state sponsored art

IS IT TIME TO DEFUND THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS?! OBAMA 2012

You may be wondering why I am taking the time to write this article. Knowing that there are so many critical issues in our world today, I thought it would be a good time to reintroduce you to the Art process. You might ask why I would do this at this time. Obama wants to be reelected in 2012 and he will use every method to accomplish his goal. During his presidential campaign to win the WH he used his Logo, created by a graphic artist, which was extremely popular and unlike the other campaign logos and signs, his had meaning. In his logo, the O represents Obama and the white space represents the sun, the sunrise. The blue O and the red stripes represent our flag. Many times Art does have a meaning such as a historical significance, environmental or in this case political propaganda. Obama’s forever famous ‘HOPE’ portrait by Shepard Fairey was used all during his campaign and exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery on Inauguration Day in 2009. People lined the halls to view it and photograph it. Obama’s face was everywhere. This portrait played a central role in his winning the presidency. Art promoted Obama. Don’t think for a moment it won’t happen again. Please take time to listen to Wendy Reaves as she explains the Obama portrait. She gushes over Fairey’s image of Obama. The artist deliberately selected colors, size and words on the portrait to draw attention to the ‘greatness’ of Obama. Words used on the image are: beautiful, fresh vision, no mess, stay up, purity, best, player, and a few negative words. Reaves confirms how young people “bought into this image.” How long did she spend on describing or swooning over GW Bush’s portrait and artist?

Read More…

Sonja Harris is a Liberatchik participating artist and blogger.

The Patriot Pony Project: Explanation of Project

Why support this project?

  • Promote America and patriotism through the arts.

  • Support the formation of a Conservative art movement.

  • Support a return to the concept of promoting art based on merit rather than controversy.

How can you support my work?

  • Donate money to MachinePolitick, co- founder of the project. This money will go to planning and organizing events under the name of the Patriot Pony Project.  Expenses include: art supplies, marketing, event necessities, travel, lodging and food.

  • If you are not comfortable sending money, I understand. A wish list of art supplies has been created so you can send exactly what I need to create my art.

  • Buy my t-shirts on Red Bubble, or my art on MachinePolitick.

  • Volunteer at events to help manage sales of art and merchandise, hand out information, take donations or collect entry fees, etc.

  • Provide services at events in exchange for advertising space on MachinePolitick and booth space at events.

Why is a Conservative art movement important?

Much has been debated recently about the state of art in America. Arguably, it’s in a pretty sad state as a whole. The underlying philosophy would have us believe that we should do what we feel rather than what is good and someone else owes us a living. If we become prosperous through our work, we have somehow demeaned ourselves or taken advantage of someone less fortunate. This mind-set in the art and entertainment industries is rampant throughout our culture with most people unaware of when or how they came by these ideas. They continue to be perpetuated through fine art, movies, music and various commercial arts. Most of it is not by accident. I believe our culture is directly influenced by the arts, and there is only one point of view getting significant representation.

Please allow me to introduce myself, and my proposal to make true changes in the art community. I support limited government and individual liberty, the Constitution and the rule of law. I am using my talents as an artist to spread the word for Liberty and build a community of Conservative artists with the same goals. I am making a stand to call out the Liberal establishment in Washington, Hollywood and the art community. There are many more artists like me out there, but many are afraid to voice their political opinions in the face of such daunting opposition. The reality is, we face a community that opposes our point of view and will not give us representation, regardless of whether there is a market for our work.

For this reason, we cannot succeed without support from the Conservative community. We need patrons to support our efforts. This must be a grass roots movement, funded by private contributions. A state sponsored program is doomed to fail. More importantly, state sponsored art is an affront to my talents as an artist and my principles as an individual.

I decided to launch an artistic revolution against the NEA and its participating hacks, sell-outs and parasites. If the government wants to promote propaganda that pushes their agenda, pay for it with tax money and keep it quiet so they can develop “legal language” to ‘protect themselves’, I’m going to give ’em hell.

What will your contributions cover?

Hotel accommodations: $600 Sponsored by Claire LeJuene Kemp of Whispering Winds and Karen Keifer, Attorney at Law

Gas: $300 ( Two cars round trip from Ga to Pa transporting artwork and family members who have volunteered to help me with the event.) Sponsored by Robert Jones Photography

Food: $350, Sponsored by Tom Milanese, purchase of artwork.

Restroom facilities: $450 (Port O Potty rental over the weekend.)$300 Sponsored by Robert Jones Photography, $150 Sponsored by friends and fellow artists.

Art supplies: +/-$260 (This figure is an estimate, entirely dependent on donations. If I raise more money than I need, I will apply it to supplies. If I raise less, I will scale back on supplies and have less art/merchandise to sell at the event. If I receive donations of supplies in lieu of money, I will save what is left after this event to begin planning a special project I hope to launch in the fall.)

Printing, Marketing and Postage: $51 to date. Funded entirely by Frances Byrd, artist.

What else has the artist contributed? $284 in supply purchases, plus materials already available in her studio, time and creative energy.

