Friday, May 12, 2017

Agitprop

Back during the salad days of my misspent youth, during the era of Soviet Communism, there was an arm of the Central Committee of the Communist party actually called...The Department of Agitation and Propoganda, which if nothing else, will be remembered as the most honest name for any political organization in history. It's where we get the modern term, agitprop, which can be defined as the widespread dissemination of political messages, especially through art and literature. For the old Soviets, everything was about politics, and the idea was to flood the zone with the gospel of communism 24/7, even if the subject at hand was no more political than a ham sandwich.

In modern America we have our own Department of Agitation and Propaganda. It's called, Hollywood. If you are a person of the left, and by that I mean a dedicated progressive, committed to the laundry list of liberal projects, your views on the political issues of the day are constantly validated and celebrated in the public realm. Television shows, movies, books, and especially late night television cheerleads your team and belittles the other side virtually 24/7. It must be a heady feeling, to always be on the same side as all of the good-looking celebrities who our culture worships. It must be an incredible comfort to always be reassured, consistently affirmed in your core beliefs. The spokespersons for your beliefs tend to all be popular and beloved, and unnaturally attractive. The spokespersons for my beliefs tend to be mostly dead guys. Surely, if all of the beautiful people agree with you, that's what really matters, right?

As a libertarian, small government guy, I must say...yes, I am jealous, and that jealousy does me no good whatsoever. Long ago, I became aware that my views on state power and the liberty of the individual were never going to have nearly the appeal of the nanny state handouts sold by the left. Those guys were pitching unlimited unemployment benefits, and handing out free cell phones at about the same time as I was preaching self-reliance and freedom from government, always a tough sale.

Am I bitter? Do I feel resentment every time I get lectured by a sit-com, beat over the head with the glories of the collective in movies, or routinely portrayed as an anti-science racist, misogynistic homophobe by the media if I'm unwilling to turn over the sovereignty of my country to the United Nations so we can better combat Global Warming? Well...yes, I suppose I am.

But, I'll get over it. No matter how long I live, Hollywood will always and forever be the Department of Agitation and Propaganda. The sooner I accept it and move on, the better.