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Split Personality Fascism

This cover of Gioventu Fascista, the journal of Mussolini’s Italian Fascist youth organization, was later known for his highly stylized, art deco depictions of the “new youth.”

North Korea today.

Game of Flags: American Flag Propaganda

Poor Old Glory has been a staple of propaganda posters for as long as anyone (well anyone standing around me at the moment) can recall. American Flag propaganda is having its symbolic moment again, brought back as the object of …

What Is Propaganda – Part 2?

Back in the 1940s, Donald Duck, quoted in a GI instructional manual, declared “Propaganda” revolved around ideas of communications control. These notions were put forth by master media manipulator (the Karl Rove of his day) Dr. Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi …

If You Were a German Girl in 1939

If you were a German teenage girl in 1939, you would be a subscriber to Das Deutsche Mädel, the monthly journal of the “League of German Girls” (BDM or Bund Deutsche Mädel) under the auspices of the Hitler Youth (see …

Teach Their Children Well

In 1937, the Italian dicatotor Benito Mussolini embarked upon a colonizing war that spread over North and East Africa. Italian forces reconquered Libya and Eritrea and occupied Somalia, subjecting the local populations to massacres and other atrocities. Neutralizing the indigenous …

Brave New World Revisited Once More for Good Measure

Aldous Huxley’s 1958 Brave New World Revisited is arguably one of the most prescient cautionary books on the present and future of propaganda and manipulation—if also an unintended handbook for some on how to manipulate our minds. I wrote about …

State of Deception

What is the role of the printed word and image in collectively inciting societies to brand certain members and groups as evil, and to convince the citizenry to condone—if not incite—murder? During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust …

What Is Propaganda?

Do you know the origins of propaganada? There was the propagation of the faith of the Catholic Church: The origin of the Sacred Congregation of Propaganda has passed through two distinct periods: The first period is that of the cardinalitial …

Symbols Don’t Stop Violence

Today is apparently Spirit Day in the gay community, during which we’re all supposed to have a little pep rally and wear purple to show our solidarity against bullying. I’m not wearing purple. American culture has become over-saturated with meaningless …

Today's Obsession: Adrian + Shane

I am completely bananas over Adrian + Shane’s art right now. I ran across them last year, maybe middle of the summer, and since then they’ve put out a flood of angry, funny work. They’re a couple of artists working …