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- Borch, Christian Borch: The Politics of Crowds. An alternative history of sociology. (Heike Delitz)
The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon! The crowd manipulator and the propagandist may work together to achieve greater results than they would individually. According to Edward Bernays, the propagandist must prepare his target group to think about and anticipate a message before it is delivered. Messages themselves must be tested in advance since a message that is ineffective is worse than no message at all.
Direct propaganda, aimed at modifying opinions and attitudes, must be preceded by propaganda that is sociological in character, slow, general, seeking to create a climate, an atmosphere of favorable preliminary attitudes. No direct propaganda can be effective without pre-propaganda, which, without direct or noticeable aggression, is limited to creating ambiguities, reducing prejudices, and spreading images, apparently without purpose.
In Jacques Ellul 's book, Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes , it states that sociological propaganda can be compared to plowing, direct propaganda to sowing; you cannot do the one without doing the other first. Essentially sociological propaganda aims to increase conformity with the environment that is of a collective nature by developing compliance with or defense of the established order through long term penetration and progressive adaptation by using all social currents.
The propaganda element is the way of life with which the individual is permeated and then the individual begins to express it in film, writing, or art without realizing it.
This involuntary behavior creates an expansion of society through advertising, the movies, education, and magazines. This propaganda reinforces the individual's way of life and represents this way of life as best. Sociological propaganda creates an indisputable criterion for the individual to make judgments of good and evil according to the order of the individual's way of life. Sociological propaganda does not result in action, however, it can prepare the ground for direct propaganda.
From then on, the individual in the clutches of such sociological propaganda believes that those who live this way are on the side of the angels, and those who don't are bad. Bernays expedited this process by identifying and contracting those who most influence public opinion key experts, celebrities, existing supporters, interlacing groups, etc. After the mind of the crowd is plowed and the seeds of propaganda are sown, a crowd manipulator may prepare to harvest his crop.
The manipulator may be an orator, a group, a musician, an athlete, or some other person who moves a crowd to the point of agreement before he makes a specific call to action. Aristotle believed that the ethos, or credibility, of the manipulator contributes to his persuasiveness.
Prestige is a form of "domination exercised on our mind by an individual, a work, or an idea. Authority flows from prestige, which can be generated by "acquired prestige" e. Personal prestige is like that of the "tamer of a wild beast" who could easily devour him. Success is the most important factor affecting personal prestige.
Le Bon wrote, "From the minute prestige is called into question, it ceases to be prestige. The manipulator's ability to sway a crowd depends especially on his or her visual, vocal, and verbal delivery. Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler made personal commitments to become master rhetoricians. At 22, Winston Churchill documented his conclusions about speaking to crowds. He titled it "The Scaffolding of Rhetoric" and it outlined what he believed to be the essentials of any effective speech. Among these essentials are:.
Adolf Hitler believed he could apply the lessons of propaganda he learned painfully from the Allies during World War I and apply those lessons to benefit Germany thereafter.
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The following points offer helpful insight into his thinking behind his on-stage performances:. The Nazi Party in Germany used propaganda to develop a cult of personality around Hitler. Historians such as Ian Kershaw emphasise the psychological impact of Hitler's skill as an orator. Germans speak with mystification of Hitler's 'hypnotic' appeal".
The Wisdom of Crowds Requires the Political Left and Right to Work Together
The political process provides ample opportunity to utilize crowd-manipulation techniques to foster support for candidates and policy. From campaign rallies to town-hall debates to declarations of war, statesmen have historically used crowd manipulation to convey their messages. Public opinion polls , such as those conducted by the Pew Research Center and www.
Ever since the advent of mass production, businesses and corporations have used crowd manipulation to sell their products. Advertising serves as propaganda to prepare a future crowd to absorb and accept a particular message. Edward Bernays believed that particular advertisements are more effective if they create an environment which encourages the purchase of certain products. Instead of marketing the features of a piano, sell prospective customers the idea of a music room.
The entertainment industry makes exceptional use of crowd manipulation to excite fans and boost ticket sales. Not only does it promote assembly through the mass media, it also uses rhetorical techniques to engage crowds, thereby enhancing their experience. Among the techniques used are cues for one side of the stadium to chant "We are It makes particular use of the polarizing personalities and prestige of its wrestlers to draw out the emotions of its audiences.
