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The Lone Ranger Considered as Cold War Propaganda

Lone Ranger

Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore starred as Tonto and the Lone Ranger in the popular ABC western series, originally a radio program, that ran on television from 1949 to 1957.

The western genre is often celebrated by its admirers as an expression of expansive American confidence in a singular national destiny – and also chastised for precisely this reason. The symbolic and political uses of the western, however, have always been mutable. While critics tend to focus on the genocidal implications of the canonical pre-war western, the fact of the matter is that, during its 1950s high water mark, when westerns played every night of the week on television, the genre had mostly taken to emphasizing positive portrayals of Native Americans – albeit with ulterior geopolitical motivations. Mass media scholar Michael Ray Fitzgerald, in his study Native Americans on Network TV: Stereotypes, Myths, and the “Good Indian”, discusses several primetime network series against this background and explores, for one example, the ways in which the Lone Ranger’s relationship to sidekick Tonto promoted desirable images and outcomes for U.S. foreign policy.

One reading of the program’s premise “might present the Ranger as an allegorical stand-in for the president of the United States or perhaps an idealization of what a president should be and how he should act – in other words, a fantasy substitute,” Fitzgerald continues:

This is inherently a political statement and an endorsement of authoritarianism. The Lone Ranger as a presidential figure offers a “hardline” alternative to – or example for – incumbent Harry S. Truman. Although Truman played the role of hardened zealot – for example, he claimed he had “never lost a minute of sleep” over his decision to drop atomic weapons on civilian targets in Japan – he was not nearly aggressive enough for the hard-line militarists of the Cold War. In 1949, the year The Lone Ranger made its television debut, Republicans – and even some Democrats – blamed Truman for “losing” China to a communist revolution. By the 1952 presidential election it appeared Truman might “lose” Korea, too. The president had been constrained by the United Nations charter, which was ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1945, making it the law of the land. Thus the Korean War was, by law, to be fought under the auspices of the UN, not by the United States. The commander of the UN forces was General Douglas MacArthur, whose plan involved the use of dozens of atomic bombs in Korea and China. However, British and French officials strenuously objected to what they saw as MacArthur’s reckless ideas. On the other hand, U.S. hard-liners charged that Truman’s decision to rule out the use of nuclear weapons was spineless and soft and that he had caved in to the UN. Many felt the United States should act unilaterally, ignoring the objections of our allies.

In this reading, the Ranger symbolizes a leader very much like MacArthur. The program’s villains might have represented renegade leaders such as Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Marshal Tito, Mohammad Mossadegh, Gamal Nasser, and Ho Chi Minh. It is illuminating to look at the series in light of developments in the Cold War as well as the anticommunist witch hunts, which were just beginning in 1949. By episode 3 (“The Lone Ranger’s Triumph”), it becomes clear that the gang members have infiltrated local government in the fictional town of Colby. Cavendish’s foot soldiers have installed themselves in the second and third most important positions in local law enforcement, as sheriff’s deputies, without the sheriff’s knowing their true motives. The sheriff – an allegorical allusion to Truman, perhaps – is well intentioned yet slow and fails to see what is going on right under his nose. Only the Ranger understands the true extent of these threats and how to deal with them. This scenario might be an allusion to communist infiltration of the executive branch of the federal government – possibly a reference to Alger Hiss, a state-department official who had been accused [correctly] of being a Soviet spy in 1948 and was tried for perjury in 1949, the same year the Ranger made his television debut.1

Alternatively, the Ranger could stand “as the personification of the United States itself,” while “the villains might symbolize ‘rogue’ nations, and the dead Texas Rangers [killed by a traitor in the episode relating the hero’s origin story] could be a metaphor for failed international law – the UN perhaps – suggesting that the Lone Ranger, that is, the United States, must act unilaterally, imposing a Pax Americana.”2

The figure of Tonto, though rejected today as a crude stereotype of a subservient Native American lackey too stupid to speak in proper English, was in its time a progressive civic nationalist model of a minority joining forces with the white man in promotion of the American way of democracy, law, and international order. The U.S. State Department, sensitive to the American image in the emerging Third World and eager to differentiate it from European colonialism and recently defeated Nazi Germany, pressured Hollywood to abandon the outmoded convention of savage Indian antagonism3. The result was sympathetic depictions of Native Americans as innocents or, like Tonto, reliable partners in the war against lawlessness. “Ultimately, however, the Lone Ranger figure should be examined as a metonym for benevolent white supremacy,” Fitzgerald asserts:

