Ep 21: WWII Propaganda; Does Uncle Sam Want You?


Welcome to Professor Metal’s Irate Debate and Calamitous Commentary with the Philosophical Chain Gang

Themes in World War II Propaganda: Does Uncle Sam want you?

The Philosophers discuss what the role of propaganda was in World War II (WWII)

Bruce talks about WWII propaganda as the last thing most cultures were all on board with

Sean talks about the heroic themes therein

Ryver brings up that everyone was in on the propaganda machine

Sean and Ryver talk about the beginnings of the stirring of war, and how this was behind the start of the rise of propaganda

Sean brings up Winston Churchill and his ability to spin things into a galvanizing light

Bruce talks about the cohesiveness created by the need to keep the populace relatively calm

Ryver notes the supporters of Germany found in both the US and Britain leading up to WWII

Sean discusses the different types of propaganda found in this era, and the radical epic stories that effected us as individuals and nations

Bruce brings up that fascism was as popular as any other ideology in America during the lead up to WWII and that there were, prior to US involvement, a great many supporters of the Nazis within America.

Ryver analyses the major “National Characters” of the time, such as Uncle Sam and Britannia

Sean and Ryver touch on the representations of National Characters, both the symbolic representations and the characterizations, such as G.I. Joe and Captain America.

Bruce talks about the departure from the standard Hero’s Journey and the idealisation of the every-man

Sean counters with the possibility that having a character that is a stand-in for the average person is less useful when trying to mobilise a war effort

Ryver explains that this may be a part of making people more willing to support the effort, such as accepting rationing as an important part of fighting the war, making people feel that they were directly contributing to victory by giving up certain comforts

Bruce talks about how this was actually a core tenant of the ideals we were fighting against

Sean expands further on the idea of people helping fight the war by willing to forgo certain things and to use what one had even farther than they might otherwise be willing, such as wearing shoes until they were completely worn through

Ryver gets into the other side of propaganda, the fear-mongering that occurred and he villainisation of the other sides in the conflict

Sean also talks about how this extended to even being wary of one’s own compatriots in some circumstances

Bruce discusses the role of technology and information in WWII, and how much more important it was than in previous conflicts

The Philosophers expand on some of these changes, from changes in espionage to the relevance of radio technology

Bruce proposes an idea on how to get an entire population, largely dispossessed, gets on board with a new ideology

Sean responds by discussing the events what led up to this, and how the war, in a way, provided some answers to the questions raised by the advancement of technology and the changing of how we live our lives

Ryver talks about the Soviet Union, the ways their propaganda was shaped, and some of the ways that they culturally reacted to the war

Bruce likens some of the stories to old pulp Western novels, and how this is similar to the uplifting of the every-man like the propaganda of the western world

Sean explains the appeal of the stories of the every-man

Bruce and Sean expand on the power these stories had over the national attitude

Ryver talks about some of the cultural differences between the Soviet Union and America

Bruce discusses the era around WWII as the beginning of the rise to a major player in the world stage

The Philosophers talk about the ways in which various factions kept both morale and obedience to the highest possible level

Sean talks about the role of Philosophy in analysing the past

Bruce discusses the idea of Just War and what that means

Ryver expands the idea of propaganda stepping outside the theatre of war, and how this impacts specifically American views of the rest of the world

Sean takes the last word to discuss how the themes from history impact our modern lives, and how media literacy is important to see through the propaganda machine

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