Red scare ad for Canadair

I'm a bit baffled by the context for this Canadair red-scare ad -- maybe Korean War?

Do We Actually Know WHERE to Face Communism?


    1. Might have also been a campaign year, but General Dynamics would definitely have an interest in stimulating Cold War hysteria.

  1. Photo credit is for Karsh. Is that Yousuf Karsh, the portrait photographer who made the iconic image of Churchill? Not a hack team for this production.

    1.  Yousuf Karsh had a brother who was also a successful photographer, but I think since the credit is given simply as ‘Karsh’ this must be the famous one.

  2. I was certainly influenced by my teachers to doubt the old ways and Christian ethics.  Horrible, horrible teachers.

  3. I got this.

    “………Secular schools can never be tolerated because such schools have no religious instruction, and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith …we need believing people……” 
    – Adolf Hitler, April 26, 1933

      1.  Sometimes the reference is totally appropriate. Preston made a good argument for the allusion to Herr H. If any comparison of present society that intelligently mirrors Germany pre-1945 automatically reeks of irony or a cheap example, then eventually I wonder if the awful truth of Mr. H’s tyranny will somehow be obfuscated in the process.

        1. My Godwin’s law reference was meant entirely tongue in cheek, or  ” ;) ” I think Preston’s comment is totally appropriate as it is a thoughtfully sourced quote from a megalomaniac who had ideals similar to those in the advertisement.

        2.  I agree, Ratty. It IS always fun to call Godwin on somebody.  But also, pointing out that something smells proto-nazi shouldn’t always be cause for immediate mockery. 

    1. In recent years i have found myself wondering why USA threw its lots in with British. The general US political outlook seems to fit more with the Axis both before and soon after.

      1. Henry Ford may have wondered the same thing (his answer: probably JEWS), but I think it boils down to something as simple as the English peoples’ penchant for deepfrying ALL THE THINGS.

  4. I still get the vibe that the soviet union won the cold war, we ended up digging our own graves by claiming intellectualism is communist and all things done in the public interested are to be decried as “communist conspiracies”.

    1. Seriously, the lingering stigma around “socialism” has done far more damage than any ordinance could. I wonder how the cold war and the present will be viewed a century from now.

        1. Was talking with a die hard Republican friend of mine, it’s quite amusing to watch them mourn the plummeting education rate of the US, while defending to the death No Child Left Behind. I think the ability for humans to deny logic to such an extent is most likely our key falling. After all, before the world wars and the cold wars, religion was at the point where it was viewed with a mocking scorn by the intellectual elite, yet we’ve come full circle to the point whe.. “No one expects the Spanish inquisition!” *gets dragged off for heresy*

          1. I think part of the swap was the new age/hippie thing, along with various blunders of “science” like DDT. This has disillusioned people to the power of the lab coat.

      1. The argument of the 1943 Powell & Pressburger film The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp (filmed in England in Technicolor in the middle of the war) was that in order to win against Nazism you had to fight like Nazis, suggesting in one scene, for instance, that torture was acceptable in ticking-bomb situations.

        Brigadier-General Clive Wynne-Candy (“Blimp”) says he would rather lose the war playing fair than win by descending to using Nazi methods, but his German emigre refugee friend Theodor Kretschmar-Schuldorff says “If you let yourself be defeated by them just because you are too fair to hit back the same way they hit at you, there won’t be any methods but Nazi methods! If you preach the Rules of the Game while while they use every foul and filthy trick against you, they will laugh at you!”

        This is the film that Churchill stopped the military from giving assistance to and tried to stop getting made; and when it was made, tried to ban, and indeed the US didn’t see it until after the war. (Of course, if he had followed Powell & Pressburger’s advice and acted like a Nazi, he would have just banned it and had them shot!)

  5. Replace the word “Communism” with “unregulated Capitalism” and you have the current state of affairs.

  6. Naively, I always look to our neighbors to the north for some sanity and respite from the fear mongering U.S. right wing. How dispiriting to see the same paranoia ca. 1956 in this ad. Could the CIA have had something to do with it?

  7. Erm, I’m fairly certain this is about the time that McCarthyism peaked. Not that much of a mystery. What is a mystery is wtf an airline is putting in its two cents? Almost as stupid as Chik-Fil-A.

    1. Perhaps… as other posters previously mentioned above, this particular airline was a subsidy of a corporation,  General Dynamics in this case (thanks to Ian), that manufactured aircraft for both the civilian …and MILITARY markets.

      …then all becomes clear.

      1. Canadair was not an airline at all. It was the Canadian manufacturer of military aircraft (and other military equipment), mostly based on US designs (hence what appears to be a CL-13/P-86 on its logo and left illustration in the ad). It later became the core of Bombardier.

