Sunday, December 5, 2010

Keeping Fear Alive

Manipulating people's emotions thru the big five which are: fear, hate, greed, false pride and blind loyalty is the heart of the propaganda business. It's easy to bring out the worst in people using these base emotions and this kind of pro...paganda can usually get people to believe and/or do anything once they succumb. There's that famous insight by Herman Goering to the effect that "it works like this in any country.... you can get the people to go to war (even though they don't want to) if you just tell them they are being attacked." And Edmund Burke had a good quote that "Nothing so effectively robs the mind of its ability to think or act as fear."

Con artists are masters of using greed to dupe their victims. Almost all frauds depend on the effective use of greed.

And the social psychologists Soloman Asch (line test) and Stanley Milgram (electric voltage test) showed how a high percentage (usually about 2/3s) of all people have such deeply rooted need to conform so as to be accepted by others which entails obedience to authority. Asch's social psychology experiments in the 1950s termed it "gestalt" (group think) and attributed a lot of the "good German" behavior to this kind of false pride and blind loyalty.