By chance I was re-reading Milan Kundera’s novel Immortality, coming across this passage as an advertising van for the Partito Democratico passed by my window, with Walter Veltroni’s face plastered across it.
“Are you objecting that advertising and propoganda cannot be compared, because one serves commerce and the other ideology? You understand nothing. Some one hundred years ago in Russia, persecuted Marxists began to gather secretly in small circles in order to study Marx’s manifesto; they simplified the contents of this simple ideology in order to disseminate it to other circles, whose members, simplifying further and further this simplification of the simple, kept passit it on and aon, so that when Marxism became known and powerful on the whole planet all that was left of it was a collection of six or seven slogans, so poorly linked that it can hardly be called an ideology. And precisely because the remnants of Marx no logner form any logical system of ideas, but only a series of suggestive images and slogans (a smiling worker with a hammer, black, white and yellow men fraternally holding hands, the dove of peace rising to the sky, and so on and so on), we can rightfully talk of a gradual, general, planetary transformation of ideology into imagology.” [Milan Kundera – Immortality, pg 126-127]