Free Speech

The First Ammendment Series by Morgen Thruston

The following paintings are part of a series by Morgen Thruston who recently joined Liberatchik. The first four paintings in the series can be viewed in a previous post on Liberatchik.

First Amendment V

First Amendment VI

In creating my series “1st Amendment” I wanted to portray the feelings I get when I hear that the government wants to curtail freedom of speech . I chose young children because I feel they represent us, in our innocence, being restricted by others. They also represent our future if we, the adults, don’t protect them. I used a simple adhesive tape to represent being silenced, but not permanently. We can easily remove our restrictions, but often we are afraid. Some of the children are in the act of removing the tape. Others are simply frozen; they don’t know what to do. In a way they are like adults who are uncomfortable with political correctness and conservative speech that is unpopular. We can easily remove the politicians who put “tape” on our mouths. We can turn the television channels that make us afraid to speak out.

I chose red and blue for the backgrounds to represent the different party colors. Regardless of which way we lean, we all deserve the freedom of religion and to freely speak our minds. No other nation in the world has the same freedoms we enjoy in America. In the backgrounds there are bits of the ‘opposing’ color. The red has a little blue and the blue a little red, showing that even though we may belong to one party we have values that could belong to another. And together we make a nation of different ideas, but always American.

Morgen

Dimensions: 16″ x 20″ x 2″

Price: $800 each *Please inquire regarding adjusted pricing for the purchase of two or more paintings.      frances@machinepolitick.com

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik. She is also a Conservative political artist, blogger and activist.

Morgen Thruston is a Conservative artist working with Liberatchik.


Northeast Georgia Arts Tour 2011

On Saturday, I will be participating in the following event in Helen, Georgia.

Northeast Georgia 2011 Arts Tour

Friday, June 10, 2011 – 1:00pm – Sunday, June 12, 2011 – 5:00pm

Please join us for our annual Summer Open House Weekend Meet over 100 local artists–painters, potters, jewelry makers, fiber, glass, metal artists and more; demonstrating art in the making.
Find
miles of handmade gifts and that ever so special one-of-a-kind item for everyone on your list.
Register to Win
great prizes–such as theater tickets, restaurant gift certificates, and an original oil painting at all tour stops.

Hours: Friday, 1PM – 5PM; Saturday 10AM – 5PM; Sunday 1PM – 5PM

For more information visit www.artstour.org

TOUR EVENT: June 10th at 6:30pm join the Helen Arts & Heritage Center, located at 25 Chattahoochee St., Helen, GA, for our “Spring Gala” with local wine,food,art & music. $20 entry fee includes souvenir glass. Call 706-878-3933 Thurs-Mon 12-4pm to reserve your glass. June 10-13th Demonstrators—In the Clay Studio Fri. 10th Hilton Hill,Fri, Sat & Sunday potters will be hand building whimsical pots , face mugs or textured platters. Friday in the Gallery Terri Ficula & Helen Greear will be weaving pine needle baskets and Val Davidson will be making Jewelry. Sat. June 11th Frances Byrd will be painting from 12-2, Midgie Humphreys will be painting 1-5. Sid Snow, wood turner, will be on the porch all Sat & Sun with a mini lath turning bowls , vases or ornaments. Come see what he can do with a stick of wood. Other artists will be showing their colors on Sunday. Please come watch!

TOUR EVENT: The GHAA Arts & Fine Crafts located at 8016 S. Main St. in Helen, GA, will have a “Crunchy, munchy, artsy Cookie Contest” Two ways to enter and three prizes to be given in these categories: Most luscious cookie, Most beautiful cookie, and Best tasting non gluten cookie. 1. bring your favorite cookie Friday, Saturday and Sunday to the Gallery. If possible email us your name and the name of your cookie so we can make up a flier. 2. Stop in any day and be a judge and vote on your favorite cookie. Come enjoy the crunchy-munchies and visit with our demonstrating artists.

More information on the Tour.

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, a conservative political artist and blogger. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com. Frances will be representing Liberatchik at a booth at the Freedom Jamboree in Kansas City September 28 – October 2, 2011.

