The New Propaganda And The Old Audience


Or is it the other way round?

I have books of propaganda in my library that are absolutely scurrilous. Murderous tomes that I have difficulty approaching, but which I keep for the insight that they give into the minds of their authors, and by extension, to the minds of their readers. I must admit I have not been able to read more than a single chapter of one of them, but will steel myself to do more when I can. NotĀ in cold or depressing weather, however…

Several of the books are picture books – compilations of Asiatic propaganda put out by communist nations to indoctrinate their people. They are crass, lurid, and, in many cases, crude. But they do have a visual appeal derived from a simplistic attitude of right/wrong and Asian racism overlain with Marxist and Maoist messages. Chairman Mao looks happy.

Now that my Australian friends on Facebook have taken to pushing their “share” button so freely in the run-up to the American elections I have also started a series of daily postings of images taken from these picture books with anti-Clinton captions. This will irk some of the most passionate of Facebookers, but probably delight at least one Trump supporter.

The important thing to realise is that I am not an American citizen and my opinion on the suitability of either of the candidates in their election is invalid. I have no right to say one way or the other. Neither do the vast majority of my Facebook friends here in Australia. The sad thing is I know it and they don’t…or at least don’t care.

So I will gleefully post what are no more than cheap insincere jokes plastered onto stolen artwork. Those who wish to be outraged will have a daily opportunity – as will those who wish to be delighted. None of us here in the antipodes will make the slightest difference to the outcome.

To be fair, I would also post scurrilous memes about theĀ Canadian, British, French, and Peruvian elections if anyone cared. So far my supplies of these have never been touched.