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Post on Hate in War Propaganda
Created by John Eipper on 03/05/12 1:50 AM

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on Hate in War Propaganda (Mike Bonnie, USA, 03/05/12 1:50 am)

Robert Whealey wrote on 28 February: "The word 'hate' should never be used in public discussion by any politician or journalist. It is a word used emotionally by 18 year-olds who do not know how the world works. Orwell's 'hate week' in 1984 was a satire on Hitler, Franco, Mussolini and Stalin. Orwell had little use for the British and American press, which every week told the world how much they all hated 'communism,' or 'fascism,' even though few American politicians ever read 20 pages of Karl Marx."

I agree with Robert's perspective on the word hate in civil discourse. Hate was/is also a pernicious product created in people's minds through a social aspect of war. Indifference (lack of emotion) and a deep abiding sense of nationalism produce toxic hatred and war.

Anthony V. Navarro presents a comprehensive view of propaganda preceding and throughout the WWII in the Pacific. See "A Critical Comparison Between Japanese and American Propaganda during World War II":  "How well did each country play the race card? Japan took no exception to whom they directed their racial slurs, but they painted a demonic image of the Allies much more than they did their Asian opposition. They could not insult their own 'brethren,' as they would put it, if they were to be won over to the Japanese side. The United States, on the other hand, fixated on the dehumanized depiction of the Japanese, presenting them as monkeys and gorillas. They tended to shy away from any animal or demonic portrayal of their European foes partly because the majority of Americans were of European decent. To dehumanize the Europeans would be to dehumanize themselves. They felt no ethnic ties to the Japanese whatsoever. Both countries realized the importance of eliciting an ethnic hatred for the enemy as well as creating a subhuman image of them. It is much easier to kill a big hairy white mongrel or vine-swinging, gun-wielding monkey than it is to kill another human being. The enemy was not human."


No holds were bared throughout history. In China the figure Hua Mulan has been used to motive men to wars. The Disney cartoon version of Mulan is filled with historical inaccuracies and diminishes the role of women in war to that of a male proxy. Joan of Arc is seen in French and American poster art leading the way to war. Rosie the Riveter (WWII) is seen in several contexts as the epitome of feminine strength and endurance to defend nations and social causes. A classic WWI propaganda film to watch is Sergeant York, based on a true story.

World War I posters: http://www.firstworldwar.com/posters/usa2.htm

University of Washington war poster collection: http://content.lib.washington.edu/postersweb/index.html

Not at all to be appeasing of Nazism in any way, a unifying voice during WWII was that of Franklin D. Roosevelt, who also evoked deep emotions of animosity toward dark forces (hordes). "For we are fighting on the same side with the British people, who fought alone for long, terrible months, and withstood the enemy with fortitude and tenacity and skill. We are fighting on the same side with the Russian people who have seen the Nazi hordes swarm up to the very gates of Moscow, and who with almost superhuman will and courage have forced the invaders back into retreat. We are fighting on the same side as the brave people of China--those millions who for four and a half long years have withstood bombs and starvation and have whipped the invaders time and again in spite of the superior Japanese equipment and arms. Yes, we are fighting on the same side as the indomitable Dutch. We are fighting on the same side as all the other Governments in exile, whom Hitler and all his armies and all his Gestapo have not been able to conquer."

Address on the 1942 State of the Union (p. 41)


JE comments:  Legend has it that Rosie the Riveter was based on Rose Will Monroe, a Kentucky-born woman who worked at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

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