Artists Don’t Seem to Care About Freedom of Speech

Several weeks ago, I was sent an email by a friend Jimmy in California concerning the disappearance of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. There is very little information from China on the artist’s dissappearance or the reason why he is apparently being held by the Chinese government. In the weeks since Ai was spirited away, several of his peers have also been held for various reasons and lengths of time. Because Ai is an outspoken opponent of the Chinese government, there is an outcry in the Chinese art community; but very little is being said on the subject here in the United States.

I find it shameful that our art community has so little to say about an artist being arrested by his government for exposing human rights abuses. I know the Chinese government is claiming that Ai is behind on his taxes, but I think we all know better than that. Besides, from what I understand, a Chinese citizen is not to be held for more than 35 days without formal charges. Mr. Weiwei has been missing since April 3 – 64 days and counting.

Here in the U.S., with the exception of a few politicians and art elite, there isn’t much outrage on Mr. Weiwei’s behalf. The most elaborate protest I have heard of was by a Cuban artist who projected Ai’s image on the side of the Chinese consulate in NYC. It would be funny if it weren’t in response to such a serious issue. It makes me sad to think that most of the people walking by probably had no idea what the installation was about or that the Ai’s Zodiac Head sculptures are on display outside the Plaza Hotel until July 15, 2011.

Equally disappointing is the fact that I cannot get enough support for a show demanding his release to acquire a venue. I live just outside Atlanta, which is a fairly large metropolitan area, but no luck. In a country where we still enjoy freedom of speech and assembly, and even more telling – where artists can live off the government dole without censorship of their work – it makes me furious to think they can’t stand up as a whole and demand the release of someone who has been imprisoned for expressing his opinions. Given the anti-American leanings of most artists, you would expect Ai to surpass Che as their new poster child. You would be wrong.

Here in America, artists are free to ridicule, criticize and revile their government. In China, they are censored. Here in America, artists are bemoaning the suggestion that NPR, PBS and the NEA be cut back or eliminated altogether. At least one of these organizations has admitted they don’t even need the funding. In China, Ai Weiwei sits in prison.

Jimmy Arone’s silent protest at the Geffen Contemporary. Stencil by artist, THEFL.

More art by THEFL to raise awareness for Ai Weiwei’s disappearance.

Untitled

Jimmy Arone’s silent protest at the Geffen Contemporary. Stencil by artist, THEFL.

Untitled(2)

More art by THEFL to raise awareness for Ai Weiwei’s disappearance.

Untitled(3)

Detail of painting at the end of Mr. Arone’s driveway. He lives down the street from a high school outside of L.A. The work was installed with the hope that some of the teenagers would make an effort to learn more. Last time I spoke to Jimmy, he said he had had a few interesting conversations about Ai’s disappearance and the importance of human rights.

Additional Reading:

A Weekend of Protests for Incarcerated Artist Ai Weiwei

Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei Arrested in Latest Government Crackdown

Argument Against China Just got Stronger

Weiwei’s Conversation at the Tate Modern

Various Updates at Courrielche.com

Ai Weiwei, Symbol of Desire for Freedom

Yahoo Search Page

Frances Byrd is the National Director of Liberatchik.com, a conservative political artist and blogger. Her art can be viewed at MachinePolitick.com. Frances will be representing Liberatchik at a booth at the Freedom Jamboree in Kansas City September 28 – October 2, 2011.

Follow up on Ai WeiWei Post


Mr. Trump – Your Argument Against China Just Got Stronger

By: Patrick Courrielche

NOTE: Also published at Big Government.

On April 3rd, Chinese artist and citizen investigator Ai Weiwei was taken into custody by his government while attempting to fly from Beijing to Hong Kong. Initially, Chinese law enforcement would not disclose the reason, but yesterday announced they were investigating him for “suspected economic crimes.” His whereabouts are still unknown.

With the Arab world’s civil unrest in the periphery, many China critics believe the arrest of Ai Weiwei (pronounced EYE-Way-Way) is part of a recent crackdown on Chinese dissidents to stop any climate of protest from migrating into their borders. For nearly two-months, China has been arresting well known writers, human rights lawyers, and activists – making some completely vanish within their penal system. With well over a billion people under their governance, China’s leaders should fear demonstrations given their abysmal free speech and human rights record.

