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Easy Wars

Updated on January 16, 2017
Soldier holding traumatized Iraqi girl who lost her parents.
Soldier holding traumatized Iraqi girl who lost her parents.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.

— George Orwell: 1984

Propaganda

Propaganda is defined as information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view. We'll be exploring various kinds of propaganda used particularly in the process of getting a large populace into a raving frenzy of war mongering hatred and fear. There are different terms used, and a number of different aspects of human behavior that are harnessed in the ignition of war.

Battle is the most magnificent competition in which a human being can indulge. It brings out all that is best; it removes all that is base. All men are afraid in battle. The coward is the one who lets his fear overcome his sense of duty. Duty is the essence of manhood.

— George S. Patton
With her brother on her back a war weary Korean girl tiredly trudges by a stalled tank
With her brother on her back a war weary Korean girl tiredly trudges by a stalled tank

Fear and Hatred

Fear and hatred are the primary themes in war. Propaganda designers understand the principle of fear, and its usefulness. Fear is easy to direct because the stressful emotion significantly decreases the victims ability to think critically about the given circumstance. So essentially you show the population to be propagandized a number of short films, posters, and other forms of multimedia that effectively evoke a fear response in the population. Take for example propaganda posters from the world wars. Terms like brute, savage, animal, and other such dehumanizing words describe the enemy. On the other end of the spectrum terms like coward and traitor are used to describe any one who will not offer their help in the war effort, the pacifist is made to seem weak, pathetic, and unworthy of respect.

It was my duty to shoot the enemy, and I don't regret it. My regrets are for the people I couldn't save: Marines, soldiers, buddies. I'm not naive, and I don't romanticize war. The worst moments of my life have come as a SEAL. But I can stand before God with a clear conscience about doing my job.

— Chris Kyle

I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we are really talking about peace.

— George W. Bush

War is Peace

This is a very fundamental principle in war propaganda. Conflate war with peace, and assure that the population is thoroughly convinced that without war there would be no peace. This is usually blatantly obvious, and it works quite well in whipping a populace into a warring rage. This is because that's all we really want, the everyday people just want peace. So that desperate search for peace is directed towards war. Take for example how the United States can easily go on meddling in the middle east with little resistance from the domestic population, they conflate war with peace. War is peace, say it enough and you've got a well behaved populace that will pay all the trillions of dollars needed to destroy another civilization. Bush got the U.S. into Afghanistan in 2001 by making it seem as if without war the U.S. would be relentlessly attacked by terrorists. He stated that we were fighting for freedom and democracy, you see that, war is peace. Just repeat it in various different ways until its sunken into the apathetic population and they accept it fully.

Bodies from the Spanish civil war.
Bodies from the Spanish civil war.

Honour and Respect

Back when Britain was getting into war in Europe, if a woman saw an able bodied man walking down the street with no uniform, or no other form of proof that he had enlisted, the woman would give the man a white feather. The white feather was a simple symbol, an image of weakness, cowardice, and ostracism. It's basically women culturally telling men that they don't get to reproduce or have any dignity unless they're willing to crawl through fox holes getting shot at, watching their friends horrific deaths, and so on. So this mechanism of cultural propaganda is efficient in the sense that, and don't call me a sexist, but women are more easily manipulated into a cultural shift of such proportions. Women, evolutionarily speaking need to be more socially conformist in order to survive and reproduce successfully. And once the women are converted to the rage of war, men will follow, because eh, we need to get laid. This can be seen as a larger version of the cheerleader effect.

Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.

— John F. Kennedy

Why War

So you can see clearly that war is not all the honourable, good vs evil, fight for freedom that it's cut out to be. So you may be wondering why all the war? Well as I'm sure you can imagine, profit drives war in the same way that it drives the ridiculous number of inmates in the U.S. prison industrial complex. I urge you to learn more about how war is started, and how you can work to reduce the effects of propaganda in your community, among your friends, family, and coworkers. War needs to be stopped, we're a grown up civilization here, we're not in the caves anymore, let's act like it.

For a more in depth understanding of war propaganda check out the latest works in countering propaganda and educating the general public.

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    • Sam Wickstrom profile image
      Author

      Sam 8 months ago from Nelson, BC, Canada

      Ashutosh it's unlikely that things will change. The human mind is consumed by power and wealth, greed is unlike any other destructive force and you can expect propaganda to only increase in its influence with the advent of ai and other such technologies capable of picking apart our psyches far better than the smartest of corrupt men. But that's pessimistic. As far as my optimism goes, the internet is having a very significant effect on people's overall awareness of our global society. If anything the internet itself will help us to overcome all of this bullshit. Without the internet I'd still be a fool. So we do have a chance, I mean, look at me. Billions of people now have access to all the information available to mankind, we can't f*** this up

      And Malia I'm not sure what reaction you're looking for in your mildly sadistic trolling

    • Malia Dean profile image

      Malia Dean 8 months ago

      That's so cute did u find her perents

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 8 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Is there really a way for the gullible sheep to bypass the 24/7 MSM propaganda machinery? or for the government to bypass the powerful arms lobby?

    • Malia Dean profile image

      Malia Dean 8 months ago

      That's so cute