Classic Soviet Anti-Drinking Propaganda Posters


With various seasonal festivities just around the corner, we know that some of our readers will be tempted to drink a little drink now and again. Spotted at the Poemas del río Wang blog, we’ve rounded up some of the Soviet era’s classic anti-drinking posters. Heed their enthusiastic, frequently constructivist warnings, lest you too are faced with peer scorn because you “got drunk, swore, smashed a tree” and are “ashamed to look people in the face.”

See, it was only with the forced industrialization of Communism and the influx of villagers into the city that drinking had become such a cultural dilemma. In the 19th century, Russians’ per-capita alcohol consumption “was among the lowest in Europe,” we’re informed. Enter: Propaganda posters. From the evil “green snake” of alcoholism, to the man metamorphosed into a belligerent fist, to the personification of a flawed pipe, dancing merrily alongside its drunken maker the terrible factory worker — meet the mascots of temperance and moderation. Just say “Nyet!”

No! (1954, V.I. Govorkov)

I drank a glass, I drank two.

Shame! – He got drunk, swore, smashed a tree – he is ashamed to look people in the face (1958, N. Velezheva, N. Kuzovkin).

I don’t want a dad like this.

Let us throw out drinkers from the working area (1966, V.I. Gorokov).

It’s high time to stop collective partying.

A huge factory can sink in this little glass (1929, I Yang, A Chernomordik).

And they say that we are the pigs (1958, A. G. Mosin.)

Rich Inner Content.

Let us eradicate this evil!

Alcohol is the enemy of the mind.

Sick day.

Vodka brings with itself — the seven vices. (Like “hooliganism” and “missing work.”)

Not a single drop!

Out! (1966, K.K. Ivanov, O.D. Maslyakov).