[Repost] Propaganda Prop #11: Emotionalizing

The Propaganda Professor

In the episode called “Patterns Of Force” on the original Star Trek series, the Enterprise crew beams down to a planet that is modeled after Nazi Germany, complete with swastikas and “heil Hitler” type salutes. When they hear the supposed charismatic leader (who actually is being controlled by others) deliver an oration to rouse the rabble, Spock comments that the speech really makes no sense; it’s just a string of ideological soundbites — which nonetheless have the effect of stirring their hearers to carry out the ideology’s nefarious agenda. This aptly epitomizes the nature and the effect of emotionalizing, the next in our series of propaganda props.

If Spock was surprised to discover the vacuity of the Fuhrer’s rhetoric, then he was unduly naive. Ideologically charged rhetoric seldom if ever sounds rational. It’s not supposed to. Indeed, the less sense it makes, the more likely it is that the…

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