War has had an active re-occurrence in our world history. Without war, we would not have the ability to make peace. In each country on our planet, hold strong attitudes and hold ideological positions in government. When one is in a position of power, their decision making often affects many people. In this way, there is a huge psychological factor involved in the decision making. In order to make these grandiose gestures of war, one has to be educated in the terrain, rules of war, and enemy strategy. Not unlike a game chess, War has strategy that is crucial to each action. The saying, “we may have lost the bottle, but we won the war” is interpreted in this manner, meaning that each strategy taken, in war, is meant to cause a ripple effect, to damage the enemy’s defense. One tool of war, that was especially prominent in World War II, was Propaganda.
In 1940 Adolf Hitler started to take the Propaganda to an entirely different level. The Nazi Party published a book entitled: What to do in an Emergency? It was a basic booklet on what to do in case there was an emergency involving war. In reality it was false information and a type of propaganda that actually confuses the people of their country, thus manipulating them to join forces with their own country, which results in even more propaganda being spread. Although it is intentional, many people were so confused that they joined along and “hopped on the Nazi bandwagon”. In modern warfare, everything is used to confuse our enemies. Things like: weapons, the economy, physical resources, and organization play a role a huge role as does spirit and soul.
Psychological Warfare such as propaganda can be dangerous in that the concept of warfare management is an activity aimed changing the features of warfare. The purpose of this is to change direction of their battle, by using tools of political influence. As technology changes, so does the type of propaganda that is used. In World War II it may have been through intermittent radio broadcasts, or through print media, nowadays, it changes direction to a more psychological or technical level. Biochemical warfare, mass-hysteria, and fear of the end of one’s own existence often lead people to unthinkable acts of warfare. Through desperate times, desperate measures are often taken by those in charge, to ensure a countries’ sense of safety, and their ultimate prosperity.
In addition to media, the two basic social attributes that facilitate psychological warfare are the functions of destruction and regulation. It is a form ofinformation-psychological warfare, and it is just as dangerous as physical combat itself. It results in permanent changes in the system of social-political relations in society, and it transforms its structure taking on a new non-regulated law of political extremism. Extremism can lead to political and religious persecution and well as violence that spreads, leading to retaliation and acts of revenge on both sides. The cycle repeats, and has been repeated for years against the Jewish people. The battle between the Jewish and Arab communities is an example of a battle that has been going on for centuries. Application of this modern information-warfare results in sometimes, lifetime afflictions on the enemy’s central nervous system. It leads to eventual destruction of an individual’s nervous system, leading to the destruction of one’s mentality and damage to their physical state.
A way that I relate to this is in the fact that my family is from Oklahoma and we are descendants of the Native Americans who walked the trail of tears. In 1830, President Andrew Jackson was encouraged by Caucasian settlers to expand the land that belonged to the Native Americans. These Tribes were actually the victims of Propaganda, in that the news that was spread about Native Americans was often times false andlead to uncomfortable propaganda circulating the Native Americans were savages. This culminated in mass hysteria, violence, and widespread destruction.
In 1828 there was an acceleration to relocate the Native American communities towards the west. Andrew Jackson had a complicated relationship with the Native Americans; he grew up a victim of propaganda and gossip as well. Also stories of Indian attacks were common amongst his youth. The U.S. Army began forcibly moving the Choctaws in 1831. The French author Alexis de Tocqueville saw for himself, the great oppression, while on his trip to Mississippi. There he encountered Choctaws struggling to cross the Mississippi with great hardship in the middle of the winter. The government forced more than 15,000 Cherokees to traipse through the bitter winter conditions and subsequently nearly 4,000 Cherokee died while trying to walk the 1,000 miles to relocate. This was forever known as The Trail of Tears.
Propaganda from a journalistic standpoint is just wrong. If untrue information is given to the masses, at the discretion of a liar, then the consequences would be dire. On top of that, when we consider that in all of these devices, the power is within us, ourselves, to either be prideful, or be filled with hatred. The classic Jane Austen Novel is a prime example of pride versus prejudice. Is it our responsibility to coddle the masses, and avoid mass hysteria? Or should everyone be entitled to know all of the information that is out there? Would it harm us or hurt us? The evolutionary question is, not how that information is used, but the power those words have inside of people.
Der Reichsführer SS. (1940) Was tue ich im Ernstfall? pp. 21-23.
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Ceadel, M.( 1989) Thinking About Peace and War
Retrieved: 2-21-12 http://www.ppu.org.uk/learn/peaceed/pe_debate.html
Andrey Manoilo. (2004) Psychological Warfare Management