All governments engage in propaganda, and when things get bad, they often resort to propaganda in order to cover up for their misdeeds. To quote former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, “When it becomes serious, you have to lie,” and the reason for this is to obscure or misdirect the reality of a situation, since it was likely a series of lies that resulted in the crisis, and in order to keep public order and ensure the continuity of government, lies are made to pacify the masses. The question is, what form do the lies take, for they can be direct (open lying) or implied misdirection (bluffing).
American propaganda takes various forms. In foreign nations, it tends to manifest indirectly through the support of groups who advocated for very “extreme” things such as feminism or libertine behavior, often with doing things considered highly offensive in society. Within the US, however, this takes the form of extreme nationalism that coupled with loud music and a bragging-like voice over loudspeakers with the smells of soda and meat and the waving of a giant US flag, proceeds to talk about how great America and freedom is, and then about doing violence to other people in the name of “democracy” or “freedom”.
For the Russians, propaganda takes on the image of “tradition” or “values”, and will emphasize things showing classical music, big artwork, statues, or things that give an image of some sort of nobility. Other times, they may show “progress” being made in society, such as that done in agriculture or industry, and at times it can involve parading around giant weapons. This is seen in many Soviet-influenced nations (either directly or indirectly). While Russian attempts to lie fail miserably, they prefer to bluff when they do these things, giving an image of something that is not while never asserting it is or it is not, but letting context work for them.
Then there is China.
Chinese propaganda is a strange combination of Sovietesque-type propaganda with its own variety of open dysfunction that becomes laughable in its attempt to redefine reality when it clearly fails to do what it intended to. The general pattern with China is that she can neither lie nor bluff effectively, and when she tries to do this it fails miserable and she looks like a tyrant pulling strings and who can barely control her own impulses.
A recent propaganda video from Chinese state media show a tweet reading “Virus can’t put out the passion for life!” with a “video” of the “victims” of COVID-19 dancing.
— People’s Daily, China (@PDChina) February 10, 2020
A medic harmonizes the ward showing Chinese traditional Qigong outside a quarantine chamber, as if telling the patients: "Don't worry. Things will get better." pic.twitter.com/BqOSRk83yh
— People's Daily, China (@PDChina) February 10, 2020
Now these videos, which are clearly CCP propaganda, are openly ridiculous and insane in the light of videos from citizen journalists and international media, which shows that the virus is widespread, the CCP is trying to hide the severity of the virus, and those who do try to help raise awareness are arrested or “disappear” without any trace of their whereabouts, and in response to public anger the government continues to try to control all media.
I like to see this kind of thing, except when it doesn’t match up with reality💁♂️ pic.twitter.com/XXdu8x8duW
— user 5000 (@user_5000) February 10, 2020
The effect of this is profound for the CCP. Far from giving the image of a “happy” China, it makes the CCP look like a bunch of evil tyrants abusing their people. It makes the world have compassion for the Chinese, and absolutely hate the CCP and the Chinese government, isolating China from what allies she has and will have long-term economic consequences for her, as China relies on foreign nations to buy her products. A serious economic crisis will lead to a social crisis, that could bring about a revolution.
Releasing videos of “dancing” Chinese in the face of obvious evils and a serious problems that is now affecting the whole world only makes people look at the government with disgust, as though they are using their people as puppets to justify their existence while the innocent suffer and die.