POLITICAL MANIPULATION: CONCEPT AND DEFINITION
The manager of chair of political science and social and economic disciplines of Institute of a magistracy and doctoral studies
PhD of the Kazakh national pedagogical university named after
Abai, the Doctor of Philosophy, the professor
The political manipulation is the major problem of research of sociopolitical sciences which is still insufficiently studied in the scientific literature. Naturally, in one article it is impossible to capture all aspects of a political manipulation, therefore I would like to consider only its concept and definition.
First of all it is necessary to tell that the greatest danger to citizens and democratic government devices represents mass media use (further - mass-media) for a political manipulation-hidden of management of political consciousness and behavior of people on purpose to force them to operate or stay idle contrary to own interests. Thus the manipulation is based on lie. And it is not «lie in rescue», and mercenary actions.
From all variety of the processing methods used for changing the political behavior of people, it is possible to allocate the receptions, allowing to manipulate behavior of people. The political manipulation is enough difficult socially-spiritual formation structured on many levels and the bases, and is functional, shown in the politician and its subjects, dynamically and inconsistently. In this connection it is necessary to notice that quite often there are situations when enough fast and effective influence on behavior of people is required to the political subject, but thus it is limited in the right to apply frank compulsion and violence, it doesn't have possibilities to affect on those who possesses powers to pass laws or other statutory acts, it doesn't have time to wait, when peoples belief and valuable preferences changes. In such situations the manipulation of peoples behavior becomes an everyday occurrence.
In politics manipulation is understood as a special kind of influence when the manipulator induces the person to actions which that didn't intend to carry out at present. Manipulation differs from power, imperious influence with absence of the direct instructions, the order what to do, and open compulsion following it or threat of application of sanctions . In a course of manipulating influence the person doesn't feel external compulsion, it seems him that he makes decision, chooses the form of the behavior himself.
It is necessary to tell that the general technology of political manipulation is based on regular introduction of sociopolitical myths-illusory of the ideas confirming certain values and the norms perceived mainly on trust, without rational critical judgement of  realities, the validity in mass consciousness. Myths are created to hold down people. When myths manage to be introduced imperceptibly in consciousness of mass, they find huge force for the majority of people don't suspect about occurring manipulation.
Myths make the base of all illusory picture of the world created by manipulators. So, as bearing designs of communistic system of a manipulation acted myths about a private property as about the main source of sociopolitical harm, the conflict, about inevitability of crash of capitalism and a communism celebration, about a supervising role of working class and its communist party, about unique true, scientific socially – the political doctrine-Marxism-Leninism.
In the USA, according to the American professor Herbert Schiller, the main ideas confirming domination of ruling elite, acted five sociopolitical myths : 1) about individual freedom and a personal choice of citizens; 2) about a neutrality of the major political institutes: the congress, court and the presidential power, and also mass-media; 3) about invariable egoistical human nature, its aggression, propensity to moneymaking and consumption; 4) about absence of social conflicts, operation and oppression in a society; 5) about pluralism of mass-media which actually, despite their abundance, are supervised by large advertisers and the government and represent the uniform industry of illusory consciousness.
Quite often manipulation considers as a deceit, but it isn't absolutely true. For example,there is such manipulating reception which essence consists in skillful, unostentatious and imperceptible for the majority of people distribution of prestige and that authority that it is appreciated and respected by them, that the political subject presents. At use of this reception associations are initiated, associative communications of presented object is formed with someone or with something having the importance and importance at associates. So, if the candidate is represented in an environment of cheerful children on a publicity board it is quite possible that on someone this advertizing will have the latent influence as a result of unconscious fixing of positive associative communication, i.e. carrying over of the kind relation to children on the positioned candidate. This reception is widely used in political commercials when the candidate, for example, is shown against lovely to any Kazakhstani citizen boundless Kazakhstan open spaces or when the little-known candidate is represented near to the popular politician, scientific.
