Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: From Light to Heavy Duty

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From Light to Heavy Duty

At the beginning of World War II the American public had many advertisements and newsreels illustrated to them. Most "images suggest the general Allied understanding of the war at it outset. Perhaps ("with Gods' help") quickness, dexterity, and style, a certain skill in feinting and dodging, would suffice to defeat pure force." (Fussell 3) Unfortunately for the American public these illustrations proved to be a farse depiction of the war taking place. The fact was that light power had to be replaced. "Instead, what counted was heavy power...that constituted the emblems of the Second World War." (Fussell 9) The American public came to realize that "the war is brutal, bloody, and terrible to endure that it must be ended (that is won) without the waste of a single minute more and won by any means, moral or immoral." (Fussell 8) The Americans did this by changing their tactical plans and strategical warfare strategies. Now, bombings artillery, tanks, heavy armored vehicles, the mass production of planes, and other heavy duty machinery became the symbols for World War II. There was no way around the losses of civilian life, let alone military soldiers and officers. World War II became sybolic through the live depictions in newsreels and advertisements. The American public was know seeing the truth about modern warfare for the very first time.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

Fussell is arguing that this transition from light to heavy duty is the normal course of war. Does this hold true for today's conflict? How should government make use of this idea to create propaganda that reflects this realization? What kinds of messages are necessary at the start of the war? How must they change when the war gets ugly?

4/11/2007 11:09 PM  

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