Capitalist Propaganda Posters


Via the Twitter feed of Newmanology (follow it if you want a great stream of super-cool graphics!) comes a link to Today's Inspiration, a site featuring a truly bizarre series of advertisements from General Electric and other defense contractors back in the day. The poster to the right is just one example; the others (including one done for Roebling by Norman Rockwell) are well worth checking out.

Even more images here.

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  1. Cleanup Chad’s vomit on Aile Seven.

  2. Anyone who takes the DC Metro ever will see equally hilarious modern advertisements aimed at Congressmen and maybe diplomats.

    You’ll see all sorts of advanced weaponry and vehicles advertised as “the ONLY choice for troop transport” and such.

    1. Thank god for those ads, I’d have no idea what sort of vehicle to transport my troops in otherwise.

      1. Tell me about it!

    2. Ha. One week though, the Pentagon stop (which always seems to have uniform ads) was advertising “Graduate School” which I think is some sort of advanced-degree diploma mill. Made me depressed about the future value of my own “qualifications”.

      1. Well, maybe it’s not a diploma mill. Or maybe it is.

  3. Don Geiss built GE into the greatest company on Earth, and the Earth into one of the top three planets in the universe.

  4. First High-Performance Yaw Damper for Autopilot! Where do I sign up?

    1. Sign me up too, my thighs are exhausted from holding the rudder pedals in place for a whole flight. Or maybe I should just get my trim tab fixed.

      1. Not the same thing, fly-boy. The yaw-damper has nothing to do with relieving the stress of holding a rudder position — that is a function of the steady-state response of the system and as you say a job for the steady-state solution controlling trim tab. The yaw damper deals with the exponential decay (hopefully!) of the oscillatory response of the system.

  5. Wow, OK that really does make a lot of sense when you think about it.

  6. You know what? At least those were (mostly) things worth bragging about. Now we get bullshit about how “green” GE is becoming (thx for the subsidies!), fantasies about how Toyota technology can be used to build a self sustaining theme park (riiggghttt….) and meaningless crap like that.

    1. fantasies about how Toyota technology can be used to build a self sustaining theme park

      I involuntarily barked “ENTROPY!” the first time I saw that nonsense.

      1. Theme parks arent a closed system, so its possible (just need the guests dragging in enough energy).

        1. There’s an idea for a theme park. “The Black Box”…you may enter, but…

  7. How is that bizarre?

    Its far less bizarre than “We dont make the products you buy, we make the products you buy better”.

    So, umm, in other words, you dont need to be wasting money advertising at all?

    1. That’s what I couldn’t figure out. These advertising images don’t seem at all bizarre to me, so the only thing I could figure was that institutional advertising per se is perceived by Nick Gillespie as bizarre.

  8. So, once upon a time, General Electric actually devoted their efforts to solving problems which resulted in better products, instead of rent-seeking?


    1. I thought being a government contractor was pretty much the definition of “rent seeking”.

      1. I think P Brooks means,

        “to rent-seeking which resulted in better products, instead of just rent-seeking?”

      2. Actually MW, Govt Contractors typically have a skill set that the Govt doesn’t have. You know, that whole wealth of nations and specialization thing…

        – The Navy knows how to FIGHT with ships. The Navy is not skilled in building said ships. Shipyards are the pros at building ships. So, does a shipyard, in building a warship to Navy specifications, rent seeking, or providing a specified product on a (typically) competitively bid contract?

        – The Air Force couldn’t build a fighter, much less a light trainer, themselves. Kill thousands employing said fighters – you bet, bomb the snot out of piss ant third world dictators with their bombers, you know it, they’re the best at that. Building them? HA! Hence, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Cessna, Northrup Grumman, et al build the aircraft for the Air Force.

        To take it out of the realm of Government and Govt contractors, try this for a thought experiment:
        – Should a pastry chef spend their time growing wheat? Milling it? Or are the farmers and millers rent seeking from the bakers and pastry chefs of the world?
        – Should a race car driver fabricate the chassis? Engine? Tires? Or is Goodyear rent seeking in selling tires to NASCAR or Indy Car teams? How about those damned rent seeking refiners…how DARE they sell their high octane brew to a race team! They’re RENT SEEKING damn it!

        Now….if GE, or Lockheed, or Big Civil Engineering / Construction Company or who ever slushes some money around in DC to get a contract for something (fighter, windmill, ship, road, etc) not needed, more expensive than the competitors, etc…..’nother story.

  9. Any pre-war vintage posters from Robco?

  10. GE officially become a “bank” so it could take TARP funds.

  11. Stupid work filter.

  12. Isn’t GE more properly defined as corporatist? You can tell, because the name is all impersonal and bureaucratic sounding. Like General Motors, or Associated Steel.

  13. Maybe I’m getting cynical in my old age, but I’m told it’s easier nowadays to increase profits by bribing (sorry, I mean convincing) politicians to pass favorable laws than by producing better products for consumers.

    Naaaaw, couldn’t be, the politicians are on our side, they tell us…

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