Capitalist Propaganda: “Yankee Dood It”

From 1956, a Looney Tunes piece that ends up slipping in a plug for capitalism, “Yankee Dood It“:

[YouTube direct link]

After a good five minutes of goofy cartoon antics, the Shoemaker eventually pops the question:

“But I want to stay in business. How can I do it?” Whereupon the helpful elf gives him an earful of free-market know-how.

Were this cartoon made today, I fear the answer would be “give a few hundred thousand dollars to Barack Obama in the form of ‘campaign donations’ that don’t trigger the reporting requirement, don’t give your executives bonuses that are ‘too big’, and for heaven’s sake, DON’T GO TO VEGAS!”

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy”

From 2009, a video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity titled “Five Key Reasons to Reject Class-Warfare Tax Policy” (hat tip: Wintery Knight Blog)

[YouTube direct link]

Although this piece is very informative, I noticed that it lacks the entertainment quality of the classic propaganda from the 40’s & 50’s. No offense, but if they’re going to make these videos, they should hire a trained actor with a deep, rich, authoritative voice.

You know… like Barack Obama.

Interestingly, at the end of this video, they plug the novel “Atlas Shrugged”, which more and more people are talking about, but nobody really wants to read once they find out that it’s 1200 pages long. That’s a BIG time investment.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it, try reading one of the “good parts” – Francisco’s “Money Speech”. If you enjoy reading this, chances are you’ll enjoy the rest of the novel, too.

Here’s a 250-word excerpt, courtesy of Capitalism Magazine. The whole 2500 word speech can be found there.

“So you think that money is the root of all evil?” said Francisco d’Anconia. “Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears, or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

“When you accept money in payment for your effort, you do so only on the conviction that you will exchange it for the product of the effort of others. It is not the moochers or the looters who give value to money. Not an ocean of tears not all the guns in the world can transform those pieces of paper in your wallet into the bread you will need to survive tomorrow. Those pieces of paper, which should have been gold, are a token of honor–your claim upon the energy of the men who produce. Your wallet is your statement of hope that somewhere in the world around you there are men who will not default on that moral principle which is the root of money, Is this what you consider evil?”

Read the whole thing at Capitalism Magazine

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Capitalist Propaganda: “200”

From 1975, proof that at one time, not all hippies completely hated America. This funky little number was paid for by the government and animated by Vincent Collins, who is still alive and well and living in San Francisco and going by “Vince” these days. Most internet sources refer to it as 200, but at 2:46, it’s clearly titled “BI CENTENNIAL”

[YouTube direct link]

The music is chipper & upbeat, the images are all positive and patriotic. My only complaint is the stupid peace sign on the flag.

It was weird to watch, because I kept waiting for Mount Rushmore to morph into a 3-headed Hitler who sends his eagle-morphing-into-a-vulture flying into the ghetto to devour screaming, helpless minorities or something.

Never happened.

It’s all good. Right down to the cornucopia spewing out cars, hamburgers, TV’s, hot dogs & baseballs.

Bookmark this one for July 4th.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Tokyo Woes”

From 1945, one of a very-little-known series produced for the Navy featuring Mr. Hook, “Tokyo Woes”:

[YouTube direct link]

Lessons to take from this:

Part of fighting a war is mocking, belittling, and dehumanizing your enemy. Then you kill him. Assuming, of course, your goal is victory.

Someone who spreads enemy propaganda to Americans during a time of war is not a friend, even if they mix in peppy dance music with their lies.

Purchasing government debt (i.e. War Bonds) is ok if the money will be spent on killing people who threaten to destroy our nation.

Cash, fancy clothes and a spiffy new car are GOOD things to have, and not something to be cursed as the vices of a greedy, materialistic society.

Oh, and pretty girls have curves.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Spies”

From 1943, one of a series of instructional cartoons made for the Army featuring Private SNAFU, “Spies”:

[YouTube direct link]

This one isn’t so much about praising the virtues of capitalism as it is a cautionary tale about having loose lips when your country’s at war. And while watching it, I couldn’t help thinking about Obama.

