Cold War propaganda: “Make Mine Freedom,” 1948

Designed to promote democracy versus communism, and free enterprise (capitalism) over communism’s totalitarian governments then in vogue in the Eastern Bloc, this film was targeted to young college students who did not have the opportunity to fight for freedom in World War II.  “Make Mine Freedom” was produced by Harding College in 1948, preserved by the Prelinger Archives.

Is it a bit heavy handed? Is this an accurate portrait of economic or political freedom?  Are the characters in this animated short movie quite stereotyped?

In Blogylvania, the movie has been seized on as a sort of parable for our times.  Those bloggers who say it is a parable see a lot more in the movie than I do.  Almost any Lewis Hine photograph of child labor should be a good rebuttal.  Some say it seemed far-fetched in 1948 (then why did anyone bother to make it?).  It’s much, much more far-fetched now.

It’s a good departure point for discussions about propaganda in the Cold War.

Harding College resides in Searcy, Arkansas, and is affiliated with the Church of Christ.  It is now Harding University.

6 Responses to Cold War propaganda: “Make Mine Freedom,” 1948

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    LiveLeak carried the film — not sure their point, but the comments quickely turn silly and pointless:


  2. […] Contrast this film with Make Mine Freedom, a cartoon from 1948 Share this:TwitterStumbleUponDiggRedditFacebookEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]


  3. anthrosciguy says:

    I remember how up in arms some in the USA were about Katarina Witt’s skating costumes at the Calgary Olympics. Seemed to me what they were up in arms about was that she put the lie to the notion that Eastern Bloc women weren’t sexy. Kids today, growing up with the idea of Russian mail-order brides and strippers, must wonder that people ever tried to claim these women didn’t exist. :)


  4. Kate says:

    and capitalism isn’t an ism? I thought it rather amusing that for all the (yes) propaganda, in the long run, many of the things associated with ISM came about at a result of our political and economic policies anyway… in many cases, brought about by the Right rather than the (implied ism- promoting) Left.


  5. Scrooge says:

    This didn’t seem to heavy handed to me it looked to be just as much a motivational film to get people to work together. Of course there is some propaganda but nothing too serious. Seems to me most everything we heard about communism during the cold war had propaganda built in. Heck I thought all Russian women were ugly, elderly, and dressed in peasant clothes. Didn’t figure out till after the cold war they all look like normal humans.


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