Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Having invented a new word, I feel duty-bound to explicate it. Sorry, that's an academic word. Let's just talk about it for a while. The aim of propaganda is perception management. Walter Lippmann, a Progressive journalist who was co-opted into the U.S. propaganda effort during the Great War, later wrote the definitive . . . er, explication of it in his 1922 classic book Public Opinion. He spoke of The World Outside and The Pictures in Our Heads. Propaganda was the attempt to alter the Pictures in Our Heads until they bore little relation to The World Outside. Censorship was central to this. Government news portrayed a preferred picture. Sometimes an underground press portrayed an alternate reality. In Fiji, blogs are the underground press. The freedom blogs certainly portray a different reality than presented by captive and government media. I am assured by freedom bloggers that Bainimarama would stand little chance in a fair election. Others claim he has widespread support. I actually have no idea which of these is closer to the truth. I would be interested to find out.
Meanwhile, I thought it would be interesting to dissect some actual propaganda, pin it up on the white board here and analyse it. Grubby's latest splutterings will do. Let's take it apart piece by piece and see what the reality might be.
GRUBBYSPLUTTER: There are increasing signs of desperation among the anti-government forces in
REALITY: Activity on the blogs has increased to not quite fever pitch as the regime nixes both the draft constitution and the Constituent Assembly that was supposed to rubber stamp it.
GRUBBYSPLUTTER: as the country moves closer to the introduction of a brand of democracy that they are desperately trying to prevent – a non-racial model of one person, one vote, one value.
REALITY: I don't know about the other Freedomistas, but that's kind of what I had in mind, too. Why would I want to prevent this? Let's have the election, already.
GRUBBYSPLUTTER: That sense of desperation has reached fever pitch with the publication of the new Draft ConstitutionREALITY: Bloggers have jumped all over Frank's draft and compared it with Yash's draft. Frank's would seem to be really a parody of democracy, with limited rights for Fijians. Do they get to vote on this?GRUBBYSPLUTTER: that specifically stipulates an election in
Fijibefore the end of September 2014REALITY: When does the campaign actually start?GRUBBYSPLUTTER: and the declaration by Voreqe Bainimarama that he intends to contest the poll.REALITY: We expected nothing else.GRUBBYSPLUTTER: With precious little in the Draft to criticise,REALITY: Here's the nutgraf, or what they call in propaganda The Big Lie. The criticism is heaping up in big piles. Frank may not be able to make this fly
GRUBBYSPLUTTER: the old order in
Fijiis in a state of collective meltdownREALITY: I would instead liken it to awakening from a deep freezeGRUBBYSPLUTTER: and actively seeking out small targets to kick.REALITY: there are several people who could be getting kicked soon. Grubby might be one of them. I am safely in Canada.GRUBBYSPLUTTER: How else to explain the accompanying cyber pamphlet currently being circulated on several anti-government blogs that specifically attacks Grubsheet and our connection with the American company, Qorvis Communications?REALITY: I think the phrase, in the immortable words of George Dubya, is -- "Mission Accomplished"