At this point, anyone with a clue knows how propaganda targeted toward an enemy works: certain things are embellished, others are muted, incorporating varying amounts of humor and devices which cause guttural hate responses. But propaganda targeted toward ourselves, only supplemented by the passive denigration of the true enemy, requires a different tactic and bears different behavioral repercussions.
So here we see WWII American propaganda which is unarguably anti-Nazi, however it's not exactly pro-American. This poster hit home in the 40's because it attacked part of the American dream; owning a car. It says that Americans shamefully fund the Third Reich by not conserving resources via traveling alone. This type of propaganda relied on the existent negative affect Hitler had on people, abandoning all forms of decency through putting Adolf right in your passenger seat. (Even though the US took a long, long time to even get involved in WWII, but the powers-that-be who want your war bonds don't want you to remember that.)
Further, look at the format; the words alone and today are capitalized, also making car-sharing club a proper noun by capitalized the first letter in each word. All these apsects add compound the sensationalism, and even Hitler scowls as if to say, "Not even I want to ride with this self-serving defector!" So this type of propaganda doesn't simply influence our values, it influences our domestic behaviors. It infiltrates our bedrooms. The value-behavior distinction splits a hair, so it serves to note that enemy-targeted propaganda is primarily concerned with influencing values more than domestic behaviors, because it programs how we should think of our enemies. Rather, the poster above reinforces specific activities we should physically perform on a daily basis; aka, behaviors. Yes, values inevitably inform behaviors, however these two different orientations of propaganda entail different starting points. Enemy-targeted propaganda starts in your mind, and citizen-targeted propaganda starts in your feet. This tactic continues today; if you find yourself behaviorally imposed, it's your own culture's power paradigm at work. If you find ideologies imposed upon you (aka value-coercion), then you won't have to look very far for an enemy that embodies the lack of that value. Ideology imposition relies upon not being them over there!
Let's look at another example:
Yes, this is American propaganda during WWII. Starting to see how not all propaganda is vitriolic toward the enemy? This poster vilifies the ideal of a woman who talks to her friends too much and doesn't serve the war effort enough back home. It didn't say that she lacked in war bond fund-raising, or that she consumed too much fuel warming her house to her American baby, it said she's wanted for MURDER...talk about shock and awe. The illustrators even give her a guile expression. So not only did the Americans have to look out for Nazis, they had to look out for their neighbors who, should they not act appropriately according to the government, slaughter their own kind. Like the poster above, we only have insinuations about the Nazis. What we clearly have is a certain action that we should not do, and the consequences levied on our boys if we fail. This type of programming breeds fear, shame, and inhibition, unlike enemy-targeted propaganda, because the latter encourages outward displays of aggression, while the former discourages the very finite freedoms that apparently define enlightenment.
Okay, so if you're the powers that be, and you want to affect the tight-laced, pro-American crowd that certainly wouldn't be caught not sharing a car or carelessly talking when they could be producing, how would you reach them? The photo below encapsulates one of the devices to reach these straight-shooters on both an emotional and a financial level.
This piece has the most gall of the three, because it relies upon a young private's pledge he made, to himself. Martin Treptow was a young man working as a barber when in 1917 he was sent to France to never return. The note (read easier by clicking the image) was actually retrieved from his dead body. The caption on the bottom--"You who are not called upon to die"--is chilling because it doesn't pull any punches. WWII meant imminent death. But what's worse is that the government used this private message to obtain war bonds; Treptow had no intent of this becoming public information. What they're saying is if you don't have Private Treptow's guts, the least you could do is financially aid others like him. Yeah, you'll be a little poorer right now, but he's permanently dead, and so will others be if you don't help.
This is not positive propaganda, but again, by definition, no propaganda is positive. What makes this less positive than other forms though, is that--for fear of being redundant--it puts the gun that killed Private Treptow in our hands! It's guilt, shame, and fear based, and to recall the WANTED! photo above, murder-based. But instead of Hitler doing these things, it's now us. Do you see what we've lost?
WWI changed the landscape of modern warfare, and the proliferation of airplane, naval ships and other industrial advancement truly changed how countries went to war. War was no longer done in the middle of a field between two lines of trained soldiers. War involved multiple countries, a global economy, and was brought to our doorsteps in one way or another. By the time WWII occurred, war was terribly expensive, exhaustive, entailed, with much higher stakes, so civilians were included. One could say that the propaganda above is simply an adaption to this phenomena, however (at risk of speaking too pacifistically) when civilians become included, the line between ally and enemy blurs. Where it was once crisp, it became blurred through the use of self-deprecating and vitriolic rhetoric. Orwell would argue that it's one small step toward becoming totalitarian because behavior modification doesn't just turn off when national pride is involved. I also agree with him that an enemy isn't simply one who opposes you, yet is anyone or body of people who coerces and oppresses you into conformity. And modern warfare has threatened civilians not just physically via advanced technology, but through deeper, more conformist rhetoric by those who we elected to represent and protect us.
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