The propaganda of “propaganda”

This post first appeared at on 13 December 2022. It appears here with minor edits. Be sure to check there for comments on the article and subscribe to my substack for timely follow-ups and new posts through the substack app, through email, and to participate in chats. It’s free!

I heard long ago the lathe was the only machine capable of making itself. I don’t know if that was true, but it stuck with me. I mention that because it seems like there is a loose parallel between that statement and the word “propaganda.” Propaganda is interesting in that it may be the only word in the English language that, when used, may be an act of the very word. In other words, calling something propaganda may be propaganda. 

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