But the arrest of Ai Weiwei is markedly significant for one simple reason – he is one of their most prolific artists. Ai Weiwei was the “creative consultant” for the country’s iconic Beijing National Stadium – or what many refer to as China’s Olympic Bird’s Nest stadium. With the arrest of such a prominent figure, the country has sent the message to their people that no one, no matter how internationally heralded, is safe if they openly critique the government. And Ai Weiwei has done his share of criticizing…

Please follow this link for the remainder of the article: http://www.courrielche.com/?p=685#more-685. I would like to thank my friend Jimmy Arone for bringing this article to my attention. I hope you will consider passing it on.

Frances is the Senior Editor of Liberatchik and manages the Liberatchik FaceBook Page. She is also a political artist and blogger. You can view her portfolio and additional articles at MachinePolitick. This article was written for Liberatchik.


It’s All a Matter of Perspective

For those of you who don’t know me, I am a political artist. There’s nothing inherently special about that statement, although being a conservative makes me a bit of a pariah in the art community. I rather enjoy the difference of opinion and the conflict it often inspires. The irony of a conservative leading the avant guard in the arts is a little amusing; not that I can claim credit for such a lofty accomplishment just yet.

Another thing I enjoy as an American is freedom of speech. It’s something we take for granted most of the time. Sure, artists gripe and moan about the system and the lack of public funding or understanding for the importance of their work. Many get their panties in a twist every time someone suggests that there should be no public funding of the arts. The truth is, they have no idea how bad it could be.

Take a moment to read this article about the things a Chinese artist can expect to endure at the hands of his government if he dares to create work critical of the powers that be.

Then read this one about the city government of St. Louis trying to silence a charitable organization that is using murals to speak out about eminent domain abuse. I love this quote by the St. Louis Alderman: “If this sign is allowed to remain, then anyone with property along any thoroughfare can paint signs indicating the opinion or current matter relevant to the owner to influence passersby with no control by any City agency. The precedent should not be allowed.”

Last, here is a video of Lindsey Graham justifying the re-evaluation of free speech. Perhaps we are not so far from learning what true oppression is like after all. I didn’t realize the Constitution was just a bunch of ideas to be dispensed with at some politician’s convenience.

Frances is the Senior Editor of Liberatchik and manages the Liberatchik FaceBook Page. She is also a political artist and blogger. You can view her portfolio and additional articles at MachinePolitick. This article was written for Liberatchik.


CPAC 2011 Artist: Michael LeKites


I believe in the American Ideal of individual freedom! If my work can assist in some small way of reminding people of the greatness of America, the greatness and sacredness of liberty and freedom, then I will have accomplished something.

Michael’s work can be viewed on his web page.

This article was written for Liberatchik.

June 12 Patriot Pony Project Launch

The main event yesterday went very well. I will write something about the experience once things settle down a bit. In the mean time I will post photos of the event. We are also listed on the front page of the local section for the Tribune-Review today. It is the second article they posted about the trip.

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Anystreet Gun Rights Flier

Please read and distribute the following information:

I am happy to be associated with Any Street. Here is something you can do that is easy, and effective. Oh, and please go to anystreet.org and sign up yourself!
Thanks
—– Original Message —–

Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 9:01 PM
Subject: AnyStreet ACTION Gun Rights Flyers

Attention AnyStreeters!

We have a new AnyStreet ACTION item for you to hit the Streets with:

Attached is a Gun Rights Flyer.  As Conservatives we are absolutely 100% for protecting our 2nd Amendment.  The goal is to make people aware that we are fighting for the 2nd Amendment and to have more likeminded Conservatives help in our battle to have our voices heard on Any Street and Every Street. We are spreading the word about an extremely important Conservative value, garnering attention to AnyStreet and hopefully picking up some new activists at the same time!  Brilliant I say!

It’s simple – just go to google and click on google maps.  Then type in gun stores and your State name and VOILA.. a list of all of the gun stores in your State will appear with their address and phone numbers.  You can also try Sportsmen’s Clubs, they too may be interested.  Coordinate with your State leaders so that you can split up the work between several members.

Just ask the owners or managers if it’s OK to put up one of our flyers.  Be prepared to explain what AnyStreet is all about and how important it is that Conservatives fight back and fight to KEEP the rights that we have.  You can find AnyStreet information on www.anystreet.org

Most of all – HAVE FUN!

