Beyond Propaganda – Authoritarian regimes are learning to engineer human souls in the age of Facebook.

Beyond Propaganda

This essay is adapted from the first in a series of publications by the Legatum Institute’s Transitions Forum on the politics of information in the 21st century.

Pity the poor propagandist! Back in the 20th century it was a lot easier to control an authoritarian country’s hearts and minds. All domestic media could be directed out of a government office. Foreign media could be jammed. Borders were sealed, and your population couldn’t witness the successes of a rival system. You had a clear narrative with at least a theoretically enticing vision of social justice or national superiority, one strong enough to fend off the seductions of liberal democracy and capitalism. Anyone who disagreed could be isolated, silenced, and suppressed.

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