Anti-Communist Propaganda Cartoon | Make Mine Freedom | 1948
This 1948 Cold War-era propaganda cartoon, entitled Make Mine Freedom, uses humor to promote democracy versus communism, and free enterprise (capitalism) over communism’s totalitarian governments. It contrasts mainstream American values with the values of Soviet communism.The point that this cartoon seems to be making, is beware of any individual, organization, or administration that attempts to escalate class warfare to divide the country and make socialism appear to be the only solution. We will always have our differences, but putting the government in charge of everything for promises that you will be taken care of, and surrendering your freedom is not the solution.The cartoon was produced by John Sutherland and sponsored by the Harding College. It is one of the "fun and facts about America" series, made "to create a deeper understanding of what has made America the finest place in the world to live."Plot:A traveling salesman called Dr. Utopia, selling bottles of "ISM" (communism), takes in four unsuspecting dopes who believe his promises about the powers of ISM to solve all their problems. They sample his wares, falling into a waking nightmare where they get a nasty taste of the lack of freedom they would face after relinquishing control over their factories and farms to the parent state. When a lone politician dares speak up, he is brainwashed and later shown with a phonograph for a head that plays "Everything is fine!" over and over. In the end, the character "John Q. Public" declaims about the way communists try to incite race hatred, class warfare, and religious intolerance, and the townspeople drive Dr. Utopia out of town, pelting him with bottles of ISM as he flees.HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXTThe Cold War (1947-1991) was in many respects a struggle for the hearts and minds of people everywhere. That competition was carried out through massive American and Soviet propaganda campaigns to isolate the respective opponent internationally, win the approval of world opinion, and consolidate the own sphere of influence. Every opportunity from art exhibits to international sports events, and every medium from radio to television, was used to fight the propaganda war.During the Cold War, films functioned as a means to influence and control public opinion internally. The United States and the Soviet Union invested heavily in propaganda designed to influence the hearts and minds of people around the world, especially using motion pictures. Cold War films produced by both sides attempted to address different facets of the superpower conflict and sought to influence both domestic and foreign opinion. The gap between American and Soviet film gave the Americans a distinct advantage over the Soviet Union; America was readily prepared to utilize their cinematic achievements as a way to effectively impact the public opinion in a way the Soviet Union could not. Cinema, Americans hoped, would help close the gap caused by Soviet development of nuclear weapons and advancements in space technology. The use of film as an effective form of widespread propaganda transformed cinema into another Cold War battlefront.American films incorporated a wide scale of Cold War themes and issues into all genres of film, which gave American motion pictures a particular lead over Soviet film. Despite the audiences' lack of zeal for Anti-Communist/Cold War related cinema, the films produced evidently did serve as successful propaganda in both America and the USSR. The films released during this time received a response from the Soviet Union, which subsequently released its own array of films to combat the depiction of the Communist threat.Television and advertising played key roles in constructing the image of an ideal American way of life. American propaganda functioned to shore up support and national pride by projecting an image of prosperity, freedom and strength. In many ways, however, these images were fantasy. They contrasted and conflicted with many American's real life.Anti-Communist Propaganda Cartoon | Make Mine Freedom | 1948TBFA_0116NOTE: THE VIDEO REPRESENTS HISTORY. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!