The manipulation in the politics has deep gnoseological roots as the policy is difficult area, often hidden from eyes of simple people, extremely inconsistent and able to be false, immoral, dishonest, etc. Therefore to the simple person it is enough difficult to understand political events, to explain, estimate them . Not casually many people, being object of manipulations, doesn't aspire to leave from this captivity, and are content with estimated judgement about the politics in a word: it "is pleasant" or "is not pleasant".
In modern political space knowledge of a reality of mass-media are always mediated and from which citizens, first of all, scoop representations about it, therefore it is impossible to distinguish the displayed information from the displayed phenomenon. It serves as the precondition for a political manipulation as the way of the latent management of political consciousness and behavior of people on purpose to generate at them necessary political representations, readiness for certain type of political action .
Bodies of the political power of not democratic modes always aspire to hold the people, social a generality of people in an object condition, using mass media for "planting" of stereotypes favorable to the authorities, installations, the purposes, ideals, etc.
As it is known, the mass consciousness is empirical, spontaneously arising in the course of daily everyday practice and characteristic for a great bulk of members of a society consciousness.
In U.Lippmana, E.Bernajsa's theories it is offered to operate mass consciousness in interests of ruling classes by means of influence methods on the instinctively-emotional party of mentality of the person, for example, through a method of "creation of events» when the external activator will be organized so that it, influencing instincts and emotions, maintained a cash stereotype of people or destroyed it and created the new.
In this connection it is necessary to tell that in a political manipulation its allocate two main models: psychological and rational. The basic characteristic of the first model is use of automatic reaction of the individual on those or other psychological stimulus. The essence of a manipulation consists in this case in a choice of the most suitable stimulus for actuating of those psychological mechanisms which are capable to cause reaction wished for the manipulator. At such approach the person is considered as the simple mechanism operating by a principle stimulus – reaction. In rational model the manipulation is carried out not through the usage of psychological motives, and by means of a deceit and perfidy. Among the forms of a manipulation carried to this model, the following are allocated: reduction of volume of the information accessible to the ordinary citizen; propagation use, i.e. granting to citizens partly true, but the tendentious information; Privacy use, i.e. deliberate concealment of the information which is capable to undermine an official political policy; the information overload, i.e. conscious granting of the excessive information on purpose to deprive of the ordinary citizen of possibility adequately to acquire and truly to estimate it. The sense of such approach consists in difficulty for individuals of actual access to the information that forces them to rely on its official interpretation.
In propagation companies, for rooting of sociopolitical myths the technology of a manipulation assumes usage of the richest arsenal of concrete receptions and influence methods on consciousness of people. It concerns not only a direct juggling of the facts, hushing up of the objectionable information, lie and slander distribution, but also more thin refined ways: the half-truth-when to provide trust of audience, objectively and concrete, insignificant details are in detail shined and more important facts are held back or the general false interpretation of event is given; gluing of labels (assignment of nicknames) – investment of the person or idea a humiliating, offensive or ridiculous nickname, an epithet undermining their authority.
Among receptions of a political manipulation it is possible to allocate:
- A principle "recommendations" (certificate) - use names of known actors sympathizing them, scientific, sportsmen and other celebrities for strengthening the effect and popularity suggestion of candidate or the pre-election block ;
- "A carrying over" principle – identification of qualities and properties of any person or political idea with qualities and properties of known and authoritative persons or ideas, i.e. an estimation on association;
- A principle «simple people» (the children) - identification of interests of the informant or the propagandist with interests and expectations of simple people, the silent majority of the nation, earth salt, etc.;
- A principle of "a support of cards» - frank falsification of actual facts by means of the receptions imperceptible for mass audience;
- A principle of "brilliant mediocrity» (prompting of blush) - operating by habitual, banal trues, well-known everything, but at the same time abstract enough for the inhabitant over which maintenance last usually doesn't reflect («the law and an order», "human rights", «humanism, freedom, justice», etc.);
- A principle of "the general car» (together with all) - stimulation of certain reaction by thought suggestion about it generally recognized and a rationality («all so think», «all so do»).
