Establish Ideas as Sound to Provide Necessary Accounts: Framework of all PH-L3s
All the emergent frameworks are dynamic states of creative effort. It is conjectured that they are activated naturally in extremis, when the options of exiting or enduring are rejected. This personal choice is an expression of autonomy and transcendence.
However, these socio-mental options have been observed by others with a strong interest in specific goals. That interest more commonly serves money or power rather than the good of each and all. But not necessarily. Applying a framework in this way is always an imposition on another.
Judgement as to whether this constitutes a use or a misuse of human creative potential will vary. If the user is depersonalized or driven by some inner demon, use may tip into abuse. Each framework is examined from this perspective and the findings are compared and reviewed here.
Large groups and the non-organised populace need accounts. However, being controlled by conformity and consensus rather than reason, they are easily influenced by pandering to pressures for acceptability.
A framework revealing the way to establish ideas as sound naturally attracts those who want to shape how the public or specific groups think. In these cases, the focus in providing necessary accounts, is not on being either correct or constructive, but rather on shaping the group's views self-interestedly. For organizations, this is the domain of public relations; and for politicians and governments, this is about propaganda.
Many have noted that the public has difficulty developing critical thoughts and engaging in well-informed discussion. (See more here.) Those seeking power over public sentiment view that as a benefit. For others hoping to develop intelligent public participation in politics, it seems a near-insurmountable obstacle.
The public en masse cannot think: it can only feel. This applies to large groups no matter how intelligent its particular members may be. Any individual who stands out against the group's emotional consensus (rightly or wrongly) then becomes an outsider.
Those who wish to lead public opinion find themselves using this framework to insert their own ideas into the public domain. In business, the ideas may lead to sales of goods or services possibly harming consumers and/or wider society. But harm may be regarded as irrelevant when profit is the over-riding goal.
In politics, propaganda and public relations are virtually identical. Simple slogans and propositions are promoted with little or no relation to the truth or to what happens subsequently. When events unfold against promises or expectations, the public submits and forgets. In wartime, matters get even more confusing: all governmental statements are accessible to the enemy. So they deliberately obscure intentions, and portray a fiction that focuses on maintaining domestic morale and support for the war.
. The significance attributed to events and to terms is given great attention. A politician who lies and is caught out, for example, admits to have 'mispoken'. There is use of loaded words, name-calling, appeals to prejudice and stereotyping (e.g. by race, creed, sexual orientation).
. Presentations are carefully crafted using colours, shapes, and phrases to maximize impact, which is measured to provide feedback. Audience receptivity is handled by stacking meetings, orchestrating conferences, paying bribes, using threats, buying time on public media, arranging slanted reviews of competing accounts.
. Comparisons are chosen to place things in the most favorable light, and disfavor competitors. The only relevant comparisons are those that create a favorable light. Alternative comparisons are denigrated or denied validity to prevent acceptance.
. There is a continuous effort to see into the mind of the public, and where disagreement or disruptions to the message may be coming from. Effects of techniques and communications are measured. Quantitative information (e.g. polling, sales, likes) is supplemented by using focus-groups and personal interviews.
. Currently popular emphases and preferences, bandwagons, fashions and fads, are enthusiastically recruited to win support. However, the priority of the propagandist is always there and visible not far beneath the surface.
. The most powerful appeals either activate fear or greed. However, other emotions may be relevant like: pity, disgust, or enjoyment. Images are juxtaposed purely for emotional affect e.g. a swastika next to a quote by an opponent; a heart or wad of money next to a proposition. Celebrities pose, gush or cry.
Encouraging contagion. Asserting a bandwagon. Snob appeal. Using vague undefined terms or glittering generalities. Oversimplifying. Stereotyping. Stating half-truths or outright lies. Making illogical associations. Using unreliable testimonials, often from celebrities. Ad hominem attacks irrelevant to the ideas. Tireless repetition, often of a simple slogan and with a catchy tune. Making choice black or white. Setting up a straw man. Positioning a sexual image. Demonizing alternative views or individuals. Spreading disinformation. Quoting out of context. Outright fraud e.g. forging evidence. Using ultimate value terms. Extrapolating unreasonably. Using false or misleading statistics and graphs.
The public is largely aware that propaganda and advertising are being forced down their throats, and most find it irritating. But its pervasiveness is difficult to counter. Skilled propagandists use the psychological regression that occurs spontaneously in groups to overcome our natural resistance.
Purveyors of public relations present it as a public good: helping people find what they need, do what they want, and know about what they consume. This view has some validity. However, the need for Advertising Standards Authorities to prevent blatantly dishonest and misleading communications indicates that the situation is problematic.
When it comes to social issues and national politics, it is extremely difficult for the average person to cope with the combined onslaught of a determined government and a supine media. The media that is dependent on vested interests feels obliged or is pressured to engage in self-censorship. The universal language (PH'5L5) used in public fora is designed to affirm values and give the feeling of common understanding, not to explore and articulate the truth or provide deep understanding.
Last amended: 12-May-2014