Welcome to the Third Degree: Tough, brief, weekly interrogations that force thinking and response. With reliance upon and respect for your instincts, knowledge, exploration and determinations, this week, we target: Propaganda
Since propaganda is defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a point of view or political cause, do we live in a world overly peopled by pushers of propaganda?
Are principal objectives of the propaganda practitioners to gain power and allegiance for (alternately generate antipathy against) ideas, people, policies, politics, and versions of history? Oh, did I forget, and live high?
Are we dulled by repetition and cowed by those crafty tools of the trade, "expert" assertion, obfuscation and the favorite group-thinkism "everybody knows"? Should we add exploitation of fear, hate, perceived interests and belief?
Can you identify the various propaganda types and techniques like the bandwagon effect? What about name-calling, glittering generality, transference, use of pejorative adjectives and adverbs plus guilt, ostracism, anger, threats, violence, BIG LIES, and more? Just another day in Dogpatch? Where is the bald iggle when we need him?
Do we label as propaganda those "objective," policy-driving and driven, models laden with subjective assumptions and averages of averages of averages? Wanna bet the store?
How do we sift and winnow fact or truth from the onslaught of slanted information and actions?
Does an individual assessment of fairness counter pervasive propaganda?
How do you summon the courage to say or do the right thing? Fighting the propaganda current, wherein your will to go on? Who is counting on you? More than you know?
If we don’t keep the flame, when it goes out, where’s the blame? Will it matter?
Socrates reminds: "The unexamined life is not worth living’" Examinations will continue in The Third Degree. The answers and the actions are yours.
John Borling, major general, USAF-ret, is a highly decorated fighter pilot who served worldwide in high level command and staff positions. He was a POW in North Vietnam for over 6½ years. Now, an author, speaker, civic and business leader, he is the founder of Service over Self America. See sosamerica.org