There is a set of receptions of the linguistic, language manipulation assuming use for a designation of the same phenomena of euphemisms, and also words, and having other estimated shade. So, for example, the person conducting armed struggle, for creation of the independent national state, is named as the fighter for freedom, the separatist, the terrorist, the guerrilla, the insurgent.
For each information genre, along with the general receptions of a political manipulation, there are also special. The television, for example, for formation at spectators of repellent feeling in relation to objectionable politicians uses unattractive foreshortenings of their display or in appropriate way mounts the photographed shots. For the latent suggestion to mass of certain political ideas it will quite often organize noisy entertaining shows etc.
For management of consciousness of people various receptions, for example reception of "crushing" or localization (when the numerous messages not connected with each other are transferred, or infinitely interrupt TV programs with advertizing inserts) are used. All it reduces ability of the person to concentrate and estimate total character of a covered problem or event, as a result collects misunderstanding, lack of information, apathy and indifference of people, and time at people is absent the own weighed judgement they can «introduce the necessary judgement».
Modern manipulators skillfully use laws of mass psychology. So, one of the widespread and outwardly harmless handling receptions, named «the concealing spiral», consists in that with the help of the references to forged polls or other facts to convince citizens of support by the majority of a society need to manipulators of a political position, in its victory. It forces the people adhering to different views, from fear to appear in socially-psychological isolation or any sanctions to hold back the opinion or to change it. Against supressing about a position of opponents the voice of the present or imaginary majority becomes even louder, and it compels not consent or fluctuating to acceptance of the "standard" opinion or to deep concealment of the belief even more strongly. As a result «the concealing spiral» twists even more abruptly, providing a victory to manipulators.
It is necessary to underline that the political manipulation is widely used not only in the totalitarian and authoritative states where often is a dominating method of activity of mass-media, but also in modern western democracies, especially in party propagation and during selective companies. Today any presidential or parliamentary selective company in the countries of the West and many other states doesn't do without use of receptions of a political manipulation and advertizing which, closely intertwining among themselves, create at spectators representations rather far from a reality about the certain politician.
As sociological researches show, "the average" voter usually judges the candidate for presidents or parliament on that image (image) which creates to it teleconducting and other mass media. In the West countries, and last years and in the CIS, the whole direction of advertizing business-image-making, i.e. creation of images of politicians attractive to voters successfully develops. Professionals employed for the big money images-makers and organizers of the selective companies dictate to applicants not only the form of clothes and a behavior manner, but also the maintenance of performances which abound with set of the tempting promises usually forgotten right after a victory on elections.
Behind brilliant advertizing packing skillfully made by mass-media it is difficult to distinguish to the voter true business and moral qualities of candidates, to define their political positions. Such advertizing-manipulating activity transforms a choice of citizens from the free conscious decision into the formal certificate in advance programmed by experts in formation of mass consciousness .
For manipulation with mass consciousness of people reception «immediate information giving» when spend the reporting from a place of events is used also, creates speed of giving of quickly alternating messages containing unchecked data and interpretations, intensity promoting forcing and a hysteria. At use of this reception, at televiewers and radio listeners ability to differentiate the information on importance degree weakens, to them don't give to possibility to make judgement as there is a dispersion and deprivation of sense of the information that finally prevents to understand and comprehend to weights an essence of occurring events, leads people of passivity, to a condition of inertness which prevents both individual, and mass action. Thus, for preservation of an existing sociopolitical order all measures on decrease in physical and intellectual activity of people which watch TV hours, on «óáàþêèâàíèþ spectators» for a lulling to slip of concern of the social, political and economic validity are undertaken.
Thus, propensity to create and trust in myths, in illusion – one of a side of mass consciousness of people. The foreign material on mass consciousness and its illusions contains in works of such thinkers, as H.Arendt, A.Kamju, H.Ortega-and-Gasset, E.Fromm, A.Levi-Brjul, E.Djurkgejm, K.Levi-Stross. The Russian scientific V.Rybin proves that illusion is historically necessary form of reflection of the validity owing to limitation of its knowledge from the concrete person. Therefore mass consciousness this mainly illusory consciousness, and generalizations which become in illusory consciousness, reflect essence of the phenomena only superficially, unilaterally.
