Before this class I had never really dug into the difference between propaganda and persuasion. I knew the individual definitions of both but never seemed to put what the difference was into play. In class we defined propaganda to be informing people but on a bias or misleading nature. Propaganda is an art in making people think a certain way by getting them to believe things that may or may not be true. Persuasion was defined as the act of causing people to do or believe something. Persuasion is usually lead by facts or truths rather than untrue statements that propaganda tries to fill you with. Many people have persuasion or are persuaded to do certain things due to their beliefs, morals, values and other characteristics that define them.
You find yourself asking tough questions of if you would be able to tell the difference between propaganda or persuasion in a given setting. Or say if you would know that what you're partaking in is propaganda and that you are possibly getting scamped or brainwashed to believe a certain thing that may not be true to its word. One of the most prominent forms of propaganda to ever exist was during the Holocaust, the Nazi propaganda formed by Hitler himself. They used propaganda as a critical instrument for acquiring and maintain power and for the implement of the new Nazi policies. This is a main reason as to why propaganda has a negative reputation behind it. They wanted to insure everyone thought the same way by regulating the literature, art, music, radio, film, newspapers etc to be pro nazi and not have any other outside opinion. You could only read, hear, and see what the Nazis wanted you to. We watched the video in class that gave a clear description of how Hitler used propaganda to rally his people. Using tactics to fire people up, saying big words with no substance to them, and saying how they were going to control their country and how the Jews were bad. It seemed everyone bought into this by chanting along with him and using the infamous arm raising. This is where you see a definite line between propaganda and persuasion. Propaganda is more of a forced way of believing rather than giving possible choices that persuasion grants you with.
Now that we have just looked at one of the most popular examples of propaganda ever created were going to look at the difference with persuasion. Persuasion has been the center of many of our class discussions for weeks. Persuasion is centered-around the three main types it is created on. Those types being logos, pathos, and ethos and meaning logic, emotion, ethics respectively. This is why when we think of differences between persuasion and propaganda we see how persuasion is backed up more with ethical reason and truth. An example of persuasion would be trying to convince someone to stop smoking. You do this because you know from prior research it is bad for your health and you see it is emotionally wearing on their body. Another example would be to try and convince a friend not to go to a party. You do this because they are not of age to drink and would run the risk of getting in legal trouble. You see through these examples how persuasion majority of the time is in the best interest of the user.
I think it’s easy to see just how much persuasion and propaganda are living amongst us in our everyday lives and how valuable it truly is.
Further reading on the topic: http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/propaganda-in-nazi-germany/