Tormosheva V. S.
Hannah Arendt on political (ex)communication in the light of Harold Lasswell’s communication model
Introduction. Political communication acts as a fundamental constituent of the democratic public sphere. However, today’s post-totalitarian world reveals manifold totalitarian manifestations like propaganda techniques expansion, ideological content circulation and fictitious reality formation applied by authorities. Without addressing the totalitarianism-related investigations, it wouldn’t be possible to understand how powerful relations influence the development of the public sphere of today.
Aims. The article examines a political communication process in the totalitarian context. The purpose is to elicit the specifics of communication in a totalitarian society using Arendt’s communicative concept as a theoretical framework and to reconsider Arendt’s interpretation of communicative nature of power relations representing it as a model. Specifically, the research focuses on H. Arendt’s descriptions of the communication model units.
Methods. The methodology is based on H. Lasswell’s communication model and J. Habermas’s theory of communicative action. The comparative analysis of three subfields of communication and political science (totalitarian, political and mass communication) has also contributed to the theoretical and methodological foundation of the research. The conceptual framework has been provided by an interpretive approach to Arendt’s works.
Results. A concept of political excommunication has been introduced and critically examined. Political and communicative characteristics of the sender and the addressee of totalitarian communication have been identified. The specifics of totalitarian messages have been discovered. Political and communicative effects of the totalitarian communication process have been described.
Conclusions. The findings allow constructing a totalitarian communication model promoting a more nuanced understanding of the contemporary political process. It is argued that totalitarian communication does not set stage for building trust and consensus, creating awareness about politics, educating people, exchanging political ideas or receiving any political response. In contrast, its only purpose is organizing masses. Therefore, the addressee of such communication is not a communicative actor influencing the political process.
Ключевые слова: communication model; political communication; public sphere; totalitarianism; propaganda; excommunication; elite; masses; Hannah Arendt; Harold Lasswell