That One had no problem releasing memos on our interrogation techniques, and the left supported him, as they pooh-poohed it all as being “harmless” and chattering about “the American public has a right to know”.

Problem is, these folks forget all too easily that “the American public” aren’t the only ones paying attention. And maybe one piece of information won’t kill our troops en masse, but bits and pieces get added up. Why make our enemy’s job easier?

And for folks like you & me, well… if you’re in a public waiting room and there’s a swarthy-looking man in his 20’s or 30’s of Middle-Eastern descent sitting nearby, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to restrict your topic of conversation with your companions to the weather for a while.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Capitalism”

From 1948, another educational short from Coronet, “Capitalism“:

[YouTube direct link]

While addressing the question “what is Capitalism?, these kids never reach today’s “obvious” conclusion that it’s a system for cheating the poor, exploiting indigenous peoples, and oppressing minorities.

Which, if you read some of the reviews at the first link, is this production’s major flaw.

But the question isn’t “who is unhappy under Capitalism?”, it’s “what IS Capitalism?”. This film is a good example of using a simple, concrete situation to give meaning to more abstract terms. It’s how learning is done properly – leftist pap like “there are no rights or wrongs, just arguments for and against” notwithstanding.

Sure, these happy, healthy, well-groomed children argue over Captalism like they’re arguing over “what is Christmas?”.

“It’s presents!”
“It’s a tree!”
“It’s cookies!”
“It’s family!”
“It’s pretty colored lights!”
“It’s a month of Christmas specials on TV every night!”

But they should discuss it like that, because under Capitalism, EVERY day is Christmas.

Just ask anyone who’s come to America from a place that didn’t have it.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Statement of Purpose”

From 2009, Fox Nation comes out of the closet and lets everyone know exactly what they stand for, with “Statement of Purpose”:

[Fox Nation direct link]

It blows my mind that this video had to me made. There is nothing in here but the safest, most uncontroversial catch-phrases and buzz-words, like :

Constitution; Declaration of Independence; Emancipation Proclamation; community; American Dream Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; honor; responsibility; great adventure; our way of life; creativity; ingenuity; work ethic; civility; mutual respect; unity; tolerance; open debate; civil discourse; freedom of thought, expression, and worship; values

This should be a yawner. A no-brainer. Completely and utterly unremarkable.

But it’s not that kind of world.

To paraphrase Nathan Jessep, “Fox News uses these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. The rest of the news media uses them as a punch line.”

Ideally, ANY news organization – hell, any organization period – should be able to say EXACTLY what Fox Nation said without a second thought, a sense of embarrassment, or the need to use a tone of sneering irony.

But it’s not that kind of world.

We live in the kind of world where an unabashedly American statement like this makes Fox Nation look like some sort of ultra-triple-mythical beast from an alternate universe where the laws of physics and mathematics don’t apply. Fox Nation is a vamwericorn (half vampire, half werewolf, half unicorn), and it’s existence is grotesque and incomprehensible to the liberal media elite and their sycophantic toadies in government and academia.

To hell with them.

I want to live in a Fox Nation kind of world.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Communism is Your Friend, Jimmy!”

I don’t know much about this one except that it was done by a student (probably college) for some class, somewhere around 2008. I offer “Communism is Your Friend, Jimmy!”:

[YouTube direct link]

It vaguely parodies the style of the 50’s Coronet Films, however, it doesn’t parody their message. The production values and acting are low-budget, film-school-awful, yet I found the dialogue reminiscent of something that I imagine a very young Frank J. might have attempted after one too many martinis persuaded him that it was a really cool idea.

If nothing else, I found it amusing, and I especially liked the line, “Well, Jimmy, after a long hard day of working for the good of the people, I’m very tired. Now the last thing I want to do when I come home is think for myself. If we had a totalitarian, communist government, I wouldn’t have to!”

Lower your expectations a bit & give it a shot. I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Responsibilities of American Citizenship”

In 1955, this was considered an almost laughably elementary lesson in civics. Today, it’s considered “a comically serious anti-communism diatribe masquerading as an educational film“. I give you “Responsibilities of American Citizenship”:

[Internet Archive direct link]

Notice how they talk about how America produces disproportionate wealth for it’s population instead of the lefty talking point of using a disproportionate share of “the world’s resources”.

