Friday, August 28, 2009

American-Russian Cold War Propaganda

(Above) American pulp fiction novel. Click image for larger view.

(Above) Russian warning to musicians—it’s better to play your instrument in Russia where you will be appreciated. Click image for larger view.

(Above) American movie with fear at its core. Click image for larger view.

(Above) Not sure what this says, but it’s great to be in mother Russia. Click image for larger view.

(Above) A completely absurd American comic. Click image for larger view.

(Above) Soviet Russian poster. Click image for larger view.

(Above) What if the Commies invaded the U.S.? Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen will be ready to kick some butt! Click image for larger view.

(Above) Russian poster espousing the benefits of Soviet goods and services, as opposed to the paltry return on American labor. Click image for larger view.

(Above) American pamphlet designed to scare the hell out of us. Click image for larger view.

(Above) Russian poster saying they don’t want what we have—capitalism. Click image for larger view.


IT IS QUITE REVEALING, IN RETROSPECT, TO EXAMINE AMERICAN-RUSSIAN COLD WAR PROPAGANDA. TIME PUTS EVERYTHING IN ITS PROPER PERSPECTIVE. In this post, I have gathered posters and other media visuals from both the former USSR and the United States, to see how each side portrayed the other. Somewhere between all of this lies a little strip of land called the truth, but it’s only through education, awareness and the questioning of authority that you will be able to find it. And that strip of land still exists today—but beware those who say they know where it is, for it is well hidden. Truth, as it is exists for nations and the people who live there, is not always a pretty place. It can break our hearts and sour our relationship with our own leadership.

In the United States today, we have a kind of propaganda at work through television and radio media that is more pervasive and slick than we have ever seen before—media from both sides which disguises itself as “news” and pushes one agenda or another. As tiresome as it gets, that is the beauty of a free country. Americans, be them liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, independents, Christians, Catholics, atheists—whatever your race, creed, religion, beliefs or moniker—we should always question what we hear from so called “authority” figures. These authority figures are our own presidents, senators, congressmen, news media organizations, commentators, anchor persons, ministers, police, corporations, books, advertisements, utility companies, military generals, mayors, artists, environmentalists, preachers, rabbis, priests, teachers and professors. We are being whispered at, lectured to, reminded, and shouted at from many different sides by those who will say “this is the truth!” And you know what folks— it’s not necessarily so. We must listen to all sides and find the truth ourselves, because those who say they know for sure where the truth lies—well, they may be right and they may be wrong, and may have only a piece of it correct. For sure, the truth does not always come from our nation’s leaders. It doesn’t come from any one place. The truth is everywhere. It is right in front of us and yet it is so very hard to find.

The propaganda posters in this post contain no truth, tiny shreds of truth and complete truths. Drinking Bud Light will not make me popular with women nor will driving a new BMW. Or will it? Joseph Goebbels, the infamous Nazi propaganda minister, said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

So, the next time you see a bumper sticker with the words “Question Authority”— think of those words as a simple voice reminding you to just think for yourself. It’s not anti-American to question authority— it is our American right to do so.

7 comments:

Library Vixen said...

love you included Red Dawn.

cheers.

Maureen said...

And of course, now the Chinese are coming.

Christopher Paquette said...

excellent commentary.... and great visuals as usual!!

Jan said...

Ha - the new attitude to labour poster is not so absurd - it's pretty much like that where I work ! (thanks to the current economic downturn)
Thought provoking post though.

Candler Arts said...

The "Is This Tomorrow" artwork is hilarious.

Colin said...

Thank You, John- you took the words right out of my mouth. It seems lately folks have been speaking their agenda rather than the truth louder than ever... folks on all sides.

ilitarist said...

Here are what Soviet posters say in case anybody will get there:

1. (boy with violin) In capitalist countries this is the way of talent. In socialist countries the way of talent is clear.

2. (Globe and children) LOVE THE MOTHERLAND

3. (Oldman and boy) People dreams came true!

4. (Smiling guy with stuff) Who gets national profits? In capitalist countries - exploiter gets most. In USSR - worker does.

5. (Evil guy in tophat and worker) People of the world do not want to repeat disasters of war. J. Stalin.

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