Difference between arts and propaganda
I somewhat often end up having to explain what’s the difference between arts and propaganda, and it’s not really a fast answer – so, behold…! An article about it!!
The purpose of art is to be beautiful. To give joy and fulfilment to its audience – catharsis, as they call it.
The purpose of propaganda is to convince its audience to do something – usually, to advantage its maker or his group.
As already said, art gives positive feelings – joy and fulfilment being the most typical.
Mostly, propaganda focuses on negative feelings – because pain/desperation is a great way to push people to do something: “This is wrong/you’re in danger: you have to act”.
Art comes from our subconscious. Hence, we can’t really predict how it’s gonna be: it’s a discovery process for the artist himself. His conscious role is limited to, more or less, steering his inspiration correctly (e.g. Sleeping well, framing the briefing in the right way, making sure there’s enough budget…) and then learning how to concretize his inspiration (e.g. If you’re a musician: learning how to play an instrument well enough to perform the ideas you have).
Propaganda is made for purpose: there is no space for improvisation or inspiration. There’s many selling points decided beforehand, and the product is just a delivery system – a bit like a virus carried out by a body.
How can they be described?
Something that describes its beauty: beautiful, evocative, refined, majestic, timeless…
Something that describes its ability to change people’s thoughts: thought provoking, provocative, scathing, abrasive…
Art, being beautiful, sells a lot: people like it and want to have it.
Propaganda doesn’t sell: it’s unharmonious and, sometimes, flatout ugly – and that’s exactly the point: if people would feel ok with themselves and have a great day, how likely it is that they’ll “Take action to start a revolution”?
Hence: the point of propaganda is not to be consumed (as in: bought by an audience, for enjoyment), but to introduce certain political messages within the market.
What’s it like to work in a place who makes these products?
An arts production studio is a highly meritocratic place, where artists try to create the very best they can: it’s a very engaging experience, and everyone tries to help each other.
The first rule for a propaganda making machine is: conformity. Everyone has to think the very same ideas – and everyone who doesn’t is an enemy. This obviously quickly escalates in a somewhat totalitarian experience where “power” is all that matters. Slowly grinding people’s psyche to a fine dust – and having all those “mental health issues” you see so often talking about (this is one of the very best ways to get there).