Downloading Communism… Illegaly

Using communism as an example of evil, this propaganda attempts to persuade the viewer that by downloading content on the internet illegally, you are as sinister as the most villainous people in the world.

The first aspect of this picture that immediately jumps out at the viewer is the giant devil dressed in army clothing in the center of the picture. The devil has yellow eyes with red pupils that singe the vision of the observer. His bright red hand is placed on the shoulder of a caucasian male figure in a white tee shirt. The man has headphones on and is on the computer. The devil character appears to be snickering, watching the male character operate the computer. There is also a communist symbol in the top right corner, a hammar and a sickle. There is text on both the top and bottom of the picture, the top text says, “If you pirate MP3’s you’re downloading Communism”. The bottom text tells the viewer that the image is provided by the RIAA, better known as the Recording Industry Association of America.

This piece of propaganda is blown out of proportion, but the logic behind the poster is very valid. The devil character is clad in the attire of a soviet army official, and by placing his hand on the mans shoulder, it appears that the devil could be dictating the actions of the man. It can be assumed that the man is pirating musical illegally on the internet and the devil appears next to him as a result of this action. This picture was almost definitely created by america. This can be inferred because communism in america has been and often still is viewed as a major source of evil in the world. Since the 1950’s, American hatred for communism has been public and largely widespread, so while illegal downloading is a problem that plagues America in the present, this ad choses to connect this current problem with one of the most notable problems and altercations in American history. The devil represents both communism and evil, and this is seen through his diabolical smile and his putrid looking eyes. The man represents the unknowing american public, who downloads music illegally rather than rightly paying to listen to music.

Does downloading music illegally on the internet make you a communist? Are you an evil person if you pirate mp3’s? The answer to both these questions is absolutely no! It is undoubtedly wrong to pirate music, but calling someone a communist because they do such a thing is certainly a bit over the top. Paying for music should be standard for all people, but this isn’t always the case, and most americans are like the man in this picture, and most likely do not understand the ramifications of their actions when they download music illegally. They may not be communists, but as the poster indicates, illegal downloading is certainly wrong and a criminal offense.

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One comment

  1. Justin this is a great post and certainly takes us back to the 1950’s where similar posters were so common. I liked the thought put into the post and could clearly paint a picture of the poster in my head based on your description. My favorite part is when you said, “the devil has yellow eyes with red pupils that singe the vision of the observer”. This is a great line that adds meaning to the devil’s look to give the reader the true sense of evil that the devil embodies. I think the post could have used a once over for spelling and grammar because there were a couple mistakes but nothing big enough to deter the reader from the post. I liked the order of description, interpretation, then and your added personal opinion, which gave the reader a look into your thoughts on the matter. Good work.

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