, and anything they deem to be unworthy of an opinion, is far from over.

Cancel culture is on full display here.

Breaking down the votes for, and against impeachment, The ABC revealed a well-organised (“pre-planned?”) co-ordinated approach from the Left, with some on the Right supporting the motion (seven in total).

The Left were unanimous. ‘Senators voted 57-43 not guilty on the charge of incitement of insurrection’, which is 10 numbers below the 67 ‘required to convict’ Trump.

The far-left’s real loss here, is the failure of cancel culture to cancel out Donald Trump’s chances of running for President again in 2024. Which was, according to a wise American friend of mine, “the whole reason for the push for impeachment in the first place.”

The far-left engaging in ‘rhetorical inflation’; the twisting of words, facts, and events, in order to carve out a self-serving narrative, is a greater threat to Constitutional Democracy, and civil liberties, than an imperfect man, who for four years served for next to no pay, in the office of President, but sometimes posted mean tweets to his personal Twitter account.

Trump’s second impeachment trial was a fake charge, based on fake news.

I stand by my statements made earlier this year: The real oppressors are masquerading as the oppressed. Cancel culture is fascism proper.


First published on Caldron Pool, 16th February 2021.

© Rod Lampard, 2021.

Technocrats at Google have silenced YouTube users and content providers, after it surrendered to an avalanche of Leftist demands for the “free speech” platform to enforce “right-think” and “right-speak” about the recent U.S election.

In early November the NBC reported that YouTube was holding firm, and staring down ‘growing criticism’ for allowing boisterous disagreement and analysis.

According to the NBC, ‘YouTube wanted to give users room for “discussion of election results,” even when that discussion is based on debunked information.’

Fast forward to December and YouTube has given in to the pressure, now determining to censure any thought, or spoken word that challenges the election result, the pure farce that is the office of “President elect,” and election fraud.

The New York Times, not without smug adulation for the ‘reversal’ noted that YouTube have decided to backflip on its steadfast decision because it wanted to stamp out ‘misleading information’ and ‘false claims.’

YouTube defended both it’s decision to hold out against criticism for so long, and for its capitulation, saying, in essence, “we’ve let people have had their say. Since a large portion of states of ‘certified their results,’ fraud or no fraud, it’s now time to move on, surrender, and acknowledge Joe Biden’s, legit or not, ascendency to the throne.” (paraphrased from the NYT)

The anti-freedom of speech about-face is a complete 180 from YouTube’s previous policy which allowed commentary on the 2016 election loss by Hilary Clinton to Donald Trump. The most notable of which was Leftist commentary, and false claims about concretely debunked Russian collusion.

With YouTube’s capitulation, Big Tech appears to be moving further towards a system of indoctrination which resembles the one used by the Chinese Communist Party, who, through the inherent Marxist culture of suspicion, with the power of mass surveillance and its Golden Shield firewall, controls how Chinese people use the internet; what citizens see, search, hear, read, or learn.

YouTube’s decision to censure the expression of dissent, analysis and information further reveals the hypocrisy and bias already entrenched in the Technocrat’s billion dollar playground.

They wanted to stop interference in the election, but played election interference for the Democrats.

They were quick to censure President Trump and block reasoned, commentary on COVID-19 treatments, but allowed the CCP’s Lijian Zhao to keep up a tweet falsely depicting an Australian soldier slicing the throat of an Afghan child.

If this image isn’t punishable under Big Tech’s Eula regarding “misleading information” or “hate speech” what is?

Zhao’s false, offensive tweet was posted in November, 30th. It’s still active, hasn’t been fact checked, or tagged. Neither has the account been suspended, and reports to Twitter about it have gone unanswered.

The lack of action taken against Lijian’s false and misleading tweet, strongly indicates that Big Tech globalists are in bed with the CCP.

And like the CCP, they’re now blocking and censuring any content which questions the ideological paradigm.

It would appear that the insidiously wealthy Technocrats of Silicon Valley don’t want you to disagree or question the narrative.