This “white man’s burden”, bringing the Anglo-Saxon “gift for governing” to the barbarians of the world, has been a recurring theme in literature, used to justify conquest. In this fantasy, helpless Indians eagerly welcome the white man’s superior law and order. Tonto and his people, decimated by renegade Indians, desperately need to be rescued by a white savior. Tonto enthusiastically welcomes the imposition of Anglo-American hegemony: “Me want law here too – for all.” He is eager to fight on the side of the noble white savior because he believes in Anglo-American law and order and is painfully aware of the inherent inefficacy of American Indian oral tradition as opposed to the Anglo-American written law […]

Westerns often made allegorical references to foreign policy. Film scholar Stanley Corkin writes, “[T]he western was well suited to convey important ideological rationales for postwar U.S. foreign policy, including the inevitability of American expansion and the strategies for hegemony that guided the Truman administration’s foreign policy.” If the philosophy of The Lone Ranger is any indication, it is apparent that the series’ creator, George Trendle, though a staunch Republican, agreed to some extent with Truman on the issue of interventionism: the Ranger is clearly an interventionist. The difference is that Trendle felt the United States should act unilaterally, whereas Truman was constrained by the United States’ treaty with the UN. Tonto is presented as pragmatic, having seen firsthand the weakness in his people’s lack of preparedness and defensive technology. This could have been a comment on the debate over military “preparedness” (or lack thereof) that was used by U.S. leaders to sell the Cold War to Congress and the public. This program also demonstrates that the cooperation of “colored” (i.e., nonwhite) citizens is crucial in the fight against “godless communism”, personified by white evildoers.

Issues of masculinity abound. Not only is Tonto feminized, so are his people: decimated by a stronger tribe, they are helpless. […] Countries too can be seen as either masculine or feminine. Both Korea and South Vietnam were feminized in the popular (i.e., mediated) view, in need of being rescued, much like Tonto.4

Today, with colonial patterns inverted and postmodern globalist imperialism the order of the day, one finds a different set of transnational masculine-feminine definitions in the process of being delineated in the popular culture. Now, instead of the Anglo-Saxon savior bringing truth and justice to the benighted darker peoples, it is the enlightened Global South that will come to our rescue.

Immigrant Heroes

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Endnotes

  1. Fitzgerald, Michael Ray. Native Americans on Network TV: Stereotypes, Myths, and the “Good Indian”. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2014, pp. 42-43.
  2. Ibid., p. 43.
  3. Ibid., p. xxx.
  4. Ibid., pp. 43-44.
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About icareviews

Propaganda Minister of #AryanSkynet

48 comments on “The Lone Ranger Considered as Cold War Propaganda

  1. icareviews
    July 29, 2017

    Reblogged this on icareviews.

    Like

    • bob saffron
      July 31, 2017

      From Wikipedia:
      “In Spanish, “tonto” translates as “moron” or “fool”. In the Spanish dubbed version, the character is called “Toro” (Spanish for “bull”) or “Ponto”. In the Italian version the original name is retained, despite the fact that its meaning in Italian is the same as in Spanish.”

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Sam J.
    July 29, 2017

    “…Republicans – and even some Democrats – blamed Truman for “losing” China to a communist revolution…”

    Truman’s, actually Roosevelt’s, commie Jew State department DID lose China to the commies. They held up arms shipments and otherwise did everything they could to sink Chiang Kai-shek.

    Liked by 2 people

    • indravaruna
      August 2, 2017

      The hidden intention of the war with Japan was to make Asia more easy for Communist takeover that wouldn’t happen with the Japanese Empire around. Hitler even wrote about this in the Metin Kampf, the end of the Anglo-Japanese alliance in the 1920s came from Jewish pressure on the UK/US banker Jews wanting to promote Communism.

      WWII destroyed Nationalism and let a world divide between Capitalism and Communism like the Jews intended.

