persuasion or propaganda
Propaganda and Persuasion
Propaganda and Persuasion
During the 1918 Russian Civil War, there was news depicting Leon Trotsky as the leader of the Red Army. The news was accompanied by pictures of a dragon with a top hat that were used to describe the head as the fighter in Saint George advocating for communism. It was regarded as the main weapon against capitalism. The title of the news associated with the leader was the theme of counter-revolution printed on the picture. The Russian diverse interests in capitalism, socialism and monarchism required massive support for the Red Army to defeat the South Russian White Army. The support and creation of the Red Army required massive public support and thus prompted the use of pictures for persuasion. This essay explores the story of the Russian Civil War by Mawdsley to develop the difference between persuasion and propaganda.
The key difference between propaganda and persuasion is the line of honesty. In persuasion, the underlining story should display some sense of truth and should be free from falsehood. The amount of time taken to spread a persuasion message is comparatively more (Jowett, 2008). The main fields that use persuasion are the political arena. On the other hand, propaganda is a platform for spreading negative messages. The methods used are mainly unethical and normally regarded as destructive politics. The main delivery methods for propaganda is the use of quick strategies such as TV and social media (Jowett, 2008).
From the story, the public, especially peasant workers were the main target audience of the propaganda and persuasion messages. Their compliance determined the dominance of the Red and White Army. The strategies used by the two can be categorized as persuasion and propaganda. For the leader of the Red Army to persuade workers on reuniting to form a communal army. There had to be the use persuasion citing the aim as creating a professional fighting force against the South (Mawdsley, 2000). The pictures of Leon Trotsky as a deadly dragon was used to encourage workers and to think that the Red Army had a powerful leader. Dragon posters in Saint George spread the message of persuasion. The propaganda is evident also when the leader realized that the workers workforce formed a small fighting, group. He had to use propaganda and even to the extent of threatening hostages. The messages of forcing compliance by the hostages depict the use of propaganda. Unethical means were used to ensure loyalty and compliance.
Political strategies played a significant role on both sides of the fighting army. Through persuasion, the majority of the Tsarist officers became members of the Red Army (Mawdsley, 2000). The unethical practices were used by both armies making the propaganda method of communication. The level of persuasion determines the popularity and control of the Russian Empire. Forcing compliance by sending threatening messages is a propaganda. The ethical policies were only meant to popularize the armies. In persuasion point of view, the strategy of gaining population entailed persuading peasant workers to join respective armies.
In conclusion, honesty is the differentiating aspect between propaganda and persuasion. In political terms, people prefer persuasion type of communication rather than propaganda. Propaganda is associated with unethical issues including threats of killing the non-compliant people. Persuasion is a strategy for increasing follow-base and usually accompanied by ethical policies of gaining popularity.
Jowett, G. (2008). Propaganda and Persuasion. Newbury Park: Sage.
Mawdsley, E. (2000). The Russian Civil War. Boston: Allen and Unwin.
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