Why communicators are the targets of authoritarianism
Authoritarianism perpetuates its hegemonic power and control through the control over the narrative.
Stories make up the bases of the regime's power.
The reproduction of the regime is legitimated through the production of specific truth claims that form the narrative bases of the regime's rule.
The regime tells stories that are central to its justifications of its repressive strategies. Stories of security threats. Stories of economic opportunity. Stories of transformation brought about through the power and control of the regime.
The continuation of the power of the regime is enabled through the manufacturing of these specific narratives that form the bases for the various forms of control enacted by the regime.The consent of the subjects of the regime to its authoritarianism is sought and accomplished through the telling of stories of positive transformations brought about by the regime. The tools of repression are necessary at a violent time of the national history, allaying the threats to the nation.
Circulating specific myths about the moral authority of the regime to rule is integral to the achievement of the regime's power and control.
These myths are manufactured, serving as communicative inversions, to transform material observations into claims of truth that serve the regime's hold over power.
Even as strategic communication works through the 24X7 cycle to manufacture the regime's legitimating story, the regime works actively to silence any other story that challenges the regime's authority.
Communicators therefore are systematically the targets of authoritarian regimes. From jailing and murdering journalists to dismissing communication professors, the regime follows a wide range of strategies to silence the telling of other stories.
Communicators are openly marked as direct threats to the national interest, labeled as anti-national. Sedition charges or charges of disrupting national harmony are written up so communicators telling other stories can be erased from the discursive space. Communication professors telling other stories are pulled up for the anti-national character of the stories told. Targeting communicators is one of the critical and essential tools of the regime.