“I want YOU for U.S. Army” reads the famous World War propaganda poster. Uncle Sam, the famous American national personification and narrator of that famous line, was a form of propaganda used to coerce Americans into joining the army. It is widely known that propaganda and censorship played a huge role in the Great Wars and it is popular belief that it is limited to that time in world history, a clear misconception. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition reveals that propaganda can be used with the aim of helping an institution yet being called a propagandist is seen as more of accusation than of praise. Historians who analysed propaganda of the past tagged it as negative, and always highlight its negative effects. This has made the public to see propaganda as disdainful. Censorship was used unwaveringly by the militaries involved in the World Wars and throughout history. My concern is that people believe that censorship is almost non-existent and only present in places such as age restrictions for entertainment, and few other places. These uses generally have public support. Although many people are oblivious to it, propaganda and censorship are still existent and still have significant effects on the general public that may be even greater than in the past. This shouldn’t be so.
War Propaganda and Governments’ role
The government has long used propaganda as a key for support from the public or as a means of convincing the public abou¬t certain issues. In both of the World Wars propaganda and censorship both played very important roles. In Great Britain, the most common forms of propaganda that the British government used were: Posters, film, press and literature, all of which portrayed the enemy in a filthy manner, in hope of changing the public’s views of the enemy, to incite a will to fight. These methods proved effective as the efforts enthused many to enlist. Other countries in the war used similar techniques. Propaganda was also used by the British as a means of raising funds from the public through war bond schemes.
Currently, governments all over the world still actively use propaganda. In China for example, propaganda by the ruling party in China, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has evolved over the years. Two years before the Beijing 2008 Olympics, citizens were going through difficult times facing problems including “inflation, unemployment, political corruption and environmental degradation” (Brady 6). In the 1980s, the party started carefully changing its methods of propaganda use, a process which Brady refers to as “modernization” (Brady 2). Propaganda was used by the government in the form of simple and uplifting slogans. They also started replacing terms that they previously used, that the public therefore saw adversely, with more ambiguous terms with the aim of misleading or guiding the public’s thought towards optimism for a problem-free China (Brady 5). This CCP used slogans and language as the...