Design as Persuasive Art

Your article did not end where I suspected. I do not disagree with your conclusion, however, I may be a little jaded by the heroic acceptance of Designers’ responsibilities. (I am speaking to Graphic Designers’ responsibilities only because of my personal experience.) Primarily, I feel that a Graphic Designer can only be independent in thought and responsibility if she funds her own projects, and by that accord, her projects are then, truly, Art.
I feel that Art is for the artist, even commissioned Art. Graphic Design is “Persuasive Art” (aka “Commercial Art”) purely for the client. Art is to please the artist. Graphic Design is to please the client. It is the Graphic Designer’s option to choose the client that resembles their own beliefs, but even then, to remain in good standing, compromise usually comes from the Graphic Designer.
Propaganda, as you allude, is an entirely different category. Graphic Designers and Artists will always feed the propaganda flames for personal, financial, and strong-arm reasons. It is the responsibility of the laypeople and society, as a whole, to recognize, disrupt, and deny the fear-mongering and hateful propaganda tactics.

Thank you for evoking these thoughts for discussion. Entertaining and thought provoking for me.