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Posts Tagged ‘USA’

American Communism

Image

This image is from the website http://msct.ucps.k12.nc.us/ncdesk/Espiranza/Depression%20Era%20Photos.htm and is a poster from 1924 designed by Hugo Gellert. The poster calls for votes for William Z. Foster as President, and the end to race oppression, imperialist wars and recognition and defence of the Soviet Union. This image is striking because it shows that the USA indeed had a communist party, candidates for President and Vice-President and crossed the boundaries between farmers and industrial workers through the Farmer-Labour Party as well as Blacks and Whites. 

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This rather striking image comes from the album cover of the RAC Warriors an Oi! rock band. Many of these bands have an association with  extremist politics and white nationalism.The album was released in 2007. This band has very little history behind them and may also have links with Aryan and Neo-Nazi ideology.

The slogan ‘Better Dead than Red’ has a muddled past , however some suggest that the slogan originated in Nazi Germany in reference to the horrors of the Eastern Front. The slogan was adopted in the USA during the Cold War for use in public and usually unofficial publications, but also made its way into national politics when describing Soviet encroachment around the world. The lyrics of this particular song talk of sacrifice and defending ones homeland, these notions are very much associated with the Cold War and US ‘containment’ policies. The slogan gained further popularity during the McCarthy period of the 1950’s.

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Smurfs

Growing up, I am sure we were all familiar with the smurfs, a cartoon created in the 1980’s, which first originated in Belgium before being bought over by an American entrepreneur. However, many have argued that the cartoon was actually a form of propaganda to promote communism within society. Although they may be blue on the outside, the smurfs have been accused of being red on the inside, a colour which is commonly associated with that of communism. Firstly, many have commented that the character of Papa Smurf is based on Karl Marx, due to similar physical features such as the thick white beard and also the wearing of the red hat. Also Papa Smurf is a gentle, wise, and knowledgeable village elder/leader or as many have quoted him as being the symbol of a communist dictator since it is his duty is to ensure that all the Smurfs of the village get along and respect each other. Furthermore it can be argued that the smurfs do live within a classless society, in which all means of production are controlled by the people and all people are equal which is seen in regards to the smurfs having defined roles, live in identical houses and dress alike.
The capitalist government in return is represented by the character of Gargamel, who is portrayed as a greedy and ruthless man who wished to use the smurfs to gain wealth. It therefore conveys the idea that capitalism is based on the needs and wants of an individual as opposed to the needs of society. What is perhaps more symbolic is that throughout each episode the smurfs constantly defeat Gargamel, thus trying to emphasize that communism is stronger than capitalism.
Thus communism was portrayed via a cartoon probably without a lot of people knowing it and therefore making them more accepting of the communist way of life. Therefore the smurfs was a form of U.S communism.

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