Kimberly Morin

Assistant National Director Policy/Action


• Your gun defends your home.
• Your gun defends your family.
• BUT ARE YOU DEFENDING YOUR RIGHTS?
• Obama and the Democrats have made it clear how they feel about the 2nd
Amendment. We have to start winning elections or there will be more “changes,”
and they won’t make you more secure or more free.
• AnyStreet is working to elect politicians who will preserve our right to keep and
bear arms.
• Defend your right to defend yourself. Join today — before it is too late!
www.JoinAnyStreet.org    www.AnyStreet.org

Here is the direct link to the flier.

MachinePolitick speaks out!

Conservative Artists

This is a new video by my friends at SecularStupidest.com The film is from  A Patriot’s Christmas at the Georgia World Congress Center. Footage includes shots of me painting on stage for the event, as well as speaking to interested patrons about my art.

Utilizing Conservative Principles of Propaganda


From the New American Webster Handy College Dictionary, Revised and Expanded Edition: ideas disseminated to support a doctrine
From the American Century Thesaurus: 1. agitprop, disinformation, newspeak, rumors, lies. 2. advertising, promotion, publicity, public relations, puff, fanfare.
From Wikipedia.com: 1. the systemic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those advocating such a doctrine or cause. 2. material disseminated by the advocates or opponents of a doctrine or cause: wartime propaganda. 3. propaganda Roman Catholic Church. A division of the Roman Curia that has authority in the matter of preaching the gospel, of establishing the Church in non-Christian countries, and of administering Church missions in territories where there is no properly organized hierarchy.
From Encyclopedia Farlex.com: Systemic spreading… of information or disinformation, … usually to promote a religious or political doctrine with the intention of instilling particular attitudes or responses. As a system of spreading information it was considered a legitimate instrument of government, but became notorious through the deliberate distortion of facts or the publication of falsehoods by totalitarian regimes, notably Nazi Germany.
The word comes from the activities of a special sacred congregation of the Roman Catholic Church…which sought to spread the faith and recruit members.
In the US in the 1980s, the term ‘public diplomacy’ was introduced. Government-sponsored reports and articles were presented to the media as independent sources…
…black propaganda (a pack of lies), grey propaganda (half-truths and distortions), white propaganda (the truth).
Propaganda has been practiced since the earliest times, but modern mass media has made it much easier to appeal to wide domestic and foreign audiences…
You might be wondering why I just put you through so many definitions of the same word – propaganda. It is because I am endeavoring to better understand the term, its use, and the affect it has had on our culture. From there, I want to examine how the government, media, and entertainment industries are using propaganda to influence our points of view. The answers to all of these issues are crucial to our understanding of the opposition and the formation of a reasoned and honest rebuttal. As a political artist, I well understand the power of a strong and succinct image, that, through repetition, becomes an influential icon. In this way, the arts have become one of the most powerful influences on the American people and culture, with few of us aware of how it happened.
Ask yourself a couple of questions. How did you form your personal philosophy? What influences led you to the formation of those beliefs? Did you verify facts, or merely accept ideas at face value? Are you even aware of where you got the information, or when you first formed your beliefs? If you cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, it is time for you to do some research. I am not here to change your mind, or convince you that I am right. You must make those decisions for yourself. What I am here to do is accumulate the information I need to better understand how to explain and promote the concept of Liberty, why it is preferable to the nanny state of big government, and how I intend to use my art to spread this message. Finally, I am encouraging all artists who share my views to step up and join the fight.
This is propaganda. I will not lie to you, and you are free to leave at any time. I hope, however, that you will verify my assertions and form your own opinions.
How Can Art Affect Public Perceptions, Opinions and Philosophy?
Art affects people on many levels. First and foremost, it affects the viewer by appealing to their individual aesthetic preferences. We may not know why we like a piece of art, only that it appeals to us. This visual connection may be a result of color, composition, shape, balance and a myriad of other elements, alone or in various combinations. Some work appeals to us merely because it is pretty. Other pieces illicit an emotional reaction. Our attractions vary with our beliefs and personalities, as much as with the merits of the work we are viewing.
