To the Propagandists, All is Propaganda

I have heard it the statement spoken with great conviction that when one ideology dominates an art, it is doomed to become mere propaganda.

The conviction is misplaced. It is mere cynicism.

To such a statement I take sharp, if respectful, exception. Like most pointed comments, it is true, but only to a point.

To the contrary, it all depends on the ideology or the philosophy.

When an ideology that insist that all art be propaganda, insist that all things are political, insist that all men serve the party is the ideology that comes to dominate an art, it is doomed to become mere propaganda. That is true enough.

But that it not due to its position of domination, but rather to what the ideology promotes. An totalitarian ideology promotes totalitarianism.  It would force the art of its adherents to be propaganda even if it were not in a position of domination.

When a worldview, philosophy or faith that insists that art must be free to serve beauty by serving God, insists that genius cannot be compelled nor constrained, insists that men have free will is that worldview, philosophy or faith that comes to dominate an art, it betrays itself by turning art to propaganda, and so it will fight to resist the impulse, perhaps with success, perhaps not.

The position of dominance in this case might add to the temptation to betray the principle for which this worldview stands, but it is not a sure thing that the adherence will cave in to the lure. We have centuries of history to show the contrary case.

Let us beware of falling into the trap of false equivalence. God and devil are not the same.
Let us not be deceived by statements such as the one above, no matter with what convection is is spoken. Such a statement is itself propaganda.