I am fascinated by propaganda. So I’ve been collecting a bit to discuss with you.
For me, propaganda is interesting because it often tacitly admits that whatever it’s promoting is a lie. After all, if you knew something was true, you’d just expose the supporting facts and allow the reader to draw their own conclusions. When someone goes out of their way to push an agenda, then it gets fun and you see the lies peek out. I first realized this when someone asked me to read Lee Strobel’s book “The Case for a Creator” – was thinking “Wait a minute! If he’s using arguments that he knows have been refuted, then he’s knowingly lying to his readers!” And what does that tell you about his case?
I’ve got some goodies in my propaganda pile, including homeschool texts written by christian ideologues, social studies textbooks written by American nationalists, and some vintage pseudoscience. I don’t want to get any of this dreck confused with my “Things That Delight Me” thread. So, if you see “Propaganda” as the header, you’ll know it’s probably not worth reading.
Speaking of propaganda: when I was in 6th or 7th grade in the Baltimore City Public Schools, I remember a geography text that had a picture that said “America wants to be friends with everyone” – and uncle sam sitting in a circle with stereotyped global ethnicities (e.g: a slanty-eyed guy in a Vietnamese-style conical straw hat) (yes! that bad!) on the next page was a Soviet soldier with a PPSH tommygun standing astride the world “The Soviets Just Want to Rule The World” If any of you have seen that one, and remember it, I want to find it so I can convince myself it was real. Looking back (this would have been 1972 or so) I
havehad trouble believing that a public school system would shovel such garbage at kids.
Once I started looking at christian homeschooling texts, I realized that there’s no bottom to the lies that people will tell children for their own good.