Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Controlling the narrative

Last week, the line above entered my mind and refused to go. My 2021 blog, Controlling the Data-Information narrative, was on a related though individual or micro level. My current blog title is (probably) on a macro level. The first thing that comes to my mind is a recent FT article about hypocrisy versus lies.

Western countries are eager to promote their way of living. Autocracies, like China, Russia and Turkey, are eager to blame western countries of hypocrisy (FT-1). The irony of our hypocrisy is that we often hesitate to label autocracies for what they are: liars (FT-2). Both blocs are eager to control their narrative.

Western hypocrisy and Russian lies are meeting each other on Ukrainian battlefields. In my view, Ukraine combines hypocrisy (eg, NATO membership) and lies into a successful PR narrative against the stupidity of Russian lies.

Dutch advertising has an adage: de kracht van de boodschap ligt in de herhaling (source). This translates like the power of messaging lies in its repeating (eg, source). In cognitive sciences, this is called the illusory truth effect: “the tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure”.

The Germans used the illusory truth effect in WWII. BBC: ” “Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”, is a law of propaganda often attributed to the Nazi Joseph Goebbels. Among psychologists, something like this [is] known as the “illusion of truth” effect.”

Propaganda is communication that is primarily used to influence or persuade an audience to further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is being presented.” Wikipedia

Controlling your narrative is vital in state (macro) and individual (micro) propaganda. However, you need to be consistent in your hypocrisy or lies.

There’s another way of looking at the above: ideology (eg, Russian beliefs & lies) versus pragmatism (eg, Western hypocrisy). To a large extent, there is little difference between the (ideological) beliefs and the lies of Nazi-Germany (eg, dejewification) and of Russia (eg, denazification of Ukraine).

Most likely, that observation will foretell the outcome of this conflict.

Duel (1985) by Propaganda
artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-band, Wiki-song

Eye to eye stand winners and losers
Hurt by envy, cut by greed
Face to face with their own disillusions

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.

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