Blocking questions, analysis and opinion about the U.S election is equal to them participating in a cover-up.

It’s worth pondering:

Why would technocrats silence dissent, analysis, free and open debate, if the alleged Democrat “win” was legal?


First published on Caldron Pool, 11th December 2020.

©Rod Lampard, 2020.

Creating fear about an apocalyptic event such as “global warming” gives those espousing it, the power to monopolise government initiatives, elections and national economies. In short: they coerce the people into surrendering something for absolutely nothing. In this case, the thing surrendered only benefits those demanding the surrendering. The real catastrophe is in the daylight robbery this allows.

Along with fossil fuels, fear powers their personal jets, pads their bank accounts and helps them position puppet politicians into places of power, where those politicians can be used to further “the crusade for the planet”.

Whilst I agree that humans can, and do, have a negative impact on the environment, and that we ALL are ordained by God to be good stewards of what He created – with the rise of electricity and water bills, also comes a rise in the power of those telling us that the “sky is falling”. With so much profit, celebrity and political power involved, something about the environmental scare mongering doesn’t quite add up.

Is it possible that the end goal, of this holy war for the planet, is absolute servitude to an un-elected bureaucratic caste, and its ideological utopia? A utopia open only to those who are always in agreement with the dominating views. History lends to us the catastrophic example that follows blind allegiance to such movements. Man and woman, equated with God, makes the claim to have taken God’s place. As a result, the führer (or un-elected bureaucratic caste) is revered as knowing what’s best for the fatherland. Therefore the people must trust the führer as though he (or they) were God.

Thankfully, the West isn’t quite at this stage of total surrender to totalitarian agendas. By correcting any bias in their assumptions and opinions, or letting scientists, theologians, and politicians, who present an opposing hypothesis speak freely, the opportunity for false prophets to seize total control is removed.

Fact, freedom and reasoned compassion all stand in the way of selfish ambition and the lust for power. Fact and freedom are threats to the paranoia used through manipulative propaganda because it forces dialogue about the issues. In the example of “global warming” such an approach recognises that the science isn’t settled. It recognises the need to examine the issue from differing angles. In short: to observe and then observe some more in order to truly see what is there and what is not there.

As it is with all authentic science, conclusions that rest solely on hypothesis, circumstantial evidence, inference and opinion remain fluid. They are an open question and must remain so. At least until hard facts can be presented. Facts free from questionable models, subjectivism and speculation. Facts that are free from manipulative propaganda and its master, political indoctrination.

Jacques Ellul provides a helpful look into why we must be on our guard against all forms of manipulation. When it comes to any discussion about environmental issues, or activism in general, it’s helpful to filter the information by asking questions of its source and content.

This is important because we have to ask whether or not, what exists (as part of the flood of papers, news reports and organisations that surround us), is an

‘organised myth that is trying to take hold of us and invade every area of our consciousness, stimulating a feeling of exclusiveness [if we conform], and producing a biased attitude’ along with it. (Ellul, 1965:11)

Are we being duped by slippery sales techniques? Sold to us by slipperier salesmen and women?

Without question, what we see today is the mass use of propaganda for dubious causes. For example, manipulative propaganda is used to force total allegiance to LGBT activism, open borders and environmentalism.[1]  It would be difficult to find someone not affected by the psychological warfare and political indoctrination at work behind all three.

The reason being,

‘education methods play an immense role in political indoctrination (Lenin, Mao)…One must utilise the education of the young to condition them to what comes later. The schools and all methods of instruction are transformed under such conditions, with the child integrated into the conformist group in such a way that the individualist is tolerated not by the authorities but by his peers. Religion and the churches are constrained to hold on to their places in the orchestra [of totalitarianism and political indoctrination]’ (Ellul, 1965:13)

In the case of the environmentalism, whether or not “global warming” is the man-made demon many say it is, or whether it is part of a cycle not recorded by human hands, is beside the point.

