Thursday, October 30, 2008


When seeing those Soviet Union posters, I felt they are very similar to what Chinese did in history. Besides language, there's almost nothing else different. Modern China is basically a Chinese version of Soviet Union’s revolution, thus they were both anti-capitalism, and they had the same kind of propaganda: using red color to represent revolution, leaders at the center surrounded by farmers, workers and students. When looking at these posters now, I feel kind of ridiculous, but most people at that time truly believed it, or nobody dared to doubt it.

Propaganda in English is usually a negative word. If people are aware of propaganda, they know it’s biased or not true. But in Chinese, it’s a neutral word, and most people simply accept it. Hence the most dangerous thing is not to be affected by or agree with propaganda, but to believe in propaganda without knowing it is actually propaganda. Especially many years later, when people find those posters in huge contrast with the real history, they tend to lost in self-negation. For example, between 1958 and 1961, China experienced a land reform “the Great Leap Forward,” in propaganda and statistics, everywhere seemed to harvest, but it actually resulted in famines and thirty million people perished.

Fortunately, propaganda doesn’t work as well as decades before. Thanks to various media, people could receive every kind of information from everywhere, which makes propaganda more dubious than ever before. Comparatively, we live in a much freer and more open time, but as always, there’s still censorship around, looking for things not in accordance with official propaganda.

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