Monday, August 4, 2008

Barack Obama Propaganda-esque Posters

I have been surfing the net recently, looking at various political posters and the sort and I noticed a few interesting things about the Obama and Clinton campaign posters. They have a striking and immediately noticeable resemblance to old school communist propaganda posters. At first I thought I was crazy about this so I did some searching to make sure when I looked at the posters I was actually thinking of the right thing, but the feeling of communist propaganda was sadly unmistakable. This first picture is a comparison between Obama's campaign poster and a 1917 poster of Lenin.

The similarities are there and this confirmed that I am not crazy for even seeing the resemblance. I think perhaps the Obama campaign should have been able to see this just like every other person in the free world recognizes it.

However this propaganda-esque phenomenon does sit solely with Obama, it seems to be a democratic theme, which in itself is ironic. This is a Hilary Clinton poster that is reminiscent of Mao.

Again, I am not sure what the democrats are thinking when attempting this. The Democratic Party has the namesake of democracy and that is the opposite of Communism.

The interesting part is that the designer of these posters is a guy named Shepard Farey who is known to make heavy use of the propaganda stylized posters. I took a little trip to his website which can be found at obeygiant.com, with the headline that says "Worldwide Propaganda Delivery" and this is the banner on his website.

Now I can take things in jest and I am almost positive that this guy is not producing real propaganda and is no harm whatsoever, unless of course you are using him to produce your Presidential campaign posters. I pointed a few things out in the picture such as the words at the top that say "Propaganda Engineering".

I think perhaps this could hurt Barack Obama in this campaign, and while I do not like Obama, I do not particularly John McCain either. It is just a shame that while Barack Obama is using communist posters for his campaign, John McCain's posters are incredibly boring and not very noticeable at all.

It all makes me wonder, while Barack is not mein President, do the people who want him elected call him Comrade Obama?



  1. Propaganda posters are not bad if they are trying to establish something positive or to snap people out of their comfortable stupor. I feel that Barack is deliberately using Shep Farey to push the propaganda of hope. In an interview Shep Farey said that he would like to use art to reclaim the american flag and reintroduce a sense of american pride. Currently our flag is a symbol of invasion, greed, and stubbornness. I think that communism has been proven not to work very well and we are currently living in a failed free capitalist society, so mayber their is a middle ground somewhere in between where the social welfare of our citizens is a priority as well as the hope that hard work will bring you success and the money doesn't equal success.

    8th grade science teacher, Clinton B. Smith

  2. Clinton Smith,

    Thank you very much for the comments here. You bring up some very good points that I may have neglected. I will try to follow this Shep Farey guy and his art. I have to admit he is quite talented and some of his art is beautiful.

    I hope that you visit my blog often. I enjoy comments from intelligent folks such as yourself and that type if intellectual debate is always welcome here.


  3. I agree with Clitonsmith in his description of positive propaganda. It appears that words such as rhetoric or propaganda have become fairly negative in modern society. This creates new urban words like "Modern Propaganda" to further increase its negative components. I'm not commenting to classify the presidents campaign as this type of propaganda, but I do think it is in bad taste for an American presidential candidate to use such blatant communistic script and style such as Fairey's to spread his propaganda. I am very familiar with S. Fairey's work even back when it was guerilla art (likened to guerilla warfare)and I had immediate feelings of a communistic party when I saw the Presidents and Hillary's posters. Yes, to the young urban audience it does look cool but I don't feel we should be traveling down this road with our Presidential hopefuls. I don't like to take discussions in this direction because its been overplayed but I honestly think it is a step away from something as radical as re-using the swastika. Which we all know is really a benign symbol in its self and is viewed as negative only because of Germany's use of it. This is how I feel of Americans using Communistic propaganda techniques.


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