Mao Online: Soft Power or Propaganda?

I guess the answer is obvious.  Whether online or on paper, propaganda is what it is.  Not a genuine exchange of ideas, but simply a reporting what is the “party line” in order to preserve the power of political leaders wherever they may be.  Some online course providers in the United States, including edX and Coursera, have decided to bring these offerings to millions of users.  

Take your pick.  For example, among the course offerings from China, would you like to start with an “Introduction to Mao Zedong Thought,” or would you prefer “Will China Rise as a Disruptive Force? The Insiders’ Perspective.”  The second course choice is really intriguing, because I think I already know the answer, but if you are really interested, please feel free.

No pun intended, but these courses are not always FREE.  In true capitalistic tradition, if you would like to get a certificate of completion from some schools you will have to pay a prescribed fee.  Funny, I always thought propaganda was free, but I guess you really need some renumeration if you are trying to sell “soft power.”

Ray Myers

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