Thursday, November 11, 2010

Turn of the Century: Propaganda Art

In honor of veteran’s day, a war related post.

Getting their men and women into uniforms, and getting civilians to invest in the war effort is always a tricky task for a nation. “What are we fighting for?”; we’ll ask. “Why risk my life and my family’s well-being? Who is the enemy?  What will it do for us?”

Propaganda is an art form in itself, and these WWI posters illustrate how little has changed when it comes time for a government to spin its point of view, and get us to care.

At the same time these nearly 100 year old posters beautifully preserve the art from so many countries, each participating in this, the first “World” war.

Fear Tactics
I researched why the US government would have had to push corn at this time, but didn't come up with much. I do know that the guide on an Ellis Island tour told us that turn of the century immigrants refused to eat corn, not being familiar with it and associating it with livestock feed.

"Hurray! All four rascals in the hand."
Guilt Tactics. Poor dad.
The purpose of the original Codex Alimentarius committee was a "passive" perusal of food and it's affect on European mankind by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire (with a plan to control people through food production and consumption). There is still one today (which controls even the US's food)...look it up. It's scary. 
German Anti-Bolshevism Poster (the Russian Socialist-Revolutionary Party lead by Lenin)

Polish Anti-Bolshevism poster, featuring a nude Trotsky.
This poster was designed to get people to enlist out of outrage at the sinking of the Lusitania.
And we think our modern society is numbed to violence?
Anti-British propaganda
Beautifully Illustrated campaigns to get Austrians to purchase War Bonds, which included a program to get young children to invest every penny they had.

Let's not leave out the girls...

...or the dogs.
These are actually from WWII, but holy cow. The guilt, the shame....

Eesh. I guess you CAN paint a picture of whatever you want to scare people into doing what YOU want.


  1. Guess you think the Nazis and whoever are equivalent. This is Historical illiteracy

  2. Reminds me of my childhood working in the iron mines of Babylon.