Watch “Don’t Be a Sucker!,” the 1947 US Government Anti-Hatred Film That’s Relevant Again in 2016

Dan Colman, Open Culture, Jul 02, 2016
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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The rise of free thinking (and free love) in the United States the 1960s came as a surprise to many people. In retrospect, it shouldn't have. After the second world war the American government unleashed a propaganda effort to make sure it didn't happen again. This video is one part of that effort. But even more pervasive were the radio advertisements that defended 'the American way' (you can listen to one here; or another; read more about the campaign here) and fueled the demand for an education. These campaigns influenced an entire generation (who also smoked, loved cars, were obsessive about fresh breath, and believed in better living through chemistry). The content of the radio programs reinforced these values. This campaign was for the most part beneficial. But we know that the effect works both ways, that media can promote hate and racism and  incite populations to genocide. So it's relevant to ask what media are saying to people today, and more importantly, how society can resist the relentless pull of propaganda. It's hard - the messages get you while you're you and listening to Superman serials, waiting with a willing mind to follow examples and meet expectations.

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