I haven’t thought much about “Propaganda and Agitation” since the Berlin Wall came down, but that old Marxist term was back in the news last week when the North Korean Director of Propaganda and Agitation reportedly won “diplomatic gold” at the Winter Olympics. Friday’s 13 indictments against a “Russian troll farm” prove that “propaganda and agitation” aren’t just for Marxists any more.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, “Agitation is… the use of political slogans and half-truths to exploit the grievances of the public and thereby to mold public opinion and mobilize public support. Propaganda, by contrast, is the reasoned use of historical and scientific arguments to indoctrinate the educated and so-called ‘enlightened’ members of society, such as party members.” The Russian trolls that got involved in the 2016 US elections may have been low on “reasoned use of historical and scientific arguments,” but they specialized in “political slogans and half-truths to exploit the grievances of the public.”
Unfortunately, agitprop isn’t just for Russians anymore. Too many American commenters agitate instead of argue. It’s time for patriotic Americans to call out “agitprop” whenever we see it.
Do you agree? Then find some online tweet or comment that uses slogans and half-truths to exploit some grievance and link back to this post. (I don’t mind going viral. Really!)
Do you disagree? Then tell me why in the comment section below. I promise to edit or delete this post if I am in error!