Guiang, Francisco Jayme Paolo A. 2022. “Postwar Fascist Revival, Fascist Propaganda, and Marcosian Propaganda: The Role of Disinformation, Mythmaking, and Historical Distortions in Public Deception” in Martial Law @50: Alaala at Kasaysayan ng Pagbabalikwas, edited by Francis A. Gealogo, et. al., 344-373. Quezon City: IBON Foundation, Inc.
This paper argues that Marcosian propaganda is a form of fascist propaganda which utilizes networked disinformation as a means to generate mass support. To prove this assertion, it is imperative to first understand the theory and nature of fascism and how it operates in the Philippine setting. Admittedly, there are many theories on fascism and it is the intention of the first section of this essay to give a brief overview on fascisms and how postwar fascism continues to thrive in the country beginning with the Marcos dictatorship and its successors. The second section of this essay tackles the method of fascist propaganda and locates it within the Philippine experience vis-à-vis the impact of Marcosian propaganda on public discourse. By identifying the key traits of fascist propaganda, one could possibly relate how Marcos Jr.’s electoral victory was done in fascistic fashion. To illustrate this, the essay probes into specific examples of viral myths and distorted histories that function as essential components of fascist propaganda. These invented narratives noticeably whitewash the Marcos image and play on the people’s nostalgia for a mythicized past. This section thus explains the fascist ways of the Marcosian propaganda machine which engages in the following: (1) myth-making that attracts Filipinos to a non-existent past and (2) undermining public discourse by sowing anti-intellectualism and cultivating polarization. In light of recent political developments, these two aspects have successfully fabricated a reality that stimulated massive public support for Marcos Jr.