Propaganda is the process by which an organization or society attempts to either glorify largely fictitious elements of itself or condemn the equal fictitious elements of its enemies - such tactics are employed during wartime and on a daily basis by many dictatorships, it is also a tool used extensively by demagogues and other figures who feed off public fears and misconceptions.
Propaganda is ageless and is very difficult to root out of any given society or organization, it is the basis by which many dangerous theories and cults can be formed and easily transforms into demonization - if left to progress to its darkest conclusion some forms of propaganda can become genocidal in nature, turning people into a "them" versus "us" mentality.
Propaganda has many faces but it is most commonly associated with stereotyping, demonization, rabble-rousing and the covering up of facts in favor of romanticised views of history (often in direct conflict with reality).
Examples in Fiction
- V for Vendetta (the fictional dictatorship known as Norsefire uses propaganda to keep the people in line in the film and novel V for Vendetta)
- Conspiracy (the deliberate covering up of facts, often with criminal gain)
- Jingoism (excessive pride in one's nation, to the point of warmongering and xenophobia)
- False Utopia (a tactic in which a dystopic society or antagonist disguises themselves as a seemingly peaceful or desirable place / governor.. at least until one looks deeper into the flawed society / leadership)