Randal Marlin

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If war is glorified, it tends to eclipse the policies it is meant to serve. - Randal Marlin, 2002

Randal Marlin (born 1938) is an American-born Canadian philosophy professor at Carleton University in Ottawa who specializes in the study of propaganda.

Sourced[edit]

Propaganda & The Ethics Of Persuasion (2002)[edit]

  • There are many special interests skilful at manipulating circumstances and communications in such a way as to benefit their own ends and not necessarily the public good.
    • Preface, p. 9
  • Once we recognize the power of propaganda, we need to ask whether its exercise is consistent with those democratic ideals to which lip-service is commonly accorded.
    • Chapter One, Why Study Propaganda?, p. 13
  • To avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, an alert citizenry today should take the trouble to learn how easy it can be for a powerful minority to manipulate information to win the support-or the indifference-of the majority towards an action.
    • Chapter One, Why Study Propaganda?, p. 14
  • The specific media my change, but the principles of human nature have remained fairly constant over the millenia.
    • Chapter One, Why Study Propaganda?, p. 15
  • We live in a time when complex ethical questions are easily subordinated to the demands of efficiency, profit maximization, and maintenance or furthering of political power.
    • Chapter One, Why Study Propaganda?, p. 39
The best goal for propaganda analysis is to develop such an understanding of the phenomenon that it will no longer be profitable for people to engage in it.
  • When we consider propaganda as the attempt to shape the thoughts and feelings of others, in ways conforming to the aims of the communicator, we find a vast array of different examples throughout history.
    • Chapter Two, History Of Propaganda, p. 43
  • Down to the present day the luminous image of democracy has often served as a pretext for the most undemocratic actions.
    • Chapter Two, History Of Propaganda, p. 45
  • Aristotle writes that persuasion is based on three things: the ethos, or personal character of the speaker; the pathos, or getting the audience into the right kind of emotional receptivity; and the logos, or the argument itself, carried out by abbreviated syllogisms, or something like deductive syllogisms, and by the use of example.
    • Chapter Two, History Of Propaganda, p. 47
  • Small town people assume you are a friend if you simply remember their names.
    • Chapter Two, History Of Propaganda, p. 50
  • If war is glorified, it tends to eclipse the policies it is meant to serve.
    • Chapter Two, History Of Propaganda, p. 59
  • Exposure as a propagandist is fatal to the would-be persuader.
    • Chapter Three, Propaganda Technique, p. 95
  • In a general way, a major goal of the propagandist is to seek some kind of authoritative backing for the belief he or she is propagating.
    • Chapter Three, Propaganda Technique, p. 99
  • There are many other ways in which language can be used to manipulate an audience. one obvious way is to simply lie.
    • Chapter Three, Propaganda Technique, p. 107
  • Since the time of Plato and Aristotle philosophers have had an interest in taking note of common fallacies in reasoning.
    • Chapter Three, Propaganda Technique, p. 110
  • In modern times sound policy-making must often come to grips with numbers.
    • Chapter Three, Propaganda Technique, p. 118
  • If you can show that something is to a person's advantage, they have an attractive reason for doing that thing.
    • Chapter Four, Ethics And Propaganda, p. 140
  • When you give false information you tend to restrict the freedom of choice to others.
    • Chapter Four, Ethics And Propaganda, p. 149
  • The liar wants to be believed, but lying undermines the foundation for credibility.
    • Chapter Four, Ethics And Propaganda, p. 149
  • Party politics in modern democratic society means pandering to a wide variety of different groups and sympathizing with their often quite base motives, such as revenge, power, booty, and spoils, to maintain the necessary level of support.
    • Chapter Four, Ethics And Propaganda, p. 155
  • There is arguably something wrong with a method of persuasion that cannot pass the test of publicity.
    • Chapter Four, Ethics And Propaganda, p. 166
The specific media my change, but the principles of human nature have remained fairly constant over the millenia.
  • It is true that advertising often gives information and is valuable for doing so, but some forms of advertising give precious little information, and even that little is wrong.
    • Chapter Five, Advertising And Public Relations Ethics, p. 176
  • The special harm attaching to prior restraint is that the government can keep materials from reaching the public, so there can be no accountability, no judgment by the people that the power to suppress was wrongly exercised.
    • Chapter Six, Freedom Of Expression, p. 207
  • Any restrictions to freedom of expression will always open the door to possible others, because analogical reasoning can mount arguments showing why this or that class of objects is closely similar to those for which exceptions have been made.
    • Chapter Six, Freedom Of Expression, p. 230
  • Anyone familiar with the marvels of the Worldwide Web can hardly fail to see that we have entered a new era in communications on a scale perhaps comparable to the invention of the Gutenberg press.
    • Chapter Eight, Propaganda, Democracy, And the Internet, p. 284
  • When we look for propaganda, we have the obvious job of asking what messages are being propagated.
    • Chapter Eight, Propaganda, Democracy, And the Internet, p. 302
  • Propaganda analysis can contribute to world peace by exposing those techniques that lead to armed conflict by creating misapprehension of reality.
    • Chapter Eight, Propaganda, Democracy, And the Internet, p. 305
  • The best goal for propaganda analysis is to develop such an understanding of the phenomenon that it will no longer be profitable for people to engage in it.
    • Chapter Eight, Propaganda, Democracy, And the Internet, p. 306

External links[edit]

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