Here’s a gift of insight for all things personal and political:
“The power of words over reality cannot be unlimited since, fortunately, reality imposes its own unalterable conditions. The rulers of totalitarian countries wish, of course, to be truthfully informed, but time and again they fall prey, inevitably, to their own lies and suffer unexpected defeats. Entangled in a trap of their own making, they attempt awkward compromises between their own need for truthful information and the quasiautomatic operations of a system that produces lies for everyone, including the producers.”
— Leszek Kolakowski, “Totalitarianism and the Virtue of the Lie” (1983)
Also see: “Auden Explains Poetry, Propaganda, and Reporting” and “Christianity as propaganda; Christianity versus propaganda”
Posted in Christian Humanism, language, propaganda, words
Tagged essays, Is God Happy?, language, Leszek Kolakowski, lies, personal, politics, propaganda, psychology, totalitarianism, words
“When art is used as a tool for evangelism, it is often insincere and second-rate, devalued to the level of propaganda. I would call this a form of prostitution, a misuse of one’s talent.” — H.R. Rookmaaker
Also see Auden Explains Poetry, Propaganda, and Reporting.
“Poetry is speech at its most personal, the most intimate of dialogues. A poem does not come to life until a reader makes his response to the words written by the poet.
“Propaganda is a monologue which seeks not a response but an echo. To recognize this is not to condemn all propaganda as such. Propaganda is a necessity of all human social life. But to fail to recognize the difference between poetry and propaganda does untold mischief to both: poetry loses its value and propaganda its effectiveness.
“Whatever real social evil exists, poetry, or any of the arts for that matter, is useless as a weapon. Aside from direct political action, the only weapon is factual reportage—photographs, statistics, eyewitness reports.”
—W.H. Auden, in “A Short Defense of Poetry,” an address given at the International PEN Conference in Budapest, October 1967
Posted in Christian Humanism, Humanities, media, poetry, propaganda
Tagged A Short Defense of Poetry, journalism, poetry, preaching, propaganda, reporting, W.H. Auden