Thursday, April 26, 2012

Mind Over Media

I do not accept the view that the media has the power to transform attitudes and affect mass behavior.

The only reason why Joseph Goebbels effectively amassed widespread hatred of Jews is that he was capitalizing on a latent anti-Semitism in a nation where intellectuals and celebrities had debated the role of Jews for hundreds of years, and in many cases celebrities -- Richard Wagner, for example -- published anti-Semitic pamphlets. Even the champion of religious liberty Martin Luther extolled anti-Semitic sentiment following his attempt to convert  the Jews to believe on Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
Luther's own words were later purloined by Adolph Hitler in his stirring and offensive speeches.

In his seminal work The Affluent Society, now deceased Canadian Economists Kenneth Galbraith deluded the intellectual, read liberal, political class into believing that advertising actually leads people to buy things that they originally had not intention of buying. In reality, advertising stirs individuals who already invest in a certain product to buy a different brand. A beer drinker will be enticed to a buy a different brand advertised; yet for individuals who do not drink in the first place, they will not be swayed to start purchasing and consuming beer just because of unique or innovative propaganda.

Inevitably, the human mind will overcome propaganda which does not inform or reinforce the initial beliefs, attitudes, or prejudices already inherent in a person's perception of the market.

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