Jun 2, 2017

Beefcake in Socialist and Communist Posters

In the first years of the 20th century, socialism was not the anathema it is today.  You could be a card-carrying socialist without getting ostracized.

Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) ran for president five times as a candidate for the Socialist Party of America.  In 1912, he received 6% of the popular votes, an all-time high for a Socialist candidate (in 1956, the last time the Socialist Party ran a candidate, 0.7% of the votes, as many as the Prohibitionist Party)


This is his 1904 campaign poster.  It shows various icons of "American progress": cowboys, miners, factories, railroads, a barber pole, and, at the top, two men voting for Debs and his vice president Ben Hanford.

I was interested in the buffed, shirtless guy on the right.  I wondered if Socialists and Communists produced any more beefcake posters.


Jackpot!  This poster from the Swedish Worker's Party shows a buffed guy trying to push the time ahead as he advises us to "Continue the Welfare Policy."











May 1st is International Workers' Day, a big holiday in the Communist world, but I guess this shirtless guy didn't get the day off.  I think it's Latvian.















My Russian isn't very good, especially cursive, but I think it's saying "conserve water -- shower with a friend."










Um..in just seven days, I can make you a man?

More after the break













Sports and art.











The Parade of Shirtless Athletes, Moscow, 1956













And one from China inviting us to go swimming for the good of the party.

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