Propaganda for propaganda

I’ve been noticing the neighborhood propaganda billboards a lot more of late–perhaps because there are more of them in the neighborhood I’ve been living in for the past year compared to previous places I’ve lived in Beijing, perhaps because the propaganda campaigns are just more intense these days. But this one really caught my eye today: it’s part of the inescapable campaign for the “socialist core values” about which the less said the better (the four values promoted in this particular one are freedom, equality, fairness and rule by law). What I like about this one is that it’s a propaganda billboard featuring people reading a propaganda billboard; in other words it’s propaganda aimed at getting you to view more propaganda. That’s pretty self-referential for a propaganda campaign that otherwise demonstrates very little self-awareness.

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