Of religion and successful marketing: The doctrine of finding solutions to nonexistent problems

Just Merveilleux

If you follow American politics, by now you’re privy to the case of the many bathroom bills introduced by religious conservatives in various states.

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The recent, rather unsurprising revelation that all of the anti-trans propaganda is nothing but propaganda reminded me of the utter effectiveness of the Goebbels model. Particularly the fabrication of anxiety. Or as Doob put it in Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda:

Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.

  1. Propaganda must reinforce anxiety concerning the consequences of defeat.
  2. Propaganda must diminish anxiety (other than that concerning the consequences of defeat) which is too high and cannot be reduced by people themselves.

Goebbels, of course, was not alone- nor was he the brilliant creator of modern marketing. Long before him monotheistic religions had already put those principles into practice with extraordinary success. The creation of anxiety has been the backbone of interpersonal manipulation forever.

We can…