I got into trouble the other day when I used the word propaganda. My view was propaganda was simply the dissemination of information. Typically with a view that would be favorable to your cause. This is a view of the word that I have had since high school. Back then I looked the word up to discover the meaning of the word.

After I used the word I was told that the meaning of propaganda was to lie. I was informed propaganda was a very bad word. I took my phone and looked up the word, and indeed the first three results said that propaganda was to lie to influence opinion. I was actually surprised. I have seen the word used on TV in a benign sense. A laundromat might publish the price of cleaning sheets in its propaganda. In my view propaganda was different than an advertisement because advertisements were paid propaganda. You could spread propaganda without paying other people to do so for you. After a rather stern lecture I promised not to use the word in question and rephrased my sentence to include the words “publish positive information” instead of the very bad word I had used.

I had to find out why what I thought was positive information was considered a lie. I checked out the etymology of propaganda. Simply, propaganda is the feminine form of the Latin word propagate. To propagate is to spread the seed, or the word of God. Propaganda would then be to give life to the seed, or the word of God. Yes Latin is a Roman language that became the official language of the Catholic church.

In my chauvinistic view this sort of makes sense. Women are better communicators. In the chauvinistic world men work, and women raise the children. Not that happens much anymore. Anyway, most definitions now describe propaganda as a political lie. I find this somewhat disturbing. By redefinition, to reproduce is to lie. Though this change may be an anti church thing.

Such is the state of affairs now, the words that represent communication are redefined to represent lies. That may very well be true. I write this blog because I do not belive the mass media. As I have stated before, the truth is not allowed. So this is my own version of propaganda. It would be very easy to say everything I say is a lie. However these are my thoughts that I write about what I see. Simply one point of view. They may be opinion, these views certainly are not judgment. They were written to encourage discourse.

When it comes right down to it, my use of the word was certainly old fashioned.


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