Propaganda and Its Usefullness.
Throughout my travels within the Somali peninsula, of which I am still engaged, I have had the pleasure of meeting interesting characters of all shapes and sizes. People, unlike the western world, seemed a tad bit more animated in character albeit more conformist.
For example, in Hargeisa public conversation nearly always revolved around a core topic and finished with religion. The latter seemed to be mostly the main reason in which the local government should/had act/ed. Unfortunately, this leads to abrupt endings of interesting conversations with “it was written in God’s book” or “may God lift this pain from us”, the very definition of a defeatist attitude.
As a western born individual, I cannot help feeling incongruent among this religious hyperbole, almost like I’m amid a socially accepted mental prison. Whereby stepping out of the consensus often leads to strict rebuttals and, more often than not, anger.
Naturally, this got me thinking of why. Why would any people enshrine an ideology to be the arbiter of socially acceptable conversation?
This peculiar situation can only exist if said ideology wants to preserve itself. After all this method of shaming, gaslighting, etc seems to be an extremely effective form of banning anti-Islamic thought. A child raised in such an environment will inevitably follow the adult’s hatred for all things critical of Islam and a percentage will go even further by calling for the deaths of critics.
Thus, you have a perpetual system of fear, whereby no one dares to question Islam as they have no idea if the other person is of similar or at least accepting convictions. Hence you isolate any anti-Islam movement within the greater region which thus leads to the continuation of Islam over centuries.
Thus, highlighting this isolation attempt as a method of self-preservation, which interestingly can lead to a metaphorical concept I call ideological life. Whereby since ideologies are inherently dependant on existing living adherents, ideologies can be seen as an emergent living property formed from said adherents.
In this 1/3 piece, I wish to briefly discuss the modulus Operandi of societal ideological permeation.
Propaganda is the primary means for any ideology to preserve its existence, by continuously blasting itself to the far reaches an ideology gains followers. Propaganda, unlike the isolation method, is a method of growth. The group can only grow through expansion, even in reproduction a child is programmed to believe in the ideology of his parents.
This biological view of ideologies can thus help any person interested in the development of a nation. Nations are simply people connected through some form of ideology, primarily ethnic or civic nationalism.
The effectiveness of propaganda is primarily a function of receivability, propagation, and the rate of permeation. Receivability states that an Islamic nation whose populace are strict adherents will not receive a message demonizing Islam lightly and will instead opt to ignore the new ideology for the entrenched ideology. One may think of receivability as a battle between two opposing ideologies for instance Islam and Christianity, obviously, the entrenched ideology will be received better than the other.
Propaganda also relies on the propagation method, a man in the desert holding a sign will have to be less effective than a billboard on a busy road. Some effective modes of propagation are social media, television, sermons, and billboard. Books are also effective in countries with a high literacy rate.
Finally, the rate of permeation also impacts propaganda effectiveness. Whereby high levels of propaganda which moves the overtone window slightly in the ideological direction over a long period of time will render better results compared to rapid changes. This relies on the fact that humans hate change but are fine with gradual changes in their environment.
Thus using the above three points, one can form an effective method of propaganda that will help shift society to its wanted ideology.
This will be a three-part series that will explain how we can utilize propaganda in Somalia to support leftist ideologies.