While reading through an outstanding compilation of western history I ran across this. I think it enunciates perhaps the best way of viewing history in general, and ties directly to the propaganda aspect:[INDENT]"To begin with, causes in history cannot be ascertained any better than motive in its human agents. Both must be represented as probable, and it is wiser to speak of conditions
rather than causes and of influences
rather than force making for change, because what brings it about is the human will, which is distributed among all the living.
This is to say that a historian who contemplates the infinite diversity of human character, the range of human desires and powers, the multiplicity of social and political institutions, the endless schemes proposed for improving life, the numberless faiths, code, and customs passionately adhered to, fiercely hated, and in unceasing warfare, the vast universe of art with its expressions in a galaxy of styles and languages - all these existing to an accompaniment of sacrifice, injustice, and suffering, persecution imposed or willing endured - such a historian is persuaded that these challenges to the concrete imagination cannot be merged and reduced to a formula. History is not an agency nor does it harbor a hidden power; the word history
is an ABSTRACTION for the totality of human deeds, and to make their clashing outcomes the fulfillment of some concealed purpose is to make human beings into puppets"
[/INDENT]"From Dawn to Decadence
500 Years of Western Cultural Life
By Jacques Barzun,
Copyright 2000. HarperCollins Press
I know it's fashionable - and often times even accurate - to refer to some aspects of the human experience as propaganda
; I get it. But even in these cases, what we're referring to is someone's interpretation of a time, event or collection of events to support <whatever>. I really think it prudent that we make that separation: History is what was
and is vast. As such, any idea, time, era, trend, culture, event or icon could conceivably be used to grind this or that axe
. In such a case, one can't much attribute this to our history. The ownis (or 'sin' if that be the view) would necessarily need to lie with the interpreter rather than that they intepreted.
Hope this helps