Wednesday, December 02, 2015

"Politics is the art of persuasion and rhetoric a weapon of mass persuasion."

And they're not finished yet, unfortunately.

Philippe-Joseph Salazar: the philosopher whose essay on Isis has shocked and enlightened, by Agnès Poirier (The Guardian)

To win a war on the ground, you need first to win the war of words, says in essence French philosopher Philippe-Joseph Salazar in his latest essay, Paroles armées: Comprendre et combattre la propagande terroriste (Armed Words: Understanding and Fighting Terrorist Propaganda), which has made a mark on the public debate about the Paris attacks. It is through words that statesmen galvanise their compatriots, and call to arms. Words have the power to spur millions of people into action. La Marseillaise, the French anthem which has echoed through the world since the Paris attacks, as a symbol of defiance and a cry to defeat the oppressor, is a perfect example. And so is the jihadi propaganda freely available on the internet. Politics is the art of persuasion and rhetoric a weapon of mass persuasion.

But if rhetoric is the art of influencing the thought and conduct of an audience, and the ability to use language effectively, we democrats, we French republicans, have lost, and they have won. Who are they, he asks. An enemy whose name we cannot even start agreeing on. And that’s not the least of our problems.

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