We all watch it, we all love it, and we all constantly indulge in it. Every person watches some form of entertainment, some consume a lot, and others less. Whether you use social media as your source of entertainment, or movies or series, we all like to be entertained. It often lets us escape to another world, where we’re not bothered by any of the problems of our actual life. However magnificent entertainment seems, it has got it’s dark sides too.
Let’s just get the cat out of the bag, entertainment is the most useful propaganda tool that exists today. In this post, we’re going to look at the two ways it helps with propaganda. On one side, it distracts us from the problems in our own lives, and on the other side, it persuades us of ideas we don’t want to believe. Let’s start with how entertainment distracts us.
For most people, entertainment is used as a way to escape ordinary life. Watching a movie and becoming completely immersed in its fantasy world makes you forget about your own life, your problems, your worries, and the things you still have to do. Everything just seems to disappear for a moment, and it feels wonderful. But then the movie stops, and there you are, back in the real world again. Suddenly you realize that your problems have not gone away because you were just not thinking about them, but that they are getting worse the more you neglect them.
This is what is happening to most people because of entertainment, and it’s why they want to watch more and more of it. People tend to be very short-sighted and prefer the pleasure or the relief of a negative feeling right now, instead of experiencing pain and negative emotions in the moment to feel better in the long term. This is a normal human tendency that makes us very attracted to entertainment. In the short term, when you’re entertained you forget about your problems and negative emotions, in the moment you feel good. But in the long term, the more you neglect these problems, watch your entertainment instead, and pretend that your problems aren’t there, you make them worse in the long term.
The use of entertainment to distract you from problems applies to your everyday issues, work or family related for example, but also to the much bigger problems. Entertainment distracts you from the problems that matter, especially because entertainment is used as a relaxation tool to get rid of the stress and the problems of a hard day's work. What happens is that people are so distracted and so immersed in their entertainment that they don’t have time or space inside their minds to think about the issues that matter in the world or the problems they see happening on a daily basis. Most people are too distracted to bother themselves with important issues such as CBDCs, what was happening during the pandemic, or the issues surrounding mass migration. This results in the people in power being able to do what they want, because they are not bothered by a large percentage of the population, who are glued to their television screens.
But apart from distracting you from your life getting worse, and the problems that the people in power produce, entertainment is also extremely effective in persuading you of certain ideas, without you knowing it. Let’s look at how entertainment convinces us of ideas through the use of unconscious persuasion.
Since the birth of media and film, entertainment has been used as a very effective form of propaganda. From Nazi Germany making movies about why you should hate Jews and why you should fight for the German army, to the Cold War, where the narrative that the Russians are always the bad guys and the Americans the good guys was pushed in every movie. All of this is a form of persuasion and propaganda, hidden inside your everyday entertainment. You don’t go to a movie with the idea that you’re being persuaded by propaganda, but you are. This is very prevalent in Hollywood and always has been, but can be especially noticed today.
Hollywood, as one of the biggest producers of movies around the world, holds enormous power over people. Because so many people watch their movies, they have the ability to influence masses of people and persuade them of certain ideas, through telling stories. This could be seen in the Cold War, where it was pretty common to think of Russia as the enemy. Though this was also purported by news and a pretty common opinion, the effect was amplified by using this narrative in entertainment. Today you can see this very well with the woke culture. You can notice the forced diversity in movies, every movie needs to have adequate numbers of people from other races or other sexual preferences, or it is bigoted. It also needs to be more empowering to women, because women can do the exact same things that men can, and often even better, and this is shown in their movies. An obvious example of this is the latest James Bond movie, where the female characters in the movie are very strong women who can do almost everything better than James Bond himself can. Even the girl in the movie who seems inexperienced and doesn’t know what she’s doing seems to do a perfect job of everything. Women are just that good I guess.
We can see these narratives being purported in almost every single movie that comes out now, and it’s also one of the reasons why Hollywood is dying, which is something that gives me at least a little hope. There has been a lot of backlash against this Hollywood propaganda, and for good reason. I believe it is because many of the ideas that are purported go against what we instinctively believe to be right. We know that men are usually more competent at fighting than women, and that they are better at remaining calm under pressure, and when these movies continuously and forcefully tell us the opposite, this just doesn’t click with our animal brain, which senses that it’s not realistic.
Still, despite this, the propaganda purported by our entertainment has a strong effect on us, and our society as a whole. How is it that entertainment works so well as a propaganda tool? It is probably the last thing you’d think of trying to influence you, and that is part of the reason that it does its job of persuading you so well. Let’s look at how propaganda through entertainment works.
As we just mentioned, you don’t watch a movie with the idea that you are being persuaded. You simply want to distract yourself, lose yourself in a story, and be entertained. All of these are understandable and all of them happen, but there is one thing that some movies do in addition to this. They persuade you of certain ideas, propaganda which the mainstream agenda wants you to believe. There are a couple of ways in which they can effectively do this and persuade you without you even knowing. These facts combined make entertainment a very useful and effective persuasion tool.
Firstly, because you are not aware you are being persuaded, you can’t defend yourself against any persuasion. What we tend to do when we notice that someone is trying to convince us of certain ideas and we are aware that we are being persuaded, is we instantly think of counterarguments. Why would what this person is saying not be true, what are the arguments for and against? When the for’s are more convincing than the against’s, we are persuaded and we change our beliefs, when it’s the other way round, we don’t.
What happens with entertainment is that we are not aware that we are being persuaded, so we don’t think of any counterarguments. This means we don't put up our anti-persuasion shield to help defend ourselves from wrongful claims and unwanted persuasion, which leads to all the persuasion seeping into our minds.
What happens is that the ideas that they are trying to persuade you of still seep in without you being aware of or able to defend yourself against them. These ideas that seep in through entertainment can cement themselves in your mind and become part of how you view the world, and this can have a tremendous effect on your life.
They could have a very negative effect on you because you’ll have a worldview that is partly based on arguments and ideas that you’ve not even thought about and sometimes you’re not even conscious that you have them. This is also what makes people fervently defend ideas when they don’t even know where they’ve got those ideas from. They just have them, their way of viewing the world is based on them, so now they have to defend them.
Of course, when you are persuaded once and an idea seeps into your mind one time, you will not immediately believe it, your worldview won’t instantly change, and your life won’t be all that different. But what if that idea seeps into your mind, not one time, but hundreds if not thousands of times? This works with the propaganda principle of repetition and familiarity. Like Joseph Goebbels, the propaganda minister in Nazi Germany and very successful at implementing his propaganda said: “A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth.”
By constantly watching movies that have the same propaganda elements, such as woke ideologies purported in movies, or Cold War ideas with Russia vs. the USA, the ideas get cemented in your mind through repetition. They are never scrutinized by you because they bypass your persuasion defenses. The more times they bypass this defense, the stronger the idea becomes and the more you come to believe in it.
This is not to say that you can’t enjoy entertainment, but what I do want to say is be careful when you watch it. Don’t get too attached to ideas and beliefs you’ve acquired through movies or social media. These may have unconsciously seeped in and shaped your worldview as a result. Always carefully analyze what beliefs you hold and where you got them from. See if the source that gave you this idea has your best interest at heart, or if you believing in it is only in their interest. You may be surprised to discover that a lot of your worldview is based on lies.
“He understood how in the Victorian era of long political speeches he needed to entertain if he was to instruct, persuade and inspire.” ~Andrew Roberts on Winston Churchill