The more immediate questions are: What is the average citizen being sold? Why are they being sold it? Who is selling it to them? Why are the scientists who present a different point of view, seemingly and immediately silenced with threats, boycotts, and abuse?[2]

It’s also important to understand that propaganda is a drug, once you’re hooked into the system, you’re hooked into the system.

Propaganda ‘is not a stimulus that disappears quickly; it consists in successive impulses…it is a continuous action…at no point does it fail to subject its recipient to its influence. As soon as one effect wears off, it is followed by a new shock.’ (Ellul, 1965:18)[3]

In order to keep people surrendering something for absolutely nothing, like a lab-rat those people need to be hit again with a ‘new shock’. Once this wears off, a ‘new shock’ has to be given. This is done so as to keep people surrendering something to those authorities and officials, who are free to demand it, but who give nothing back in exchange for it.

This helps to explain the dehumanising language used largely by the Left in the socio-political arena. Logical fallacies are easier to believe because they contain an element of truth within them. As long as it’s enough to hook someone into taking a side, the percentage of truth doesn’t matter.

The antidote to propaganda is dialogue, for ‘propaganda ceases where simple dialogue begins’ (Ellul, 1965:6). Through dialogue we can sift truth from untruth. By thinking for ourselves we can navigate lies and call them out. In seeking dialogue with the issues, and not believing every manufactured-for-effect sound-byte from the 6 o’clock news, or by trusting every meme shared to social media, we can sift fact from fiction; opinion and inference; and challenge what is sold to us.

We can move beyond the propaganda, understanding that not all that glitters is gold; and that unless people question what it is that the auctioneers are selling, we come to the subject with the head of a fool, only to find ourselves walking away with two.[4]


Notes & References:

[1] I acknowledge that this is also used by the opposing sides. I am reluctant to say that the opposing sides do this in the same dishonest way or to the same damaging degree.

[2] Quite a few examples of this exist. It’s universal knowledge and therefore I have no real reason to weigh down this point by padding it with example after example, in order to prove my point.

[3] See footnote 1

[4] Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venus.

Ellul, J. 1965. Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes Vintage Books

© Rod Lampard, 2018. Photo by Elijah O’Donell on Unsplash

We’re walking through Nathaniel & Hans’ Bluedorn‘s 2009 book, ‘The Fallacy Detective‘ for Homeschool at the moment. The Bluedorns do an excellent job of distinguishing  between the various logical fallacies, discussing how they work on and off the page. I’ve even learnt a few things I didn’t know, and gained clarity on a few of the more nuanced fallacies like ad hominem, straw man and equivocation.

The Bluedorns provide an easy to read text. Placing at the end of each chapter well written quizzes with some humour mixed in, they effectively teach a complex subject to their reader.

‘The Fallacy Detective’ was a recommendation from one of our American homeschooling friends and I can see why they were so excited about using it as a resource for lessons in logic and communication. I haven’t finished using this text, but once I am we will be revisiting it and beginning a walk-through of Nathaniel and Hans’ next book, ‘The Thinking Toolbox‘.

In the final chapter of ‘The Fallacy Detective’ the authors hone in on propaganda. The introduction to this section differentiates between propaganda and manipulative propaganda.

Some key points are made, such as,

‘Propaganda is any strategy for spreading our beliefs or ideas…Propaganda is not always bad. There isn’t anything wrong with spreading our ideas and encouraging people to buy our product – as long as we do it honestly’ (p.188).

The definition given for manipulative propaganda is,

‘when someone plays with our emotions in a way designed to make us agree with them without thinking through the matter carefully’ (p.189)

I had a problem with these definitions because they didn’t go deep enough. For instance, someone could easily use this to (falsely) justify the accusation that preaching is propaganda, or worse manipulative propaganda. So when teaching through this part, I added a qualifier. Throwing in the fact that there is a distinction between propaganda and preaching.  Granted the two are sometimes blurred by questionable sermons, poor theology, and stale dogma.

This is sometimes seen in the Charismatic movement, where the emphasis can be more on transaction and performance. By that I mean “naming and claiming something”, “having the [quote] right anointing [unquote], “feeling God’s presence in the band if it played well, and if it didn’t play to standard? Well, God somehow didn’t show up”.

