Sunday, May 8, 2011

Talking about people's welfare is how Hitler started

It also seems to have had something about the fall of the Roman Empire.

An anti-union screed from 1950 (art credited to comic strip legend, Dan Barry). Possibly passed out to employees of National Association of Manufacturers members:

Here's some background on NAM from Wikipedia:

In 1903, David MacLean Parry delivered a speech at the annual convention of the National Association of Manufacturers that was focused on organized labor. He argued that unions' goals would result in "despotism, tyranny, and slavery." Parry advocated the establishment of a great national anti-union federation under the control of the NAM, and the NAM responded by initiating such an effort. The NAM encouraged the creation and propagation of a network of local anti-union organizations, many of which took the name Citizens' Alliance. The national Citizens' Alliance entity came to be called the Citizens' Industrial Alliance.

According to Adam Curtis's documentary "The Century of the Self", NAM used Edward Bernays in the 1930s to combat the policies of President Roosevelt. NAM made efforts to undermine organized labor in the United States before the New Deal.


  1. Like much big business propaganda from this period, this booklet doesn't make a very coherent argument. Its emphasis on rejecting "big talk" and "planned economies" makes it seem more anti-communist than anti-union, though the stress on individual action does imply that group action is somehow un-American. I have often wondered how the rank-and-file reacted to these comics, but I've never run into a non-comics fan who's read them (or the pro-union Cliff Merritt comics either). Nice artwork, though. It does look like Dan Barry, perhaps with brother Sy helping out?

  2. Thanks for the insightful comments. I went with 'anti-union' because of NAM, but there was clearly an attempt to paint other liberal causes red as well (possibly directed at Truman?).

    Not familiar with Merritt. Do you know if he has anything at Digital Comics Museum?