Propaganda as a Language of Power

“Like an infant that has not yet smiled.
I droop and drift, as though I belonged nowhere.
All men have enough and to spare;
I alone seem to have lost everything.
Mine is indeed the mind of a very idiot,
So dull am I.
The world is full of people that shine;
I alone am dark.
They look lively and self assured;
I alone, depressed.
I seem unsettled as the ocean;
Blown adrift, never brought to a stop.
All men can be put to some use;
I alone am intractable and boorish.
But wherein I most am different from men
Is that I prize no sustenance that comes not from
the Mother’s breast.”
-Tao Te Ching, Chapter 20

Propaganda, perhaps not only in inverted totalitarianism, follows a dialectic.
This may be because language itself follows a dialectic, and propaganda is the language of power.
It is a language in the sense that it is a narrative. The narrative is also instilled immediately into the subject’s brain through a process of indoctrination. Thus the absorption of propaganda is not unlike the way a language is acquired. As a culture would be acquired with a language; as a subject of the nation-state, so too does one acquire its language of power.

Note: (1) Inverted totalitarianism is a form of grassroots totalitarianism where power originates from the ground up as in the oedipal family unit. (2) The oedipal family unit is a family grouping with sex repression functioning as a form of power formation, ultimately patriarchal, which formulates power as a privilege of ownership and authority; dependent on the atomization and inequality of family members effectively fractured by the State, and forced to sell their alienated labor, taking the form of an ideology of becoming “self-sufficient,” i.e. taking a spouse and reproducing this cell of authoritarianism being at the root of a so-called oedipal conflict.

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