Current Fund Raising Needs: +/- $260 (This figure will change as donations of money and supplies are received. Please contact frances@machinepolitick.com for more information with the subject of budget. You can also donate directly via Paypal on the Fund Raising Page)

If you are interested in learning more about this movement, my art, or how you can help, please visit www.machinepolitick.com for more information. The Patriot Pony Project and all MachinePolitick endeavors are funded entirely by private individuals. I take pride in the fact that I do not apply for public grants of any kind. I pay for materials and business expenses out of my own pocket and raise money by selling my work. Please spread the word. Your support is greatly appreciated.

In an effort to make this project and the future of American culture as successful as possible, I am asking everyone to pass it on as far and wide as possible. Repost on your blog, send to friends, submit to your local paper and anything else you can think of. I will be cross posting at Liberatchik as well. Please consider joining our Facebook page.

Proposal Letter

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

The Liberty Revolution Art Tour

Imagine. A liberty themed art show, touring America, spreading the message of freedom and individualism. It is in the works, from several different angles. Artists, who have previously worked in isolation, fearing they were the only ones with the strength and vision to create art stands apart from that of their peers. We have found one another, and are converging around a central theme, creating work with a single purpose – to spark a passion for the Liberty Revolution. It is our goal to converge in one location, before launching a tour of America.

The most recognizable of our group is Matthew Welter, a sculptor working outside Carson City,  Nevada. His contemporary rendering of the statue of Liberty is unique, striking, and epochal. He has ushered the concept of Liberty into the 21st Century with a beautifully rendered sculpture, titled The Hand of Order,  born of a huge cedar root. The loving craftmanship and monumental scale of the piece is awe inspiring to the viewer.

Because he is not only an artist, but a successful businessman, Matthew has a firm understanding of the value of his work. After much research and market analysis, he has this to say of his rendering of Liberty, “This symbol of triumph can now foster cultural values and accrue actual value, the more our economy and liberties are strained.”

Nicholas Forrest, art critic, market analyst, and creator of The Art market Blog has said: “…the recent stock market meltdown and poor performance of other investment markets has resulted in an increase in the desirability of art as an investment because art is a tangible asset and has proven to offer a relatively high level of insulation from the effects of economic financial market crises.” Matthew intends to caste his Liberty in bronze, a metal that rivals the wealth of gold as a wealth storage device for the following reasons: it is versatile, impervious, plentiful, durable and requires little maintenance in the form of sculpture. He seeks to create a stable icon to inspire Ameicans in these turbulent times. Matthew has made a commitment, through his art, to a cause far greater than his own self-interest, with lasting impact.

When caste in bronze, The Hand of Order will be shared in a limited productin of 20 castings to be rotated through public displays. These sculptures will create “humanitarian dividends wherever they stand for centuries and beyond..a wealth accrual device to empower the arts with liberty…”.

The privately funded project and tour is aimed at countering the publicly funded efforts of the NEA to shape art in America. To this end, Matthew has approached other artists to unite in the cause of liberty. I am honored to be a part of the project that we hope will culminate in a cross country tour including art by all participating members, to be donated to the Smithsonian at the end of the tour. This gift to humanity will raise awareness of the collapsing liberties and sagging economy we hope to buttress with the resilient value inherent in art, as a hedge against wealth and liberty erosion.

To date, mainstream media agencies have not seen fit to mention our efforts. I have written this article as a launching point for participation in and raising awareness of the Liberty Revolution. Please review all materials presented in links and pass them on. You need not be creative to participate, merely passionate about Liberty and art. Spread the word and help us light a fire to blaze across this land, spreading freedom as we go.

This article will be cross posted on Liberatchik.

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

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.

In my previous article, I touch on the definitions and a brief history of the term propaganda as a lead in to this series of articles. I am currently conducting research and soliciting feedback from the art community on the uses of propaganda and its influence on society. These blog posts are the first draft of what will become a single essay on the subject.

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 inappropriate 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.

This article was written for Liberatchik @ ModernConservative.com

Propaganda: Definitions

From the Oxford Essential Dictionary, American Edition:1. organized program of publicity, selected information, etc., used to propagate a doctrine, etc. 2. usually derogatory. ideas, etc., so propagated.

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, to start. 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 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.

Art by the People vs Art for the State




Before I went to DC for the 9/12 March, I was all fired up by the NEA. That would be the Endowment for the Arts, rather than the equally useless National Education Association. The reason, as I pointed out in previous articles, is the move by the NEA to sponsor pro-Obama agenda items.
I’ve always opposed entitlement programs. However, State Sponsored Art is an affront to my talents as an artist and my principles as an individual. I decided to launch an artistic revolution against the NEA and its participating hacks, sell-outs and parasites. If the government wants to promote propaganda that pushes their agenda, pay for it with tax money and keep it quiet so they can develop “legal language” to ‘protect themselves’, I’m going to give ’em hell. I don’t need to go into the historic significance of such a move, or incite you to anger on this issue. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention, and there’s nothing I can do for you.
When I found out I was going on the March, I spent the week and a half I had to prepare making posters for the event. At some future date, you will be able to purchase them as t-shirts and other merchandise. In the mean time, here are some photos from the lawn of the Capitol Building.

This Article is cross-posted at Liberatchik.