Communism Vs Democracy during Cold War: Essay

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The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses. -Malcolm X

This quote by Malcolm X details that propaganda is promoted by the media and it is used to control people and groups and make them look bad even if it is inaccurate information people would still believe it. During the Cold War propaganda was used to make a political party look good or bad, like communism in the USSR and capitalism in the United States. Propaganda was sought to promote the advantages of one's political system and beliefs. Propaganda was promoted as art, in television, music, and in films. For example, “Red Nightmare”(1962) was a film that told viewers that the United States had reconstructed Soviet territory to train communist spies to bring down the American government and society. The government didn't really release propaganda the people and company owners did. It was used to change the minds and sabotage each group of people who were being told lies just to make them better.

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Therefore in the Cold War, propaganda was used to make communism or capitalism, a country, or a president look bad by changing the facts. Today propaganda still has lingering effects on us because in social media, there is a lot of false news to make specific groups fallacious. Meanwhile, propaganda was used for many big topics being talked about in the world today!

For example, in 2019 propaganda was being used to help people stop smoking and to persuade people to vote for them. Propaganda is used to change what the viewer thinks and behaves “Today propaganda posters have been replaced by digital visuals such as the memes, that are easily produced, mass disseminated and politically to do an even greater damage to American politics and society than propaganda posters did years ago.” Propaganda is becoming stronger and influencing even more people, people now use memes which are fairly easy to make so more of it is being made and spread around faster to more people. One meme could destroy someone's image, especially if it involves politics.

As stated previously, the media is able to use its power to convince viewers to fake news. Therefore, propaganda is now having effects on certain groups, people make memes and other forms of propaganda to be funny or to get the attention of others but can offend a lot of people if they are insensitive. “... memes employed a striking visual coupled with effective communication to intended to alter the mind frame or subconscious of a viewer… most worryingly, the new political art format has far greater viral potential. There was an occasional dark side to these posters as many expressed racist, xenophobic, and bigoted messages.”

Memes are having strong effects on society, people are using propaganda to attack people and what they believe in, and memes are going viral and grabbing the attention of people on social media. Memes are spreading faster than ever and are offending many people, it is becoming an effective way to spread information. As a result, propaganda is used everywhere and takes advantage of one's thoughts and minds. People are using media to spread propaganda and they are going viral faster than it was during the Cold War. False information is easier to see and people are taking advantage of it.

    1. “Cold War Propaganda.” ​The Cold War, 13 June 2019,
    2. “The Cold War.” ​The History of Media Use for Propaganda Purposes, 5 Dec. 2009,
    3. Hasic, Albinko. “Perspective | Why Propaganda Is More Dangerous in the Digital Age.” ​The Washington Post, WP Company, 12 Mar. 2019,
    4. Feinberg, Melissa. “Cold War Propaganda: the Truth Belonged to No One Country – Melissa Feinberg: Aeon Essays.” ​Aeon, Aeon, 20 Jan. 2020, eon. com/essays/cold-war-propaganda-the-truth-belonged-to-no-one-country.
    5. “Power to the Pictures: The Evolution of Propaganda.” ​The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 23 Oct. 2011,
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