The practice is similar to that of the ancient Roman gladiators , whose lives depended upon their ability to not only fight but also to win crowds. According to Hulk Hogan in his autobiography, My Life Outside the Ring , "You didn't have to be a great wrestler, you just had to draw the crowd into the match. You had to be totally aware, and really in the moment, and paying attention to the mood of the crowd. A flash mob is a gathering of individuals, usually organized in advance through electronic means, that performs a specific, usually peculiar action and then disperses.
The masses greeting the candidate on the trail are a sign of great unease.
These actions are often bizarre or comical—as in a massive pillow fight , ad-hoc musical, or synchronized dance. The concept of a flash mob is relatively new when compared to traditional forms of crowd manipulation. Bill Wasik , senior editor of Harper's Magazine , is credited with the concept. He organized his first flash mob in a Macy's department store in A first glance, a flash mob may appear to be the spontaneous undoing of crowd manipulation i.
As the song progressed, the synchronized dance began with a single, female dancer up front and spread from person to person until the entire crowd became involved. A surprised and elated Oprah found that there was another crowd manipulator besides her and her musical guests at work. On February 13, , for example, a year-old Facebook user organized a flash mob which temporarily shut down London's Liverpool Street station.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main articles: Media manipulation and Propaganda. Main article: Flash mobs.
Literatur:Borch Politics of Crowds – Docupedia
Play media. Obama's vision is anathema to the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and the hedge-fund managers now smitten with him. Their ethos is one of competition and the justice of the rewards that come with risk and effort. All this is shelved, as the devotees sustain the candidacy of a man whose public career has been a steady advocacy of reining in the market and organizing those who believe in entitlement and redistribution. A creature of universities and churches and nonprofit institutions, the Illinois senator, with the blessing and acquiescence of his upscale supporters, has glided past these hard distinctions.
On the face of it, it must be surmised that his affluent devotees are ready to foot the bill for the new order, or are convinced that after victory the old ways will endure, and that Mr. Obama will govern from the center. Ambiguity has been a powerful weapon of this gifted candidate: He has been different things to different people, and he was under no obligation to tell this coalition of a thousand discontents, and a thousand visions, the details of his political programs: redistribution for the poor, postracial absolution and "modernity" for the upper end of the scale.
It was no accident that the white working class was the last segment of the population to sign up for the Obama journey. Their hesitancy was not about race. They were men and women of practicality; they distrusted oratory, they could see through the falseness of the solidarity offered by this campaign. They did not have much, but believed in the legitimacy of what little they had acquired.
They valued work and its rewards. They knew and heard of staggering wealth made by the Masters of the Universe, but held onto their faith in the outcomes that economic life decreed.
The economic hurricane that struck America some weeks ago shook them to the core. They now seek protection, the shelter of the state, and the promise of social repair. The bonuses of the wizards who ran the great corporate entities had not bothered them. It was the spectacle of the work of the wizards melting before our eyes that unsettled them. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late Democratic senator from New York, once set the difference between American capitalism and the older European version by observing that America was the party of liberty, whereas Europe was the party of equality.
Just in the nick of time for the Obama candidacy, the American faith in liberty began to crack. The preachers of America's decline in the global pecking order had added to the panic.
Borch, Christian Borch: The Politics of Crowds. An alternative history of sociology. (Heike Delitz)
Our best days were behind us, the declinists prophesied. The sun was setting on our imperium, and rising in other lands. A younger man, "cool" and collected, carrying within his own biography the strands of the world beyond America's shores, was put forth as a herald of the change upon us. The crowd would risk the experiment.
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There was grudge and a desire for retribution in the crowd to begin with. Akin to the passions that have shaped and driven highly polarized societies, this election has at its core a desire to settle the unfinished account of the presidential election eight years ago. George W. Bush's presidency remained, for his countless critics and detractors, a tale of usurpation.
He had gotten what was not his due; more galling still, he had been bold and unabashed, and taken his time at the helm as an opportunity to assert an ambitious doctrine of American power abroad. He had waged a war of choice in Iraq. SBM : —well, the moment at least appears to be over.