25 October 2005
Being a propagandist while remaining solvent.  How it might be done.

Scott Burgess wants your money.  Blogging is taking up many a waking hour that could be spent on, yerno, earning a living. And he’s running a bit short.  So hallowed is the Daily Ablution in the Croziervision Blogroll that I may even resort to the extreme, nay rash, measure of brushing the cobwebs off my wallet and honouring Scott with a Stephenson or even a Nightingale.

Scott’s pledge drive illustrates a key dilemma in politics: whether to be an amateur or a professional.  As an amateur you can stay pure.  As a professional you can stay solvent.

For precisely that reason I prefer my propaganda to be produced by amateurs.  Professional propaganda, whether it bear the imprimatur or the British Broadcasting Corporation, Pravda or the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages inevitably serves the interests of its paymasters.

But (up until now) amateur propaganda has been difficult to do.  Researching the facts, thinking through the arguments, working at times when you’d rather be down the pub or asleep, is difficult and slow.  In comparision, the professionals hold all the aces.  See Brian’s The Tyranny of the Facts.

Up until now?  Well I hope so.  This is why I perservering with my Wiki.  At its heart is the idea of tens, if not hundreds, of like-minded souls each making their small, unpaid and gloriously amateur contributions to a greater whole: a store of arguments and counter-arguments that is constantly being kept up to date and can be employed at a moment’s notice.

It’s not there yet.  Who knows, maybe it never will be.  But if it is possible it’s worth keeping up with. 

And then maybe even Scott will be able to go out and get a job.

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