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Absolut propaganda

A new Museum of Contemporary History of Russia exhibit spans 70 years of advertising that would make the Swedish vodka giant proud. But, explains THE MOSCOW TIMES, rather than encourage alcohol consumption, the posters on display chronicle a long campaign to sober up the Russian people.

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Early Bolshevik posters depicted alcohol as a czarist plot to keep the masses drunk and placated. Some 1920s ads used statistics to make their point, one of the most compelling being that homemade vodka wasted 2.4 million tons of bread. After the revolution, drinkers were cast as roadblocks to progress. “Smash the enemy of the cultural revolution,” read one poster of a worker destroying a vodka bottle with a large hammer.

While running its anti-alcohol campaigns, the government raked in profits from state-owned distilleries and eventually appealed to the people with vodka: In 1982, it lowered the price of vodka with an inexpensive “Andropovka” brand after Yuri Andropov succeeded Leonid Brezhnev.

Read THE MOSCOW TIMES article here.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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