C26. Political warfare



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Political warfare
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Political warfare
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_warfare
Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one’s will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between a government and a target audience to include another state’s government, military, and/or general population. Governments use a variety of techniques to coerce certain actions, thereby gaining relative advantage over an opponent. The techniques include propaganda and psychological operations (PSYOP), which service national and military objectives respectively. Propaganda has many aspects and a hostile and coercive political purpose. Psychological operations are for strategic and tactical military objectives and may be intended for hostile military and civilian populations.[1]
Political warfare’s coercive nature leads to weakening or destroying an opponent’s political, social, or societal will, and forcing a course of action favorable to a state’s interest. Political war may be combined with violence, economic pressure, subversion, and diplomacy, but its chief aspect is “the use of words, images and ideas.”[2] The creation, deployment, and continuation of these coercive methods are a function of statecraft for nations and serve as a potential substitute for more direct military action.[3] For instance, methods like economic sanctions or embargoes are intended to inflict the necessary economic damage to force political change. The utilized methods and techniques in political war depend on the state’s political vision and composition. Conduct will differ according to whether the state is totalitarian, authoritative, or democratic.[4]
The ultimate goal of political warfare is to alter an opponent’s opinions and actions in favour of one state’s interests without utilizing military power. This type of organized persuasion or coercion also has the practical purpose of saving lives through eschewing the use of violence in order to further political goals. Thus, political warfare also involves “the art of heartening friends and disheartening enemies, of gaining help for one’s cause and causing the abandonment of the enemies’.”[5] Generally, political warfare is distinguished by its hostile intent and through potential escalation; but the loss of life is an accepted consequence.
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Crowd Manipulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowd_manipulation
Crowd manipulation is the intentional use of techniques based on the principles of crowd psychology to engage, control, or influence the desires of a crowd in order to direct its behavior toward a specific action.[1] This practice is common to politics and business and can facilitate the approval or disapproval or indifference to a person, policy, or product. The ethicality of crowd manipulation is commonly questioned.
Crowd manipulation differs from propaganda although they may reinforce one another to produce a desired result. If propaganda is “the consistent, enduring effort to create or shape events to influence the relations of the public to an enterprise, idea or group”,[2] crowd manipulation is the relatively brief call to action once the seeds of propaganda (i.e. more specifically “pre-propaganda”[3]) are sown and the public is organized into a crowd. The propagandist appeals to the masses, even if compartmentalized, whereas the crowd manipulator appeals to a segment of the masses assembled into a crowd in real time. In situations such as a national emergency, however, a crowd manipulator may leverage mass media to address the masses in real time as if speaking to a crowd.[4]
Crowd manipulation also differs from crowd control, which serves a security function. Local authorities use crowd-control methods to contain and defuse crowds and to prevent and respond to unruly and unlawful acts such as rioting and looting
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Media Manipulation
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_manipulation
Media manipulation is a series of related techniques in which partisans create an image or argument that favours their particular interests.[1] Such tactics may include the use of logical fallacies and propaganda techniques, and often involve the suppression of information or points of view by crowding them out, by inducing other people or groups of people to stop listening to certain arguments, or by simply diverting attention elsewhere. In Propaganda: The Formation of Men’s Attitudes, Jacques Ellul writes that public opinion can only express itself through channels which are provided by the mass media of communication-without which there could be no propaganda.[2] It is used within public relations, propaganda, marketing, etc. While the objective for each context is quite different, the broad techniques are often similar. As illustrated below, many of the more modern mass media manipulation methods are types of distraction, on the assumption that the public has a limited attention span.
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Social Constructionism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_constructionism
Social constructionism, or the social construction of reality, is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world. It assumes that understanding, significance, and meaning are developed not separately within the individual, but in coordination with other human beings. The elements most important to the theory are (a) the assumption that human beings rationalize their experience by creating a model of the social world and how it functions and, (b) that language is the most essential system through which humans construct reality.
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Social Control
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_control
Social control refers generally to societal and political mechanisms or processes that regulate individual and group behavior in an attempt to gain conformity and compliance[disambiguation needed] to the rules of a given society, state, or social group. Sociologists identify two basic forms of social control:
**Informal means of control – Internalisation of norms and values by a process known as socialization, which is defined as “the process by which an individual, born with behavioral potentialities of enormously wide range, is led to develop actual behavior which is confined to the narrower range of what is acceptable for him by the group standards.”[1]
**Formal means of social control – External sanctions enforced by government to prevent the establishment of chaos or anomie in society. Some theorists, such as Émile Durkheim, refer to this form of control as regulation.
While the concept of social control has been around since the formation of organized sociology, the meaning has been altered over time and has been given both positive and negative connotations. Originally, the concept simply referred to society’s ability to regulate itself.[2] However, in the 1930s, the term took on its more modern meaning of an individual’s conversion to conformity.[2] Social control theory began to be studied as a separate field in the early 20th century.
As briefly defined above, the means to enforce social control can be either informal or formal.[3] Sociologist Edward A. Ross argues that belief systems exert a greater control on human behavior than laws imposed by government, no matter what form the beliefs take
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