The iconic nature of modern graphic design, and its influence on the fine arts, has become a useful and often subtle tool of the modern propagandist. We are so immersed in the realm of digital and printed media, that we are often exposed to ideas and marketing on a subconscious level. In the younger generations, the need to fit in and be considered cool makes their demographic particularly susceptible to an underlying idea or agenda. Good art, skillfully employed, can reduce a complex concept to a simple image that is easily understood and successfully promotes a particular concept or belief. Depending on the subtlety or brazenness of the image, the viewer may not even realize they are looking at anything more complicated than a cool graphic. Subtle works of art are often more successful because the message they are promoting goes unnoticed on a conscious level. In this way, ideas are perceived as truth without questioning motives, availability of facts, or opposing points of view. The success of this type of propaganda is increased by repetition which serves to reinforce the formation of the desired opinion. I am going to focus entirely on the cultural and political aspects of propaganda, particularly on the influence it has on the way people think and act. I believe the influence of ideas and philosophy has the most lasting and significant impact on our culture. Art is, quite possibly, the most affective tool for the dissemination of ideas.
When used by the individual artist, these expressions of philosophy and opinion fall firmly within the realm of free speech. When sponsored by the government, they become manipulative propaganda. Regardless of the intended use of the art in question, the intended outcome of its use, or the projected benefit, it is not an appropriate endeavor for government. There is too much room for abuse and factual inaccuracy or manipulation and insufficient objective scrutiny to maintain unbiased representation. More importantly, government funding of the arts is an inappropriate use of tax money, regardless of its intended use.
How has Art Been Used for Propaganda Purposes?
Prior to WWII, the word propaganda did not necessarily have negative connotations. With the enactment of Joseph Goebbels’ campaign of mass influence and indoctrination, the term became synonymous with State sponsored art. The Nazis used propaganda in many forms, but their use of posters may have had the most lasting effect on the German population. By creating iconographic imagery, easily understood, posted repeatedly in public places, the population of Germany was led to believe things that were often outright lies. This success has led to the subsequent proliferation of political art through modern times.
The reason propaganda came to be viewed as dishonest after WWII, is the way in which it was used by Goebbels. His principles for the use of propaganda advocated the manipulation and censorship of facts. He set very strict terms regarding creation and dissemination of propaganda, and actively limited the kind of information available for release to the public. According to these principles, repetition is vital to the success of a propaganda campaign. Propaganda was to be used to maintain a level of anxiety in the general population in order to make them more amenable to government influence. It appears as though our own government has learned a few things in this regard.
So, how does art come into play? Obviously, the use of graphics requires creative talent. Artists, being some of the more emotional members of society, might very well have a better understanding of how to manipulate others. A well placed graphic, the right splash of color or use of contrast, severe cropping or juxtaposition of opposing objects will easily lead the viewer to form a desired opinion. Some will agree because they already possess the same view, with the added bonus of feeling like part of something larger than themselves. Some will be swayed because they were on the fence about the issue, but now feel like an insider because they are clever enough to ‘get it’. Some will dismiss it as crap because they disagree. Others will be offended because they not only disagree, but see the potential for manipulation of those who don’t have all the facts and will readily accept what they perceive to be popular opinion.
In our current political climate, artists have found their voice and a market for works depicting their own political views. As an individual expression, this is a powerful tool for political activism. Whether or not you agree with the artist, you should be able to respect their right to free speech. When sponsored knowingly and, worse, encouraged by the NEA, it is comparable to the actions of Goebbels. There is no instance where it is appropriate for the government to fund art, particularly that which promotes a specific agenda. When the government or a tax funded agency in their employ embarks on a propaganda campaign, they seldom give voice to the opposition.
