Targeting crowds: A study of how the Norwegian Labour Party adapted Nazi rhetorical methodology
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPublic Relations Review, 43(2017)3, 635-643 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.02.014
The immense success of post WWI Europeantotalitarian regimes form the backdrop for this study. Political success is often credited cleverly crafted communication strategies. The Norwegian Labour Party applied methods similar to those found in Nazi Germany as of 1933/34, luring voters away from the dogmatic Right and Left, to the leftist social democratic movement. One key element of this highly successful strategy is the shift from a somber accentuation on methods of scientific persuasion, emphasizing a perceived rationale of a social system based in Marxism, to propaganda, bombarding masses with slogans and one-liners. Another key element is an acknowledgement of indifferent voters. The vast majority of the voter potential did not attend political meeting and were unable to recognize and separate ideologies. This led party strategists to developing methodologieson how to approach voters as crowds, not merely as individual citizens in large numbers. Recognizing the homogeneity and protective environment of the Darwinian herd, crowds became target groups for the Labour Party election campaigns, in which they found gratification by unison songs, theatrical entertainment and simple slogans.
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