For example, for last 25 years in Eurasia from one hopes, illusions and expectations of "the best life» passed to another. In the beginning hoped on improved a socialism ("reorganization"), and he has turned back strengthening of commodity deficiency and power disorder. Then hoped for the market and a lawful state, and there was an inflation and a criminal lawlessness. Still recently all believed what enough to break is command-management system and to give freedom of market elements, and she, these elements, on the waves will bring us to the economic I will blossom. And even earlier there was other illusive illusion that, having expropriated, it is possible to trust optimistically the objective Marxist law of economic development and then during life of one generation we will necessarily reach communistic abundance. Today it is already clear to everybody that the next historical miracle doesn't happen. Disappointment, devastation, disbelief, apathy-quite natural emotional reaction of people after wrecking so many illusions and hopes. Introduced illusions gradually "dissipate" under the influence of life experience of people, but in due time and consistently replacing one illusion with another, the third etc., power structures manage to manipulate successfully enough mass consciousness and behavior of the population. Economic, political and spiritual kinds of manipulations are capable to change enough strongly mass consciousness of people, and only mentality resists social manipulations more steadily. Ideological influences which contradict real life of people, are sharply contrast in relation to aprioristic values of mentality, "are unconsciously torn away" by people. Manipulating influences owing to their disguised character and an influence orientation first of all on emotional and unconscious processes, can exist in parallel with contrast aprioristic intrinsic layers of mentality, but historical prospect win constant characteristics of ethnos, the population.
In this connection it is necessary to tell that it is necessary to conduct irreconcilable struggle against a political manipulation. Without due struggle against a political manipulation it can become the main function of manipulators, mass-media and to bring to nothing democratic principles officially proclaimed the state in a society.
Essential obstacles for a political manipulation is the private experience of people, and also systems of communications not supervised by the power: a family, relatives, acquaintances and friends, interaction groups developing in the course of industrial and other activity etc. However a political manipulation, especially at monopoly of its initiators for mass-media, the economic and political power, is capable to bypass these barriers as possibilities of individual and group experience applying to a policy it is limited and suppose various interpretations. So, for example, a failure of economic policy of the government it is possible to explain differently: its incompetence or corruption, heavy a heritage of last mode, inevitability of difficulties in reforming, intrigues of opposition or the hostile states, etc. The weakest at the population protective mechanisms against a manipulation in the field of a new problematics, in relation to which at it still íåñëîæèëîñü opinion.
It is necessary to tell that against a political manipulation can act reliably and effectively state structures, public organization of mass-media and pluralism .
In the majority of the countries of the world there are special bodies of a society to control for the mass-media which are watching observance by them ethical and rules of law. For example, in France such instance is the High council on audiovisual communications. It is not only supervises state and private a radio station body , but also grants it the state licenses for the broadcast right. In Great Britain the government and parliament define the general lines of activity of radio and teleconducting. Observance by the press of ethical standards is followed by the special commission on self-checking. The information policy, like the political and economic power, needs control from a society.
Besides special bodies state or public control to use mass-media and public tribunes in interests of citizens and to prevent negative consequences of their activity help communication education of the population and, especially, young generation. Political-communication education of young generation gains the increasing distribution in the western democracies . It is obvious that it is even more necessary for Kazakhstan and other countries of the post-Soviet territory in which literacy of the population in the field of mass communications is low, and to possibility their use in manipulating the purposes are high. Only in a complex solving various problems in the field of mass communications on the basis of the account of world experience and own political realities, these countries can create effective and viable democracy, and limit sphere of influence of a political manipulation.
Thus, from all aforesaid it is possible to draw a conclusion that the political manipulation is the latent management of political consciousness and behavior of citizens on purpose to force them to operate contrary to own interests. Moreover, it is system of ways of psychological influence on the weights, used by manipulators, the authorities for the purpose of a deceit, introduction in consciousness of the people of illusory representations about political life. Therefore it is necessary to struggle with them without compromise and it is effective. For this purpose it is necessary to improve ways of its restriction and struggle methods.
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