>Originally posted June 28, 2007.
Propaganda posters. They are commercials of evil; mindfucking the people, enslaving the masses. They don’t win any wars, these fascinating weapons of destruction, but they certainly play a huge part in creating hostility, fear, national pride and false consensus.
But first and foremost, as with almost any totalitarian art, the posters are beautifully crafted and do indeed hold some ancient power of belief, spirit and fanatism. Their influence cannot be denied, neither in the political sphere, nor in the world of art.
As strategic weapons, propaganda though flyers, posters, radio broadcasts and television serve as a compliment as good as any to military campaigns, diplomatic negotiations and economic sanctions. Back home people are being told to produce more for their country, to keep silent and to hate the enemy. At the front propaganda seeks to strengthen the morale of the troops and to weaken the enemy’s will to fight.
The strategy for propaganda differs between countries and ideologies. The Nazis idealized the Aryan übermensch and blamed Jews, bankers and Bolsheviks for everything bad in the history of the world. USA speaks of democratic values, the trust in God and creates grim stereotypes of the enemy. Britain, during World War II, used the “hate the enemy” themes, and the Soviets invoked the nationalist image of Mother Russia to make its people gain power and confidence.
The war game would not be the same without the art of persuasion.
First out in this small series: The art of British propaganda.