The mind under siege
149 pages
English

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149 pages
English

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Description

Alexandra Kitty's vital new book is a guide to the stratagems and techniques of war propaganda. When nations go to war, governments need reliable and effective methods of rallying public opinion to support their actions, regardless of the political leanings or educational background of citizens. The Mind Under Siege explores real life case studies and research in human motivation to show why propaganda is more powerful, potent, and effective than other types of persuasive messages. Reliance on primal phobias, and the threat to reproduction, well-being, and life itself make propaganda a reliable and powerful tool. For journalists and other news producers, Kitty's book shows how to ask the right questions and avoid spreading misinformation and propaganda and how to see more insidious forms of manipulation and narrative through psychological research and case studies.

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Publié par
Date de parution 30 mars 2020
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781680539752
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,556€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.

Exrait

The Mind Under Siege: Mechanisms of War Propaganda
Alexandra Kitty
The Mind Under Siege: Mechanisms of War Propaganda
Alexandra Kitty

Academica Press Washington - London
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Kitty, Alexandra, author.
Title: The mind under siege : mechanisms of war propaganda / Alexandra Kitty.
Description: Washington : Academica Press, 2020. Includes bibliographical references and index. Summary: Alexandra Kitty s vital new book is a guide to the stratagems and techniques of war propaganda. When nations go to war, governments need reliable and effective methods of rallying public opinion to support their actions, regardless of the political leanings or educational background of citizens. The Mind Under Siege explores real life case studies and research in human motivation to show why propaganda is more powerful, potent, and effective than other types of persuasive messages. Reliance on primal phobias, and the threat to reproduction, well-being, and life itself make propaganda a reliable and powerful tool. For journalists and other news producers, Kitty s book shows how to ask the right questions and avoid spreading misinformation and propaganda and how to see more insidious forms of manipulation and narrative through psychological research and case studies -- Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2019055314 ISBN 9781680531169 (hardcover) ISBN 9781680531190 (paperback) ISBN 9781680539752 (ebook)
Subjects: LCSH: Propaganda. War--Public opinion. Press and propaganda. War--Press coverage.
Classification: LCC HM1231 .K57 2020 DDC 303.3/75--dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2019055314
Copyright 2020 Alexandra Kitty
To my grandmother
Contents
Author s Note
Preface The War Project
SECTION ONE
A Propaganda Primer
Chapter One
It s in the marrow
Chapter Two
Immediate is the message
Chapter Three
Mass compliance
Chapter Four
Special messages
Chapter Five
One strike
SECTION TWO
The Psychology of Survival and Instinct
Chapter Six
The animal in all of us
Chapter Seven
At the base of the brain
Chapter Eight
Primal fears
Chapter Nine
Sex sells
Chapter Ten
When men were men and women were women
Chapter Eleven
The lost generation
Chapter Twelve
Plagues
Chapter Thirteen
Heroes and angels
Chapter Fourteen
Us versus them
SECTION THREE
Mindtrapping
Chapter Fifteen
Erasing faces
Chapter Sixteen
White knights, dark shadows
Chapter Seventeen
Animal and machine
Chapter Eighteen
Apocalypse reigning
Chapter Nineteen
Victimology
SECTION FOUR
Inoculation
Chapter Twenty
Cold logic
Chapter Twenty-One
Hot buttons
Chapter Twenty-Two
The statistics behind deviation
Chapter Twenty-Three
Breaking narrative shackles
Chapter Twenty-Four
Burden of proof
References
Index
Author s Note
War propaganda has been defined in numerous ways over the years. Technology has made those old definitions obsolete, incomplete and problematic to studying its impact on individuals and groups. Social media has not just changed our thinking and habits; it has also pushed the boundaries of what war propaganda can now be considered. I strive to have a complete and current term, and have taken the past, present, and future to heart when operationalizing the phrase war propaganda .
For the purposes of this book, I define war propaganda as the deliberate, choregraphed and strategic deep psychological manipulation of individuals and groups in order to gain mass compliance and uniformity of thought to rig beliefs in order for a targeted in-group to draw the conclusion that prejudice against an out-group is necessary and the proper action to involve violence, and war. The impact of the manipulation must be immediate, severe, and assured. The goal is to gain acceptance for troop deployment, bombing, torture, confinement, and to see those actions as necessary, just, and noble for the survival of the in-group.
It must also involve dividing people into a binary of in-group and out-group with the in-group seen as superior than the designated out-group.
Preface The War Project
