Cold War Propaganda Analysis

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Violent imagery is quite key to the strategies of propaganda in the Cold War. As mentioned in the earlier post, both sides based their propaganda on the criticism of the opposing ideology and state. However, the more extreme strategies were employed in raising hostility towards the opponent among the population and in the world. One of the examples is the period of ‘Hate America’ campaign that showed a lot of aggression towards the US, for instance, as in the course of the Korean war communist propagandists were accusing the United States in torturing the prisoners of war and using biological warfare. (Belmonte, 47)

Nevertheless, violent images used by the propagandist were usually linked to the ideas of murder, weapons and, sometimes, rape:
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Interestingly, the method of impersonation was used by the Soviet propagandists as well. Here, America is represented through the image of the man, trying to involve the USSR into the new war. The link to capitalism is drawn with the visual characterisation of the figure, creating a stereotypical image of the bourgeois society – a fat man wearing a suit and a top hat, demonstrating wealth and greed.

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‘TWO WORLDS, TWO PLANS: WE CREATE LIFE, THEY SPREAD DEATH!!’
Finally, both countries use the images of military aggression, as the two posters above demonstrates.The two posters present both sides of the conflict and contrast them. The image of the threatening ‘Red Iceberg’ in the ocean of the world where countries are ships, is shown to be dangerous to the US. In a similar way, the Soviet poster present the two countries in terms of binary oppositions, such as life-death, war-peace, white-black, bourgeoisie-working.

Overall, the use of violent imagery in propaganda posters is aimed to evoke senses of hostility and mistrust to the opposing ideology, in order to maintain the distance between the two and ensure the country’s security and the government’s

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