      Like

  3. Pingback: The Lone Ranger Considered as Cold War Propaganda | Hipster Racist

  4. smartwhiteguy
    July 30, 2017

    In the spirit of Anglo-Saxon fairness, allow me to present the jewish view of this topic:

    Liked by 1 person

    • icareviews
      July 30, 2017

      Yeah, I’ve seen that. I really never got the big deal about Lenny Bruce. I don’t think any of his stuff has ever made me laugh once. Just a foul-mouthed Jew shocking audiences with his poor taste, is all. And I’ll be the first to admit that Jews can be hilarious. Lenny Bruce just isn’t funny.

      Liked by 1 person

      • smartwhiteguy
        July 30, 2017

        I never said he was, but he’s a perfect relic of that time, late 50s, early 60s, when the jews were using their assumed veneer of sophistication to try to lure us into that state of confused chaos that has proven very helpful by granting them the maximum benefits and advantages of their paranoid ethnic cohesion.
        Something about this stuff just takes me back to all those bookstores in the San Fernando Valley where I was paid to hobnob with with a menagerie of crazy jews.
        I guess I’m in a sentimental mood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hipster Racist
        July 30, 2017

        I’ve listened to a couple of Lenny Bruce routines and I don’t think I ever laughed either. I just don’t get it. But watching Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm will make me LMAO. That is one funny Jew.

        Like

      • icareviews
        July 30, 2017

        Oy vey, it’s the twenty-first century and they’re still acting like they’re the outcasts not welcome in WASP society. Last week I watch the 80s Bette Midler movie Beaches and there’s this stupid scene where the kid version of Midler, in a flashback, goes into this swanky restaurant with her “WASP queen” friend and attracts unwelcome attention because she’s wearing her tarty showbiz outfit from a rehearsal. There’s the subtext, though, that it’s also because she’s so Jewish-looking. Bette Midler, such a pitiful martyr on the altar of our racist evil.

        Like

      • Hipster Racist
        July 30, 2017

        That entire episode was a really good and easy to understand explanation of why they weren’t invited to the golf clubs in the first place.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hipster Racist
        July 30, 2017

        Whenever I read some “right wing Jew” on the forums trying to fit in by talking about blacks and homos, I’m always reminded of this scene:

        Liked by 1 person

      • guest
        July 30, 2017

        “We parked our hummer”

        That made me think about the owner of the first ever Hummer here in our town, and how he sold it rather quickly because people would just scratch it, insult him & such, that was during the Bush era. They could not pierce the tires but they tried a plenty.

        So much for coexist.

        Coexist is like atheism, it only goes one way.

        It’s ironic that hybrid drivers are bigger douches than Hummer drivers.

        They think they get extra moral absolution by driving e vehicles.

        Electric cars are almost seen as mobile confession booths!

        Like

      • bob saffron
        July 31, 2017

        “Electric cars are almost seen as mobile confession booths!”

        A prayer to Gaia, goddess of copper, lead, lithium and nickel.

        Like

      • bob saffron
        July 31, 2017

        Liked by 2 people

      • Sam J.
        July 31, 2017

        Junkie and amusing to all his degenerate junkie friends.

        Like

      • Sam J.
        August 2, 2017

        I quite watching TV mostly since the 80’s. The first time I saw Family Guy is shocked me. I hadn’t watched TV i so long it amazed me they could put this stuff on. I’m not a prude(completely) but what you do in your home and what is on the common airwaves should be different.

        Like

  5. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    I googled “propoganda of TV westerns” last week and didn’t find much. I think the genre was made after WWII to enforce public opinion against any further “America First” ideas and to enforce a pro-military violent mindset. I do watch MeTV sometimes. The Rifleeman with Chuck Connors is a good example.

    Like

    • Hipster Racist
      July 31, 2017

      When a Western shows a White man fighting the Indians, that’s racist. When a Western shows a White man and an Indian fighting other White men, that’s also racist.

      “Racist” is a racial slur for “white person.” It’s really just that simple.

      To paraphrase the great poet Jay Z:

      Light racist, dark racist, faux racist, real racist / Rich racist, poor racist, house racist, field racist / Still racist, still racist.

      Somebody needs to make a video like this for us:

      Like

      • eyeslevel
        July 31, 2017

        Having something effective to say when called a name like racist, supremacist is the most basic of basics. But most pro-whites still haven’t got to that level. They think they need to take the word seriously. The word itself has to be discredited. It has to be taken out just like you’d take out an enemy tank or machine gun nest. If a jew is called a kike is he going to argue about whether or not he’s a kike?