If there s a book that you want to read, but it hasn t been written yet, then you must write it .
Toni Morrison.
War propaganda has interested me ever since I was a teenager. The first time I realized how devious it could be was the revelation that the first Gulf War s showcase atrocity of Iraqi soldiers storming a hospital to kill newborns was a lie. That a weeping teenaged girl made up a yarn as she hid her identity floored me. That a war could be sold by public relations despite there being countless media outlets defied all logic. By the time the Civil War in the former Yugoslavia broke out, I was still a teenager and a university student, but I began to look whether this war was also being sold , and the answer was sadly, yes. I was hardly the only one who knew about it, but it inspired me enough to study war propaganda as a psychology student, writing numerous essays as an undergraduate, and then as a graduate student studying journalism. War propaganda was how living nightmares were manufactured to destroy collectives, and I refused to play along.
What I found most frustrating was the lack of resources on the subject from the perspective a journalist: experimental psychology and law enforcement had their own manuals and body of research to separate truth from lies in their profession, journalism did not. There was no DSM or CCM, even if there was a treasure trove of empirical studies that, if brought together, could do precisely that for the war correspondent or those taking wire copy and presenting it to a mass audience.
Yet I was left to my own devises to find the answers I sought. I wanted to know why we believed those lies, and more so than true cases of inhumanity. As a journalist, I did not want to infect the information stream with those lies that could hurt people or forever alter and ruin lives for no good reason at all. When I became an author, separating truth from lies became my quest and my calling.
So much had it become part of my identity that I always looked for propaganda by default. It can be a depressing enterprise as the powerful lie to maintain dominance over others at any cost, but there are times when what you see uplifts you. The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake has Secret Theatres where the audience has no hint or clue what the show will be about until they arrive. It is one of my indulgences, and in 2018, after a horrific personal year for me, I went to their final one of the season, as I refused to give in and was determined to live my life to the fullest.
The play was simply entitled War Project . It was out in a lush park in a beautiful and welcoming town that, as charming and peaceful as it is, has war and battle firmly ingrained in its identity. To my surprise, there were no actors delivering lines, just a single actor sitting off and singing songs on an acoustic guitar. There was no stage save the park with empty black boots strewn with scrolls inside each one. The audience was to walk in the field, go from boot to boot, take out those scrolls, and read stories from other members of the audience about the war stories they were told by their families, with plenty of paper and pens to include your own to a boot.
It was a profoundly moving experience, and one I noted that had not a single propagandistic yarn in them. They were personal, and real. These were stories of sorrow, regret, sadness, trauma, and despite all the stories, ones where people did not see enemies: only the suffering and triumphs of others as they marvelled at their resilience, kindness, and resolve to restore peace once more. Far from there being Us Versus Them, these were stories about survival, shock, despair, and hope, all woven together, even in the fewest of words.
Those were the stories that have lasted in families across time and space. Not the lies used to create disharmony among us. It is those kinds of stories we need to hear. They are the reminder that we are far better a people than what war propagandists want us to become. We must never give in to those games, and it is the reason I am driven to write this book. When we are driven to hate and to fear, we need to remember the stories of tearing down the barriers and looking at those on the other side as people, not beasts.
We can restore our humanity, but we should never drag ourselves into war in order to do it. This book is your guide to looking beyond the feints and ruses in order to find the most constructive solutions.
A note about the studies used in this book: where possible, I kept with literature which focussed on human behaviour. While there were studies showing the various animals had similar responses to our own, I selected studies dealing with human behaviour to simplify reading and make equal comparisons easier.
Alexandra Kitty
SECTION ONE
A Propaganda Primer
Chapter One It s in the marrow
When the winds of war speak to us, it often reflects collective rage and fear that has been left unchallenged for too long in the minds of too many. The culmination of both hate and terror begin to blind us and we begin to justify our worst tendencies as being self-preserving ones.
We see destruction as creation. We justify evil as morality. We see war as peace.
Worst of all, we see lies as truth. Those winds have the ability to confuse the collective w

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