Categories
Politics

Propaganda

“A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.” –Winston Churchill

A comprehension on a satisfactory level of the functions and mechanisms of propaganda makes you a better citizen.

WW2 poster
WW2 poster

I always believed that propaganda should be taught in high-schools. If I was to defy this term I’d simply say that it’s to disseminate a message to people through different mediums, for a specific aim/ purpose.

Actually there shouldn’t be any negative connotation to this noun. It’s the use of it that can be characterized as positive or negative. Propaganda evolved into a real ‘science’ during the 20th century. The word itself takes us back to the 17th century and the origin of the term, when Pope Gregory XV founded a department charged with the spread of “the Faith”, the famous Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.

In the 20th century two names that perfected the methods and use of propaganda, easily stand out: the great Vladimir Lenin and his most successful “disciple”, Dr. Joseph Goebbels. Yes, they used their talents to create and support totalitarian regimes! And that’s then another reason why we must study Propaganda…. Most techniques and methods still used today were created or re-defined by those two masterminds of politics.

Lenin in his office
Lenin in his office
Goebbels in his office
Goebbels in his office
Categories
Science

Gallileo vs. The Holly Office

Galileo before the Holy Office (detail from a painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury)
Galileo before the Holy Office (detail from a painting by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury)

Scholars tend to forget the reason why Galileo was condemned by the Catholic Church. His book on heliocentricism wasn’t a purely scientific one but touched matters of religion too. This is precisely why his “Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo” entered the list of the banned books of the Catholic Church; the harrowing –for scientists up until the 1960s (!) – “Index Librorum Prohibitorum”.Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632)

 

Only books that linked scientific discoveries with the Bible were banned.

And this is exactly why other books that could be indicated as even more subversive (like “On the origin of species” or Newton’s “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica”) were never banned…

Yes. Believe it or not, Darwin himself -although his ideas were disliked by individual priests- was never accused by the Roman Inquisition!

Galileo Galilei  (1564-1642)
Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)