Also notice how the movie visually demonstrates that a fundamental belief in God is the ultimate foundation of our nation’s greatness. If you show this to a liberal, wear a raincoat in case his head explodes.

Funny thing is, as an atheist, you’d think I’d be offended by that part, but I’d have to be an amazing sort of fool to ignore the historical fact that the vast majority of people who founded this country (and the ones who continue to keep it functioning to this very day) believed in God. Regardless of my personal choices, that’s a tough one to chalk up to mere coincidence.

There’s no denying that a belief in God provides the high-octane spiritual fuel needed to keep good Americans running smooth day after hard-working day.

Freedom ain’t for sissies.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Elbow Room”

Proving that the decade wasn’t a total disaster, a little something that older Gen X’ers & younger Boomers might remember from Saturday mornings in the 70’s – an episode of the Schoolhouse Rock series from 1976 called “Elbow Room”:

[YouTube direct link]

Yeah, you won’t be getting THIS song out of your head anytime soon.

Anyway, I can’t decide if this clip actually approves of the American expansion across the continent, or if it just SEEMS like it because it’s been so long since I’ve heard the process discussed without the use of the phrase “smallpox infected blankets”.

Bonus points to the Schoolhouse Rock folks for not sneering contemptuously after using the phrase “Manifest Destiny”. I can’t imagine that happening today.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Propaganda Techniques”

This is the piece I probably should’ve started the whole Capitalist Propaganda category out with. Coronet Film’s 1949 production of “Propaganda Techniques”:

[YouTube direct link]

You might’ve thought I was being tongue-in-cheek when I referred to the previous videos as “propaganda”, but I was quite serious. Propaganda is, after all “the systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause”.

Although the word picked up heavily negative connotations due to its effective and pervasive use by the Nazis and Communists, propaganda is not necessarily wrong or evil. It can also be used in support of the right and the good. It’s up to the recipient of a propaganda message to determine the worth and accuracy of the content of any particular message.

The first step in doing so is to become aware of the techniques of propaganda, so that you can analyze whether a message is accurate, or merely persuasive. This film is an excellent start.

As an exercise for the viewer, feel free to discuss Obama’s use of propaganda in the comments.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “The Philosophy of Liberty”

Another modern piece (2002), this is a flash animation based on the epilogue of Ken Schoolland’s book, “The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible.” I present Kerry Pearson’s “The Philosophy of Liberty”:

[YouTube direct link]

Be sure to show it to your kids before their school makes them watch “The Story of Stuff“.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Me Is Mine, You Is Yours”

Something from the modern era (2007) from Nick Silby, a jingle-writer from Missouri, “Me Is Mine, You Is Yours”:

[YouTube direct link]

Sort of a 4 minute whirlwind tour of the history of civilization which reaches its pinnacle in the free nation of America.

Be warned, this guy writes catchy tunes for a living, and chances are this thing will be stuck in your head for a while.

Might be a good earworm to infect Obama with, though.

For more about Nick, check his website, or this interview in 417 Magazine. You can also check out his band’s MySpace page, where you should be able to find his song “It’s An Obama Nation”.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Your Safety First”

From 1956, a short from the Automobile Manufacturers of America called “Your Safety First“:

[Internet Archive direct link]

The setting is the “futuristic” year 2000, and there’s plenty of cute Jetson-esque predictions that aren’t even close, but eventually [at 4:31, if you want to skip ahead] it gets to the heart of the matter – a documentary on the historical development of the automobile.

I like this bit because it makes you really appreciate how hard the auto industry works to keep improving their product, year after year.

It also makes you wonder what cars would be like if serving the customer were their only goal, and they didn’t have to keep meeting insane & arbitrary government standards and regulations which only serve to add cost without providing benefits to the consumer.

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Capitalist Propaganda: “Why Play Leapfrog?”

From 1950, a little lesson on why minimum wage hikes don’t help workers, “Why Play Leapfrog?“:

[YouTube direct link]

(Caution: contains quaintly dated racial stereotyping at 6:37)

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