        We have people discussing grand strategy who don’t even know how to fire their rifle.

        When the Nord Alt-Right was announced I asked how they respond when called names.

        http://disq.us/p/1ko798t

        Dan Friberg said he gets that accusation but otherwise didn’t answer. This is a group that presumes to be a leader in this struggle and they don’t know the most basic aspects of how power works. They’re trying to fight a war and they don’t know how to fire their rifles.

        Like

      • Hipster Racist
        July 31, 2017

        That’s why they call it the “Alt Right” as opposed to the “Alt White.”

        Like

      • Sam J.
        July 31, 2017

        “…Having something effective to say when called a name like racist, supremacist is the most basic of basics…”

        I agree. I have an answer but it quite aggressive. Might be careful what situation and to whom you use it on but…The USA doesn’t have gates that keep you in. There’s no wall like the USSR where they shoot you if you try to flee. If they(or you) don’t like Whites…let them(or you) go elsewhere. If every response or complaint about Whites this or that was met with with the the phrase,”There’s no one keeping you here. There’s the door” we might get a lot less complaints.

        This applies to the SJW or who I have recently decided the proper name for is Scalawags. There’s a whole world of “diversity” out there if they want it so much then,”There’s no one keeping you here. There’s the door”.

        I really believe if this was a universal response it would work wonders. it would also cause a lot of fights but in my thinking we will not be able to avoid violence in the end. The Orcs, Jews and other mystery humans have too many numbers and no qualms about bashing heads. As a response it shows complete disdain for their insults. Any answer is not even worth considering.

        Another good one I heard was calling them,”Fake Americans”. Apparently it drives shitLibs and Mystery meats nuts. I like it. It immediately disqualifies any of their blather as being in the interest of the country.

        Like

      • bob saffron
        August 1, 2017
    • icareviews
      July 31, 2017

      The western genre served a lot of different purposes over the years and is pretty protean in terms of subtext. There are capitalist westerns, nationalist westerns, revisionist kill-whitey westerns, and everything in between; but I also think it would be a mistake to think that there aren’t any films in the genre genuinely reflective of a love of America and its people, and appreciative of the sacrifices made by our ancestors. Look at the John Wayne movie The Alamo, for example.

      Like

  6. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    I think the same goes for modern hi-tech crime dramas, but another propaganda aspect of the new shows is the technology always wins.

    Like

  7. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    Jews hated “America First” thinking more than anything. They hated Charles Lindbergh. They hated Henry Ford. Ford of course apologized.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam J.
      July 31, 2017

      Says who?

      I don’t believe a damn word of that. We were MAJOR isolationist before Pearl Harbor.

      Like

      • bob saffron
        August 1, 2017

        There’s a case on circumstantial evidence that FDR knew in advance of the attack and did nothing. He certainly had been looking for a casus belli to enter the war, but the Germans had been doing their best to avoid giving him one.
        https://mic.com/articles/14023/documents-reveal-that-fdr-may-have-known-about-pearl-harbor-attack-beforehand

        Like

      • Sam J.
        August 2, 2017

        I think it’s a possibility he knew they would attack Pearl Harbor but also Los Angeles, Alaska, or where ever. I doubt he knew the day and time. Not that I’m a big fan of him.

        Like

      • Sam J.
        August 2, 2017

        @NoddingHead

        My response was inappropriate. I read what you wrote wrong somehow. I don’t how but I thought you said Americans were not isolationist instead of Jews not being isolationist. Sorry.

        Like

      • bob saffron
        August 3, 2017

        Well, they could read the Japanese fleet code, so the target was known in advance.
        https://www.prisonplanet.com/analysis_louise_022403_pearl.html

        Liked by 1 person

  8. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    Great speech:
    Watch “Charles Lindbergh’s – September 11, 1941 Des Moines Speech” on YouTube

    Like

  9. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    On another front: will you guys comment on the massive Jewish successful effort to make it illegal from coast to coast to boycott/divest from Israel? Weird, 21 states have already made boycotting Israel illegal, and now Congress is making it a national law punishable by up to 20 years in prison if you so much as ask for informatipn from a BDS group. Yep, we have gone full bolshevic….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tyrone Trump
      July 31, 2017

      After Trump won there was a subtle change of narrative among the MSM, it wasn’t “Trump = Hitler” 24/7 anymore… instead it focused on the Russia conspiracy theory.

