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Front Cover –Dmitri Orlov (Moor) (1883 – 1946)

Death to World Imperialism (1919)

 

 Capitalism Devours Everything (1920) 

Lenin used to bang on about imperialism but it’s doubtful if soviet workers and peasants would have recognised the concept if it jumped up and bit them on the arse. Marxism is replete with such abstract entities. Try to imagine an icon for the slogan: Victory to the Labour Theory of Surplus Value!! What they would recognise biting their arses would be the bug-eyed gigantic caterpillar of Dmitri Moor’s great 1919 poster. Imperialism is looking pretty ratty and one wonders if the pin pricks of the proletarian bayonets are up to the job. World Imperialism wasn’t slain and indeed the Soviets got into the act too once they’d found their feet. These days Globalisation might be the new behemoth. Even more abstract – but the monstrous caterpillar still fits the bill.


Dmitri Orlov was born in Russia in 1883. He was studying law at Moscow University but abandoned his studies to set up an underground print shop. Orlov later worked as a left-wing political cartoonist and was often in trouble with the censors. Influenced by the work of Olaf Gulbransson at Simplicissimus, he tried to establish a similar magazine, Volynka, in Russia. However, the magazine was banned by the Russian government.


After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Orlov concentrated on producing posters in support of communism. He signed his work Moor, after a character in The Robbers by Friedrich Schiller.