This is a wonderful essay with much insight. It’s important to realize that evil is born from fear. Both Nazis and Bolsheviks fed off the belief that they were victimized by history; from their perspective the atrocities they committed were really acts of justice. There isn’t a clear line between justice and vengeance.
As often as not, I think propaganda is all about focus. Propagandists seek out events that support a narrative (usually about the evil of others) and they construct propaganda that serves as a sort of magnifying glass, focusing society’s attention on those particular events, and the evildoers that commit them.
But given this, I wonder if propaganda ever serves a positive role? This focus on certain events and happenings as worthy of particular attention, and dramatizing them in a way that spurs us to action. It’s not very dissimilar to all the various campaigns we see today to “raise awareness” about something, and I think that much good has come from these campaigns.
Maybe propaganda is just art with an agenda.