Udo J. Keppler, Don’t shoot! I’ll let go!, Januaury 31 1914, Illus. in: Puck, v. 75, no. 1926. Reproduced from: The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2011649666/ (Accessed: 9th March 2013)
The cartoon refers to the Clayton Act of 1914, which was an attempt by the Wilson Administration to tighten antitrust laws. Part of the act was to prevent corporations merging that had the same person as a director.
Description from the Library of Congress catalogue:
Illustration shows President Wilson about to shoot a harpoon into an octopus labeled “Interlocking Directorates” that has a grip on his boat labeled “Business Freedom”; Uncle Sam is sitting at the back of the boat with a long pole.
Louis Dalrymple, The peril of France - at the mercy of the octopus, October 26, 1898, Illus. from Puck, v. 44, no. 1129. Reproduced from: The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2012647482/ (Accessed: 9th March 2013).
The cartoon refers to the Dreyfus Affair, and to the corruption, deception and anti-semitism of the French Military at the time. It was published before the retrial of Alfred Dreyfus in 1899, but after the open letter ‘J’accuse’ by Émile Zola, published in January of 1898.
Print shows an octopus with the head of a French military officer (which may represent General Boisdeffre or General Gonse) wearing a plumed hat labeled “Militarism”, that has settled over Paris, France, with its tentacles extending in all directions and are labeled “Deception, Dishonor, Forgery, Assassination, Corruption, Falsehood, [and] Blackmail”; caught in their grasp are military officers Georges “Picquart” and Alfred “Dreyfus”, two female figures labeled “Honor” and “Justice”, and the author Émile “Zola” holding a quill pen labeled “J’Accuse”.
Description from: The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2012647482/ (Accessed: 9th March 2013).
“NOT EVEN-HANDED JUSTICE: Crushing the scorpion of anarchy but sparing the octopus of monopoly”, Artist William A. Rogers, published in Harper’s Weekly, January 21, 1888.
(Snark: Seems kind of apt, given the Occupy movement and response to it. Some things don’t change.)
Image source: Railroad Cartoons Home, http://sophia.smith.edu/~maldrich/topics/political_influence/1888harpersjan21.htm (accessed 12-11-2011)
Nov 1st 2011
Do you have a favorite octopus propaganda metaphor? I lean towards British Empire, but octopus-as-capitalism is often very stylish as well.
Not so much a metaphor, but I am ever bemused that in political cartoons & propaganda - and metaphor in general - that the number of legs an octopus has … is well, only a matter of convenience.
“Union-busting, 1950s (or early 1960s)”
[VA: I have no words]
[VA: I’ve lost who submitted this, I thought the information would be ‘stuck’ to the post, but apparently I was wrong. If it was you, and you want your name/website associated, please contact me via “Ask” button.]
“I was amazed when I discovered your website because it reminded me of a picture that I found campy—but still evocative—even when I was in high school. It is something that /should/ be shared with the world, and where better than a website devoted to octopodes in politics.”
[Submitted by: Kevin Deegan-Krause (http://www.pozorblog.com)]
[VA: Source is “Know Your Communist Enemy” p.3 in Robert B. Watts (1977), “Our Freedom Documents”, The Supreme Council, Washington]