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Scientia Militaria: South African Journal of Military Studies

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Propaganda: dodelike wapen van die kommunisme

C Nelson

Abstract


During the Second World War the effectiveness and importance of the applicetionof propaganda in influencing a mess society became evident. Under the influence of Hitlet and his follower Joseph Goebbels the use of propaganda was developed into a fine art and was systematically used to convey Nazi ideas to the uninformed masses. Nowadays this seme weapon is used by the Communists to extend their influence beyond the borders of the Soviet Union.

Propaganda may be seen as the deliberate attempt by an individual or group. toinfluence another person or group so that in a given situation the reaction of the influenced person will be that desired by the group. It is not always possible to influence everyone, as people identified as 'nuclear-personalities' have certain attitudes of long standing which they are normally not apt to surrender. The great masses, however, are 'uninformed stuff' and have no strong opinions of their own, but tendto be guided by their need to belong to a group. Hence their opinions are determined by those of the group. It is towards reaching the group - the masses - that the propaganda programme is directed. By means of the radio, newspapers, and other media certain ideas are transplanted beyond their borders. This process is usually ingeniously conducted that the groups influenced are not aware of it. One of the reasons why they are ceught unawares may be attributed to the fact that the propagandist confronts them with certain ideas on nationalism or peace which are accepted by the group. Under this cover the real motives - in this cese the Communist values and way of thinking - are conveyed. It is in these hidden and underlying motives that the real threat to any state lies, as the bulk of its society is gradually indoctrinated to come to accept certain Communistic principles, giving the Communist Government the opportunity to extend its sphere of influence and mainstay over another govemment. In this fashion countries are subjugated without any wars being fought.




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