Propaganda for the Ministry



Propaganda has been used as a tool in the political world for centuries and continues to be used to share the perspectives and ideas of its creator. The artist first modeled his image after one of the most traditional propaganda images in American history– the Uncle Sam “I Want You” format– allowing the audience to feel more accustomed to the underlying message. However, this drawing is not actually being used to spread a positive attitude, but instead to criticize the United States Department of Homeland Security. Nowadays citizens across the country are consistently paranoid about the NSA as they are about terrorism and therefore can easily capture the attention of any normal passerby. At first glance, almost immediately the poster makes the viewer uncomfortable because it commands him to suppress his 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech. It’s unreasonable for any person to not be able to ask a question and/or speak his/her mind and, since the demand is clearly “a message from the Ministry of Homeland Security,” the artist is relating a feeling of irrationality with the Department. The artist is also criticizing the Department for their over-extension into citizens’ lives and accuses those that disagree with them of siding with the terrorists; a claim that is overly radical and unjustifiable. As a last punch, he also labels the Department as a “Ministry,” implying that it only wishes to help and works to better the lives of those it protects. All in all, the political message behind the image was one of criticism and satire towards the Department of Homeland Security while inherently aiming to gain support for the artist’s own perspective.

6 thoughts on “Propaganda for the Ministry”

  1. I felt uncomfortable as well when I first saw this picture because I felt like I was being put on the spot. I wasn’t sure how exactly your example of the NSA relates to the image, but if you provided further explanation, it would supplement your argument well. I am also curious about the context of this image. When and where was it posted?

  2. I agree that the poster immediately grabs the viewer’s attention because typically The Statue of Liberty is viewed as a symbol for freedom. It is now being used to suppress that freedom and go against its symbolic meaning. Also, the poster is making us uncomfortable because the order “stop asking questions” only heightens our suspicion as to what the government is hiding that it does not want us to find out.

  3. I support the claims you make about the hostile message conveyed in the image, and you do a good job of exploring the reasons it has that effect on people by finding key points that one would not immediately recognize. For example, the “Stop asking questions” label and the connection you made to the 1st Amendment shows that we may be uncomfortable because we have always had that right. On the other hand, you almost seem to be listing facts and you do not make a clear claim in the beginning of the text. Perhaps try to solidify your position early on and solidify it from there with what you have.

  4. This poster is very provocative at first sight. It creates enrages some emotions when you look at the picture. The pointed finger makes me ask my self the question. The picture personalized the message that is being passed across.

  5. I see this propaganda poster and I get a feeling of outrage or disbelief–the sensation of “You’ve got to be kidding.”. It seems to me that the poster is attempting to weed out the guilty–the terrorists–but at the same time, its blatant attack on the common man strikes me as being either misdirected or pretentious, perhaps both.

  6. At my first glance, I felt reading uncomfortable looking at this picture because the color of the picture is dark and the Statue of Liberty looks angry and aggressive. You’ve explored the deeper meeting this picture is trying to deliver and the connection with the first amendment makes the article persuasive and reasonable.

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