The belief that people are deterred from disobedience through propaganda is widespread.
In 1984, the character of “Big Brother,” who appears on posters as a man in his mid-40s who rules INGSOC, acts as a natural deterrent.
Posters bearing his image adorned billboards in cities, and acted as warnings to potential rule-breakers.
“It was as though some huge force were pressing down upon you — something that penetrated inside your skull, battering against your brain, frightening you out of your beliefs, persuading you, almost, to deny the evidence of your senses.”
Modern politicians have also used this tactic.
In 2018 North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un launched a new set of propaganda posters with images of him spurring his people to work hard and make him proud.
In Venezuela, huge “Chávez Eyes” posters show the eyes of Hugo Chávez looming over passers by.
The eyes are said to symbolize a father-like gaze, but have been used a symbol by proceeding governments like those of Nicolás Maduro to propagate loyalty.
In 1984, Orwell wrote: “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command.”
Winston later finds out Big Brother is just a fictional figure invented by the party to muster loyalty.