PROPAGANDA, VERITÀ E MASS MEDIA: UNO STUDIO WEILIANO
The aim of my article is to show how Eric Weil (1904-1977) tried to problematize the relationship between propaganda, truth, mass media and modern democracy. I shall focus on his essay Propagande, vérité and mass media, first published in 1953. To this end, I will divide my article into two parts. In the first one, we will see that the objects of the Weilian analysis are two fundamental questions that effectively marked the post-war Europe, namely violence in history and the revolt of the particular individual against a systematic and all-encompassing conception of “truth”. From here, it will be clarified the reason why understanding the nature of the relationship between “propaganda” and “mass media”, in the context of modern Western democracies, reveals itself as one of the necessary conditions for grasping the structural link between “fact”, “value” and ways of interpreting reality. In the second part, we will see to what extent the dissolution of a notion of universally acceptable and yet historically situated “truth” can in turn undermine the very concept of modern democracy.