As artists, I believe we have a duty and responsibility to put forth an opposing points of view. We need to combat lies and misrepresentations with verifiable facts and expose the treachery of blindly following ‘approved’ ideas and agendas. Because the State has been engaged in this campaign for generations, with the willing participation of their supporters, it is time that those of us who still hold the individual supreme stand up and make our voices heard. We now face a turning point in the history of America, where we can succumb to the whims of the State and willingly accept bondage, or lead the way to a Liberty Revolution with the purpose of restoring America to a Constitutional Republic. Mrs. Pelosi says “Are you serious?”; I say Yes Ma’am, I Am.
As Conservatives, what should we be promoting through our art? Self-reliance, personal responsibility, a return to the principles of individual liberty and limited government. Freedom over tyranny. The challenge will be to create a successful propaganda campaign without compromising our principles to emotional reactions and misrepresentation of facts. We need to play the game as they say, but on our own terms. We must always remain honest and present all of the facts. We must define our principles clearly, then promote them effectively and repeatedly in ways that are quickly and easily understood. This is one of the reasons I am so concerned with getting more artists on board with the Liberatchik project. We have the ability to make a lasting and significant impact in this war of ideas, but our strength will be in our numbers.
Art, regardless of genre, has the ability to reduce complex concepts to easily grasped ideas, raise people and ideas to the status of icons, reach wide audiences through a variety of means; often with the added bonus of creating a spirit of belonging and the perception of empowerment. It is my goal, through my personal art and my efforts here at Liberatchik to promote the ideas of Liberty and individual integrity. I believe that America is a great country and patriotism is not a stigma. There is nothing selfish in taking pride in one’s accomplishments. I hope that America will one day return to a truly free nation, because it has not been so in my lifetime. I want to leave it better than I found it. My art is my tool for shaping that
Conservative Principles of Propaganda
I have already laid out the reasons why Conservatives need to engage in an active campaign to influence American culture. I have given the historical significance and impact of propaganda on the population at large, as well as the ways in which Liberals have subverted our culture and marginalized any opposition within the art and entertainment industries. Finally, I have given examples of the ways in which they have succeeded and the reasons for their success. Now, I am giving you the ammunition to fight back.
The following points are written from the perspective of a painter. However, they can be adapted to work for any genre of art. Musicians would apply the techniques to their lyrics, poets to their verse, filmmakers to their sets and imagery, etc…
Conservative Principles of Propaganda
1. a. Above all else – be honest
b. Back up your assertions with facts – always
2. Build up a positive message as well as shedding light on the tactics of the opposition. People need something positive to encourage them to stay the course, and constant complaining does nothing to change the situation
3. Create Iconography
a. Reduce complex ideas and philosophy to symbols
b. Make imagery memorable
c. Simplify icons for easy reproduction by everyone – they should be reduced to designs that anyone     can copy regardless of skill level and talent, while maintaining the integrity of the image
4. Recruit and Network
a. Use grassroots activism techniques to spread the message and promote your iconography – Anystreet is a good source of tactical information for activism and networking.
b. Involve as many like-minded people as possible, but don’t be pushy. If you approach someone who is not interested, respect their right to disagree.
c. Teach others how to reproduce the icons and use them effectively – this is also a great opportunity for networking and building our own art community.
5. Try to foresee ways in which the opposition will use propaganda techniques to discredit and marginalize our message – be proactive rather than reactive.
6. Do not engage in name calling, emotional exchanges or campaigns in which facts are ignored to boost the effectiveness of your message. This only gives ammo to our detractors.
7. Use verifiable statistics, correct representations of numbers and demographics, and concrete facts to improve general understanding of your message. Many people simply have no idea what we mean by promoting Liberty.
8. a. Repeat themes often, but not to the point over-saturation
b. Use subliminally influential methods to promote ideas through iconography, such as merchandising (posters, t-shirts, etc.)
Our main focus is the promotion of the following philosophy:
*Individuality and Liberty promote a more fair system than collectivism
*Individual judgment and reason is more productive than collective regulation
*We must revoke our sanction of a system that intends to destroy our Liberty and Individuality
Now get out there and raise some hell!
Additional sources of information and articles:

Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda

The Art of Propaganda

Some of the links provided inspiration for portions of this essay, others are direct sources of historic and philosophical references.
This essay will be cross posted at Liberatchik.com

How has Art Been Used for Propaganda Purposes?

Prior to WWII, the word propaganda did not necessarily have negative connotations. With the enactment of Joseph Goebbels’ campaign of mass influence and indoctrination, the term became synonymous with State sponsored art. The Nazis used propaganda in many forms, but their use of posters may have had the most lasting effect on the German population. By creating iconographic imagery, easily understood, posted repeatedly in public places, the population of Germany was led to believe things that were often outright lies. This success has led to the subsequent proliferation of political art through modern times.

The reason propaganda came to be viewed as dishonest after WWII, is the way in which it was used by Goebbels. His principles for the use of propaganda advocated the manipulation and censorship of facts. He set very strict terms regarding creation and dissemination of propaganda, and actively limited the kind of information available for release to the public. According to these principles, repetition is vital to the success of a propaganda campaign. Propaganda was to be used to maintain a level of anxiety in the general population in order to make them more amenable to government influence. It appears as though our own government has learned a few things in this regard.

So, how does art come into play? Obviously, the use of graphics requires creative talent. Artists, being some of the more emotional members of society, might very well have a better understanding of how to manipulate others. A well placed graphic, the right splash of color or use of contrast, severe cropping or juxtaposition of opposing objects will easily lead the viewer to form a desired opinion. Some will agree because they already possess the same view, with the added bonus of feeling like part of something larger than themselves. Some will be swayed because they were on the fence about the issue, but now feel like an insider because they are clever enough to ‘get it’. Some will dismiss it as crap because they disagree. Others will be offended because they not only disagree, but see the potential for manipulation of those who don’t have all the facts and will readily accept what they perceive to be popular opinion.

In our current political climate, artists have found their voice and a market for works depicting their own political views. As an individual expression, this is a powerful tool for political activism. Whether or not you agree with the artist, you should be able to respect their right to free speech. When sponsored knowingly and, worse, encouraged by the NEA, it is comparable to the actions of Goebbels. There is no instance where it is appropriate for the government to fund art, particularly that which promotes a specific agenda. When the government or a tax funded agency in their employ embarks on a propaganda campaign, they seldom give voice to the opposition.

As artists, I believe we have a duty and responsibility to put forth an opposing point of view. We need to combat lies and misrepresentations with verifiable facts and expose the treachery of blindly following ‘approved’ ideas and agendas. Because the State has been engaged in this campaign for generations, with the willing participation of their supporters, it is time that those of us who still hold the individual supreme stand up and make our voices heard. We now face a turning point in the history of America, where we can succumb to the whims of the State and willingly accept bondage, or lead the way to a Liberty Revolution with the purpose of restoring America to a Constitutional Republic. Mrs. Pelosi says  “Are you serious?”; I say Yes I Am.

What should we be promoting through our art? Self-reliance, personal responsibility, a return to the principles of individual liberty and limited government. Freedom over tyranny. The challenge will be to create a successful propaganda campaign without compromising our principles to emotional reactions and misrepresentation of facts. We need to play the game as they say, but on our own terms. We must always remain honest and present all of the facts. We must define our principles clearly, then promote them effectively and repeatedly in ways that are quickly and easily understood. This is one of the reasons I am so concerned with getting more artists on board with the Liberatchik project. We have the ability to make a lasting and significant impact in this war of ideas, but our strength will be in our numbers.

Art, regardless of genre, has the ability to reduce complex concepts to easily grasped ideas, raise people and ideas to the status of icons, reach wide audiences through a variety of means; often with the added bonus of creating a spirit of belonging and the perception of empowerment. It is my goal, through my personal art and my efforts here at Liberatchik to promote the ideas of Liberty and individual integrity. I believe that America is a great country and patriotism is not a stigma. There is nothing selfish in taking pride in one’s accomplishments. I hope that America will one day return to a truly free nation, because it has not been so in my lifetime. I want to leave it better than I found it. My art is my tool for shaping that future.

This article will be cross posted at Liberatchik

Additional sources used as background for this article:

Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda

The Art of Propaganda

Center for the Study of Political Graphics

Propaganda: Nobody Does it Better Than America

The Making of an Art Movement.

Now that the Decarationist Movement and Liberatchik have launched, I thought people might like to know how we got started. Christopher of Modern Conservative contacted me via email late last year, and together, we have combined our creative talents and our passion for freedom to build this site. As we add new members, the face of the project may change, but the underlying philosophy and goals will remain constant – Liberty is superior to tyranny; the State is our enemy; Freedom of Speech includes all points of view; individuals, not government, are the creators of wealth and freedom…

To read more, visit Liberatchik.