Thursday, August 30, 2007

Already it is the Future!

Here is a wonderful old propaganda film by none other than General Electric from the Prelinger Archives depicting the history of electricity in the United States. A great study of propaganda in general and a frightening/inspiring look at what GE was trying to accomplish back in the day, including a list of modern household, agricultural and industrial innovations, and possible new realms of electricity generation (they mention that home atomic generators probably won't be developed and they talk about harnessing the energy of the sun through photosynthesis).

I wonder a bit about the significance of the fact that the word communism is never actually used, so that the freedom from tyranny line seemed to me to come out of left field with no overt enemy. I suppose back then it really wasn't necessary to spell it out, however. Everyone knew that it was the domino effect we were afraid of, but I think it's an interesting manifestation of the way the Cold War was fought, in this underhanded, irrational, unspoken kind of way.

Look! Already it is the Future! Here is greater freedom from drudgery than ever before! Today Freedom and Power are inextricably linked. But now our freedoms are threatened by forces that would crush our liberties and tyrannize the minds of men. Against these forces we have the weapons of Freedom, Courage, Faith and The Creative Spirit. And we have the tool that built our way of life: Productivity. With this productivity we can add to our freedoms and defend them (this is accompanied by an image of an infinite stream of war planes).

Double points if you decide to watch a newer piece of propaganda from the same company... Ah! The evolution of propaganda from the cosiness of your own Personal Computer.

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