How The Economist Is The Worst Propaganda

As illustrated with 25 Economist covers
14 min readAug 3, 2022


Government propaganda in 1898 and as privatized today

The West has privatized propaganda, like everything else. Economist covers, which I’ll cover here, would be laughed at if a government produced them. However, because the ruling class produces them instead of a ruling party, they hide in plain sight. And yet just look at them.

Economist cover from 2019, US government propaganda from 1943

How are these different things? It’s not like The Economist even shies away from the dehumanization of entire peoples. Here’s their idea of light summer reading, portraying Arabs as ticking time bombs.

As Ghada AlMuhanna said. “Millions of Arabs wear shemaghs and iqals as part of their cultural identity. This cover fuels the narrative that anyone that wears these garments are ticking time bombs — that they’re terrorists waiting to explode.” From Russians to Chinese to Muslims, whoever the enemy du jour is are demonized en masse, a classic propaganda trope.

Even in terms of visual style, Economist covers openly look like propaganda, they overtly copy the same design tropes. This is supposedly ironic, but jokes on you. We generally define propaganda as coming from governments, but this misses the point of who actually rules the West now.

Liberal Democracy™ is simply the branding stamped on the most rank oligarchy. The truth is that elections are just public bribery festivals, the people are kept distracted by cultural circuses, and real economic power remains in the hands of a few elites. In this way, The Economist is simply privatized propaganda for a privatized state.

It is, in short, exactly what it looks like. As George Orwell said in 1984, “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.” I invite you to just look at The Economist here. It sure looks and sounds like propaganda. Maybe it is what it is.

What Is Propaganda?



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at