  8. communism:  “godless,” “devoid of intellectual honesty.”
    as an atheist, seeing godlessness lumped in with a lack of intellectual honesty makes me chuckle.  but OK, maybe (to the advertiser, at least) each describes communism without implicitly describing each other.  I have my doubts, but it’s not explicitly worded that way.

    contrast with capitalism:  “god-filled,” “devoid of intellectual honesty.”
    notwithstanding that theology=/economics, somehow we’re still up to our eyeballs in god over here.  however, capitalism is *fully* dependent on a lack of intellectual honesty.  an end consumer who understands markets and logic will never pay what a pair of Nikes go for.  Barnum’s maxim “There’s a sucker born every minute” can only be advantageous within a capitalist system.  because exploitation.  which is not intellectually honest.

    1. The problem with capitalism is that it’s built around standard economic models – which are all horribly flawed because they fail to account for human logic; which isn’t logical at all.

  9. Now that the old Soviet files have been release and we know that the U.S. State department as well as several unions and legal organizations were headed by people that were in regular contact with “handlers” there, I guess McCarthy was right. Perhaps not very nice but correct. Now, the primary reason that American students fare so poorly on international exams seems attributable to their lack of paying union dues. Which head of a teachers union said they’d start worrying about students when they started paying dues?

    1. No! No! No! A thousand times no!

      Of course there were soviet spies in the US but if anything the surprising thing is how few of them there were. And of course we had plenty of spies in the USSR. That’s how the cold war worked and without the spies on both sides it may well have become a hot war quite quickly.

      Now to your apologism for McCarthy. He acted without evidence, relying on paranoia and hearsay; his victims were denied due process and all the normal trappings of a fair trial and subjected to show trials (congressional hearings) that surpassed even the Soviet trials for their breathless rhetoric and demagogery.

      Most (and that’s nearly all) of the victims of McCarthy have long been proved innocent of any espionage to the USSR. Most of them were just a bit lefty liberal and hence targets for the right wing fascists who hounded them out of jobs, blacklisting them so many were forced to flee the country just to survive. Even the communists that McCarthy targeted wanted communism for the USA instead of capitalism – they did not want the USSR to take over control of the USA and many of them had fought for their country to prevent just that. Wanting a fairer more equitable society is something that the Constitution enshrines. I don’t think it anywhere specifies what manner of society the USA must be: capitalism has been natural to it for much of its history but equally the workers, the poor and the dispossessed of the earlier part of the 20th C were keen on something fairer and chased socialism, communism and all sorts of other isms.

      The McCarthy era was as close as the USA ever got to Nazi Germany of the 1930s and scarily I see the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the rabid right keen to take the USA back to a place where being a little bit lefty is a capital offense.

    2. Now, the primary reason that American students fare so poorly on international exams seems attributable to their lack of paying union dues. Which head of a teachers union said they’d start worrying about students when they started paying dues?

      Why would a teacher’s union worry about students?  That’s like asking why the paramedic isn’t helping the firefighters put your house out.  Teachers’ unions’ purpose is collective bargaining between teachers and administration, there’s really no reason they would or should be involved with students at all.  Teachers worry about students.  But then, unlike the unions, that’s what they’re paid to do.

      The primary reason that American students fare so poorly on international exams seems attributable to the fact that our culture is explicitly anti-intellectual.  Kids come home from school and hear their parents bitching about unions and saying “those who can’t do teach” and then it’s some kind of friggin’ mystery when Little Johnny fails math class three months later.  I blame conservatives for that dynamic.

  10. For all his other faults, Henry Ford knew there was no point to making cars if nobody could afford to buy them — that’s why is doubled the going rate for labor in his plants.
    That message is lost in today’s politics, perhaps because multi-national corporations have written off the USA because both their investors and customers now live elsewhere.

  11.  “…ignorant of moral responsibility, devoid of intellectual honesty…a creature of the State.”

    Sounds like the basic qualifications to be on a Chinese badminton team.

  12. Workers of the World Unite, Comrade!

    Give me atheism and false idealism than old ways and christian ethics. Ignorant of Morality, hardly.

     I also think it is a bit funny when they talk of communists being deviod of intellectual honesty, yet expounding “old ways”….

  13. This is clearly a McCarthy-era diatribe against “godless communism.”  That was the same mindless hysteria that caused “Under God” to be inserted into the pledge of allegiance and “In God We Trust” on our money.  I long for the day when someone will have the testicular fortitude to propose having them restored to their original form.  

    I refuse to say the one and cross the other out on my American money.  A petty things, I know, but it has to start somewhere.

  14. This ad was from Quebec in the early 50s – all of the schools in Quebec were administered by  school boards run by Catholic or Protestant churches – they didn’t start having secular schools until the 1960s, so I’m assuming that this ad was in response to the push that had started to get school like this. Quebec had been under premier Maurice Duplessis for years and he was pro-Vichy, anti-Semitic, corrupt and would put padlocks on any buildings that he considered to have held ‘red’ meetings. His decades long rule until his death in 1960 was called “the great darkness”.

  15. Cool thing is that this was written in Montreal several years before the quiet revolution — which resulted on churches turning into condos. A nice turn of events.

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