Friday, January 30, 2009

Propaganda Posters

When designed effectively, a political poster can communicate so much. Political posters, you know those aimed at pushing people into believing one thing or another, are not the only posters that try to effectively use propaganda. Propaganda is a type of message that aims to influence the opinions or behavior of people. Although not all propaganda is false, it often deliberately misleads using logical fallacies.

American Use of Propaganda

I look at these posters that appeal to the Soldier's sense of patriotism to help him avoid situations in which he could contract VD and am reminded that our society has evolved somewhat since the 40's. "You can't beat the Axis if you get VD" is a little over the top, don't you think?

I have to wonder how successful this poster was. I doubt it would be very effective today.

Chinese Propaganda

Chairman Mao. When I think of propaganda posters, the very first thing that comes to mind is The Chairman. I think I've seen far too many movies - propaganda in and of themselves - that depict China in a not so favorable light. I consider my perspective to be rather distorted but I picture posters like these plastered all over the enormous country that is China.

Of course, there are certainly other posters that have come from that country. I commented on Yao Ming's appointment as the Country's "model worker" for the 2005 May Day Celebration and included a little thought about Iron Man Wang. That was a propaganda poster of exceptional quality. It was certainly a feel good poster that would boost the average Chinese citizen's spirits.

I don't want to suggest that all propaganda relies wholly on falsehoods and exaggerations. Simply put, there is a tendency to do just that.

Soviet Propaganda

When a group or individual forces its way into power, there is a limited time in which it has to enforce an acceptance of the new regime. The Soviets were masters at manipulation it seems.
(Left to right: Joseph Stallin, Vladimir Lenin, Lev Davidovich Trotsky)

Anti-American Propaganda

A very common theme has to be the Anti-American propaganda that seems to be rather pervasive throughout many countries since at least World War II.

Political Propaganda

It is interesting how well designed these posters can be. They impart a feeling of solidarity, a feeling that change must happen and that you have to be part of this change. Climb on board the bus is leaving. You don't want to be left behind. You want to be on the right side of this issue or else.

Through posters like these, the artists are proclaiming the government policies, asking for support, and demanding greater efforts - all with the goal of building up a communist party or intensifying Soviet power.

US Presidential Propaganda

I am embarrassed at my initial response upon viewing the Barack Obama Presidential posters, brochures and stickers. Seriously. I felt terrible that my first reaction to these were to compare them to the Communist propaganda posters. The feeling I get, however, is certain. I am not confused and I do not feel like I am stretching to make the association.

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