      The idea clearly being to make people forget who was behind the demonization of White Americans voting in their interest.

      At the same time you had Linda Sarsour, a self-proclaimed “Palestian-American activist”, of all people, trying to associate the Palestinian cause not just with anti-Trumpism in general but with its most marginal and retarded manifestation: pussyhatting, LGBT and feminism.

      She even did photo-ops with LGBT colored hijabs, and one with the Palestinian flag… what are the odds?

      When have pro-Palestinians ever been given prominence by the MSM?

      It’s pretty convenient. Now that pro-Palestine movements are tainted by association to middle-aged women screaming about their periods and homos talking about their STDs, there is no real opposition to anti-BDS.

      Like

    • icareviews
      July 31, 2017

      The situation pretty much speaks for itself. Our politicians are prostitutes. It’s gotten so blatant, though, that this stuff is just backfiring from a public relations standpoint at this advanced stage in our civic decay.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. NoddingHead
    July 31, 2017

    I can hardly believe this “law” has such massive bipartisan support Then again, yes I can. As usual, anything pro-Israel will pass 535-0.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Tyrone Trump
    July 31, 2017

    I only ever saw the 2011 movie with Johnny Depp and a somewhat jewish looking actor.

    The villains however were beyond stereotypically White.

    “[…] eager to differentiate it from European colonialism”

    Yet the trope of the noble savage assisting the White man through subservience is quintessential to European colonialism, which was always seen as win/win in the eyes of Euro elites.

    Like

    • icareviews
      July 31, 2017

      Fitzgerald devotes a lot of his book to discussing this point.

      Like

  12. Hazelshade
    July 31, 2017

    In HS politics we watched High Noon, and according to Teach it was as you said: allegory for foreign policy. The lone gunslinger goes it alone and saves the town. Awhile back I watched No Country for Old Men as allegory for foreign policy. This time the lone gunslinger goes it alone and fails to get justice or even protect his woman. Your post has me thinking maybe this more recent western wasn’t meant to be viewed as an allegory for foreign policy, but as an allegory for domestic policy. You need not even change the setting. Breaking Bad is similar…white guy can’t resist the temptation to become evil. Old westerns at least had happy endings. These modern westerns are all black pills. What a coincidence.

    Like

    • icareviews
      July 31, 2017

      I haven’t seen High Noon since adolescence, so I’d need to see it again to have any confidence in my interpretation of it; but I seem to remember somebody’s take that it was an allegory about McCarthyism, with the lone hero maybe representing the Hollywood Ten.

      Like

  13. guest
    August 1, 2017

    Sam: A better response is “you wouldn’t call a black person the n word so why are you insulting me?” Put them on the defensive, it is a slur after all, hell it should be bleeped on the TV! And “paper citizen” is better than “Fake Americans”.

    Like

    • Sam J.
      August 2, 2017

      “… “paper citizen” is better than “Fake Americans”.,,”

      Paper citizen. That’s good. Let’s really kick them in the nuts and say “paper citizen” then immediately after that, “Fake Americans”.

      I admit I like my “There’s the door better”. Why? A lot of these people have no empathy for us so trying to use empathy as a teaching tool is a waste of time. They don’t really understand it at the gut level like Whites. Not saying they’re completely blind to it but I don’t think it’s as effective. “There’s the door” also kicks them in their, Anonymous Coward’s meme, “r” thinking brain stem. Very, very painful.

      Like

      • guest
        August 2, 2017

        Yes but that’s mean, and normies are like baby deer.

        As in easily spooked.

        Like

  14. indravaruna
    August 2, 2017

    Aryanskynet should also talk about the Seth Rich conspiracy stuff, the media is going bonkers blaming Trump for this.

    Like

    • guest
      August 2, 2017

      I think he means this:

      Like

      • guest
        August 2, 2017

        There’s also that:

        Like

    • icareviews
      August 3, 2017

      I think enough people in the alternative media have the Seth Rich situation covered. I usually like to write on topics that other people aren’t discussing. Rich was no hero whistleblower. He just wanted money.

      Like

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