American Anti-Communist Propaganda Poster

mortalenemy
http://digitalpostercollection.com/propaganda/1945-1991-cold-war/usa/communism-americas-mortal-enemy/ 3×5 printed poster

This poster is a clear example of the way communists were treated in America during the Communist witch hunt era. The government was trying to make it as obvious as possible that the communist spies within our government were definitely there and plotting to destroy America from the inside out. 

Here we see the hand on Communism, with hammer and sickle tattoo, stabbing a knife directly into the United States. This was to reenforce the idea that communists were inside our government and destroying it like a knife to the back. The person or group who made this poster was clearly trying to breed fear and distrust in the minds of all who saw it. Through the eyes of the government, the only way to beat this problem was to make everyone so weary of it that they didn’t trust anyone. If this was achieved then of course eventually the right person would be accused and the communist would be weeded out. Unfortunately with this strategy even the most loyal americans were treated as if they were criminals and often times put on trial for crimes they had never had any intention of committing. This is just one of thousands of posters like it created in the mid 1950’s which turned out to be one of the most trying times in American history.

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6 thoughts on “American Anti-Communist Propaganda Poster”

  1. I agree with the idea of fighting communism and in that sense I appreciate the poster. The sentiment is correct, but the way in way this country dealt with horrific. Men like McCarthy used fear and lies to take down their enemies and harm innocent people. Furthermore, many actors and actresses were unjustly blacklisted for no reason. Certainly a dark time in America, when freedom of speech was limited.

  2. I agree with the idea of fighting communism and in that sense I appreciate the poster. The sentiment is correct, but the way in which this country dealt with the situation was horrific. Men like McCarthy used fear and lies to take down their enemies and harm innocent people. Furthermore, many actors and actresses were unjustly blacklisted for no reason. Certainly a dark time in America, when freedom of speech was limited.

  3. I think that this is an interesting poster to analyze now that the public understanding of communism has shifted. kwcaulfield, I’m curious as to why you agree with the idea of fighting communism. Do you mean communism as a concept or communism as the way that it has been twisted and implemented into corrupt governments as more of a dictatorship? I think that it is imperative to consider the difference between those two ideas.

  4. Do the Nazis deserve a political party and representation in government? This is the question we must ask when we consider the limits of free speech. The answer is of course, all Americans are equal. And so long as he or she does not violate the rights of others, even a communist is entitled to the same rights as any other man. Fear has long been used by the weak to expand their influence and exercise their power over others. This poster is an example of how politicians build a tight frame from a specific perspective about an issue so that the picture presented to the public serves their prerogative. Regardless of agreeing with someone else, everyone should have the chance to speak their mind peacefully and not fear for their safety.

  5. This use of propaganda was dangerous to political freedom of speech but it also rallied America behind an opposition and united everyone. Communism was sweeping around the world and the American people feared the repercussions of the movement. This poster’s main purpose wasn’t only to stop communism but to keep American beliefs and values alive and spread them across the world. Although many Americans were destroyed by accusations of being communists, it was worth all the American pride it brought.

  6. The way senator McCarthy portrayed Communism to Americans was inhumane and very inconsiderate. It forced many Americans to question each other and created an inner hostility between fellow countrymen and women. Many were frightened by the idea that Communists could potentially be targeting the center of our government and gain control of our nation. This propaganda was used to create that hostility and chaos that McCarthy was looking to generate in order to conflict society and eliminate potential threats.

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