Propaganda and Desire

The TV ratings of the chief Russian propagandists Olga Skabeeva and Vladimir Solovyov have collapsed. The reason is that they have no wins to report, not even imaginary ones. Now their shows are all about “why are we losing so badly?” And people don’t want to hear that they are losing, so they don’t tune in.

There is an important lesson here. Everybody is excellent at avoiding propaganda when it tells them what they don’t want to hear. No propaganda on the planet can convince people of something they don’t want to believe. Propaganda doesn’t cause desire. It’s desire that causes propaganda.

Consequently, nobody – absolutely nobody – is immune to propaganda. People who are convinced that they are immune are the most likely to fall under its influence.

Nobody is immune because we all have desires. I’m immune to the kind of propaganda peddled by Skabeeva and Solovyov because they have nothing that I desire. But I’m not immune to other kinds.

I spent 15 years in thrall to a particular brand of progressivist propaganda because it flattered my sense of superiority. Note that I say “flattered”, not “created.” The superiority was already there and it was my choice to seek out a system of thinking that would feed it.

Feelings of togetherness, belonging, self-righteousness, importance, clarity and many others are what people seek when they set out to look for comforting conspiracy theories and other propagandistic joys. The need can overcome anybody, and we should all be honest with ourselves about what kind of propaganda would be attractive to us.


One thought on “Propaganda and Desire

  1. You might be confusing “propaganda” with stories.

    The desire for stories is an innocent one; the which the propagandists take advantage of

    Unless the desire itself is a vice: gluttony, greed, pride, et al , you may be unfair to yourself in this.


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