Thus giving the congregation and spectator the guilty feeling that they somehow failed to impress God and are abandoned for not having done so. Jesus had a stinging rebuke for those in the temple, who confused preaching with manipulating others. Knowing the difference between preaching and propaganda, especially manipulative propaganda falls in line with that rebuke.

‘And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.’ (Matthew 21:1, ESV)

There’s a big difference between preaching and manipulating someone in order to get something. Preaching is about proclamation, invitation, empower faith seeking understanding and learning together in humility.

I take my own understanding of preaching, from Jesus and Paul, who together, teach us that preaching, in sum, is about saying “I give this to you, in order to benefit you” (paraphrased). It’s far removed from the sales room floor of crony capitalism, the soap box of Marxists, the auctioneer’s gavel and the manipulative propagandist who, hiding behind all of these platforms, has his and her ultimate aim as being, “what can I take from you to benefit me”. At the heart of this we hear caveat emptor – let the buyer beware; Jesus and Paul telling us to be careful about what is being sold to us, who is doing the selling, and why they are selling it.

Even without the distinction between preaching and propaganda, the final chapter of ‘The Fallacy Detective’ holds itself together. The differentiation between propaganda and manipulative propaganda is followed by a clear description of, why, how, when and where propaganda is used. This includes, among others, car salesmen, lawyers right up to celebrities, artists and politicians.

Again, not all propaganda is bad, but propaganda shouldn’t be accepted without question; my take on this is that caveat emptor becomes: beware the auctioneers.

This differentiation between propaganda and manipulative propaganda gives the authors the opportunity to prepare the reader for the discussion ahead. Every time they use the word propaganda, they mean manipulative propaganda. By only using the word propaganda, the authors ingeniously force the reader to make their own differentiation between the two.

The information video I’m posting below on Marxist manipulative propaganda, circa 1957 illustrates this differentiation and the definitions presented by Nathaniel & Hans’ Bluedorn. There’s some real insight into manipulative propaganda. For instance the video explains how most Marxists/Communists play the information warfare game. Adding to this, is the small presence of American manipulative propaganda, which pops up from time to time, clearly designed to push the Communists back by using their own strategies against them.

For most hardcore Marxists there is no truth, but that which is filtered through the lens of Karl Marx. As the script writers for the video accurately describe:

“America is the major obstacle that stands between the grave-digger [Communist] and its intended victim. Here is target number one for the Reds and who’s in the bulls-eye. You are being in the bulls-eye. It’s important to know something about the enemy’s weapons and how to spoil their aim. That aim is nothing less than world conquest, and subversion by every possible means, is the cheap method used.The keyword is conflict.
Outside of the red countries themselves conflict must be promoted everywhere. Every dissatisfaction must grow into a resentment. Every resentment must become an argument. Every argument must grow into a fight. Every fight must blossom into a riot. Every riot must expand into a war. Every war must end in devastation.Where, there, in the ruins, communism finds its chance. For the Communists there must never be a compromise. Never a settlement of disputes, only conflict.”

If, as the video concludes, the only ‘effective defence against [manipulative] propaganda is the truth’, then the way forward for the aggressor, in any information war, is to attack the truth. The truth is watered down in order to get people to second guess it; smothering the truth in lies, half-truths, and the displacement of absolute truth. On this level truth means that at any stop light, red can be made to mean “go” by any individual who so desires, and no one is liable for the consequences.

This is why one of Roger Scruton’s more tongue in cheek comments in his 1994 work Modern Philosophy carries so much weight:

‘A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.’  (pp.5-6)

Worth noting is the date this video was made. With the benefit of hindsight, the information presented shows that those who came before us, were not as ignorant as we are about the dangers posed by Communism and all forms of manipulative propaganda.


References:

Bluedorn, N. & H., 2009 The Fallacy Detective Christian Logic

Scruton, R. 1994 Modern Philosophy Bloomsbury Publishing

Image design: Rod Lampard Photo: Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash