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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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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