Capitalist Propaganda: “Propaganda Techniques”

Posted on June 1, 2009 3:00 pm

This is the piece I probably should’ve started the whole Capitalist Propaganda category out with. Coronet Film’s 1949 production of “Propaganda Techniques”:

[YouTube direct link]

You might’ve thought I was being tongue-in-cheek when I referred to the previous videos as “propaganda”, but I was quite serious. Propaganda is, after all “the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause”.

Although the word picked up heavily negative connotations due to its effective and pervasive use by the Nazis and Communists, propaganda is not necessarily wrong or evil. It can also be used in support of the right and the good. It’s up to the recipient of a propaganda message to determine the worth and accuracy of the content of any particular message.

The first step in doing so is to become aware of the techniques of propaganda, so that you can analyze whether a message is accurate, or merely persuasive. This film is an excellent start.

As an exercise for the viewer, feel free to discuss Obama’s use of propaganda in the comments.

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12 Responses to “Capitalist Propaganda: “Propaganda Techniques””

  1. NunyaB says:

    I’d say that Dear Leader is very good at making use of mainstream news and entertainment media propaganda.

    Oh, and First?!

  2. Corona says:

    Actually Harvey, the right use Truth. The left use propaganda. Persuasion is neither right nor wrong, it’s just a tool.

  3. Jimmy says:

    Harvey, I have to confess that I’m having increasing difficulty discussing him. We don’t all have your strength and persistence of wit, you know.

    OK, I’ll try. Obama = Propaganda. Ow.

  4. Lechteron says:

    That was brilliant. We need to resurrect the 50s to teach kids about civics and critical thinking.

  5. IH8Socialist says:

    Obama’s propaganda makes my brain hurt.

  6. MarkoMancuso says:

    Obama’s propaganda makes my brain hurt.

    That’s a good sign. If you listen to O’scheise speak and don’t feel an urge to take Tylenol, then you have a problem and need to listen to “A Time for Choosing” ASAP.

    Oh, and keep these coming, Harvey.

  7. Mgbfred says:

    “The secret of my influence has always been that it remained a secret”.

    There are two rules to life:
    #1- Do not tell anyone, everything you know.

  8. Freemon SandleWould says:

    In portuguese the word for advertisement is PROPAGANDA. We borrowed it and gave it the negative connotations but in reality its merely “divulgacao” or “divulgation” ( process of divulging )

  9. 5 of 7 says:

    OK, Professor Harvey, I took notes!
    1. Glittery Generalities – “That’s Change we can believe in!”
    2. Transfer – “Jesus was a Community Organizer, Pontus Pilate was a Governor!”
    3. Name-Calling – “Typical white person”, “Bitter people clinging to guns and religion”.
    4. Card-stacking – “I inherited the National Debt, that’s why I had to triple it!”
    5. Testimonial – Jerimiah Wright, William Ayers, Louis Farakan, Fidel Castro.
    6. Plain Folks – “Death to Whitey! Power to the People!”
    7. Band Wagon – “Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!”

    How’d I do?

  10. 4 of 7 says:

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselve teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.”

    II Timothy 4:3-4

  11. Harvey says:

    *hands gold star to 5 of 7*

    For #6, I also would’ve accepted those media shots of Obama speaking to cheering throngs during his Ich Bin Ein Berliner speech.

  12. 5 of 7 says:


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