Propaganda. The very utterance of the word is somewhat disturbing. Good. It gives it weight.
Propaganda is always someone else’s doing.
Communication, public relations, advertising—as many terms clumsily trying to hide a more profound intent: to guide individual and collective perceptions and behaviour. These euphemisms are still too light to anchor any action.
Because words precede action.
Propaganda—the art of spreading ideas, values and words to the greatest number of people—is one of our natural tendencies as social beings.
There is no need to play innocent.
But we must agree on its means and ends. To wage propaganda is a heavy responsibility.
Let us start by calling things by their name. Anyone can start exploiting the many available cognitive biases; or set vicious algorithmic traps all around. It’s in the zeitgeist, apparently, but let’s not look at that mirror.
We could try clinging to the rhetorical fads of the moment, those verbal tics that sprout on everyone’s lips before disappearing as quickly as they came.
But these false premises and self-proclaimed evidence, these professions of faith holding their hand on their heart, they too shall pass.
In the end, all things pass.
For us, the soundest propaganda is based on the ancient art of persuasion. To build a statement that makes sense, to win support, to address both the head and the heart, we always come back to it.
The technological arsenal at our disposal today should never replace well-worn rhetoric. This is why it is always imperative to keep one foot out of the corporate world. For it is outside that ideas—old and new—still float, as they continue to shape the course of the world.
This is all the more true when the whole world is engaged in a merciless war for a second’s worth of attention. In this context, using empty words is not a very effective long-term strategy, to say the least. Above all, when dabbling in bullshit, one inevitably ends up full of it.
Conversely, too conventional a discourse will always betray its crying lack of boldness. Daring to say something meaningful is a risk worth taking.
Propaganda is true when it is beautiful, and vice versa.
Trust us, it will bear fruit.