In countries where social control has a significant role in directing its people in tune with its ideals, propaganda has always had a special place in the arsenal of the leaders. Propaganda has always been used as a key way to communicate ideas and influence the attitudes of a community. Consequently, propaganda is selective and one sided. Before TV and Radio, propaganda posters were fundamental in visually communicating and to an extent brainwashing the target public. In this blog entry, I am going to illustrate a specific interest in how propaganda was used to depict American and Soviet ideology both during World War II and the Cold War.
Similarily, a Russian World War II propaganda poster does the same.
Both of these posters make links with the glory of past wars with the need to recruit soldiers for the current war. The East and the West shared common ideology with their war against Hitler and Nazi Germany. For the purpose of the war, the two future polar opposites came together as a matter of policy and this was reflected in their propaganda posters as a general theme though out the second World War.
In the light of this poster, their unity was short lived, as their unity was no longer in the political interest of any of the parties. Despite the belligerents of war, breaking their unity and returning to their old ways of attempting to be the polar opposites of each other, the propaganda war that the governments exerted on their people shared a very striking resemblance to each other.
Posters set standards on many aspects of life, presenting examples to follow on many aspects of life including family values.
Television during the cold war became a more prominent way of influencing people, especally in America, much of propaganda of this nature moved to television screens. Popular animated shows such as ‘The Jetsons’, ‘The Flintstones’ and TV sitcoms such as ‘Leave it to Beaver’ are all very good portrayals of American family ideals.
(Compare this to modern TV shows of dysfunctional families: eg- The Simpsons, or Modern Family, or Two and a Half Men).
Propaganda posters were still a weapon of choice for the soviets as the television only became a commodity in the late 70s.
It is apparent that both nations, despite being furtherest away as possible from each other on a political compass, they meet under the theory of the sphercity of political compass, where extreme opposites overlap in many aspects of their ideology. The picture below illustrates this point perfectly.