By Paul Cobaugh
Information Operations Practioner and Contributor at Narrative Strategies
I realize for those of you that are connected with me and/ or follow along with groups I have an interest in, have seen me engage in some occasionally passionate conflicts with persons and profiles here on LinkedIn. I, along with other friends’ colleagues and those sharing similar and common values are most often engaged in battling propaganda and hate. Propaganda can be used for good or evil but it’s the Evil that I’m discussing today.
There is a very good reason to engage those engaging in propaganda. Propaganda, is a tool with a variety of tactics that influences for a specific reason that helps to achieve a victory for the person or entity using the tactics. Those persons and entities I/ we have been engaging here on LinkedIn have as a goal to exploit political, religious, cultural divisions to weaken the US and our Allies. Some of these foes, such as Russian, State-sponsored trolls, religious or political ideologues (Domestic and Foreign) and Violent Extremists of all types often use the divisive tactic of hate and an “us vs. them” tactic to achieve their goals.
The link included with this post is a case study that “walks the reader” through some of the mechanisms of how hate and the tactic of “us vs. them” actually work and by default, just how dangerous it is when you recognize just how effective it is.
As noted above, the reason to fight divisive propaganda is simply because it is so dangerous. Although most people recognize hate when they see it, they don’t realize that it is a systematic tool that is not only offensive when first encountering but that if left unchecked can lead to what is described in this article. You may recognize other historical events when reading how these tactics work such as the use of these tactics in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, “The Killing Fields, etc.
Having the knowledge of just how heinous these tactics are and that they are being intentionally manipulated for evil purposes leaves most people, including myself with no choice but to challenge them whenever and wherever they rear their ugly head.
Thanks in advance for all that read this.