relevent cracked article: t's not exactly a secret that capitalism and communism had a bit of a tiff after the end of World War II. Even less of a secret is that many of the CIA's actions during the Cold War were rather ... inspired. Indeed, when it fell upon them to undermine the USSR using subterfuge, their first action was to jump straight into the insanity pit, balls out and screaming. What followed were spy operations featuring kitty cats, assassinations via exploding cigars and general covert warfare using the Wile E. Coyote approach. Most of their more insane plans unsurprisingly fell flat, which is why you wouldn't hold out much hope for a plan to undermine communism with the power of modern art. traininginvain Mark Rothko's "Red Is a Dirty Communist Color" is clearly tearing down the Iron Curtain here. First, they set up the not-at-all-Orwellian-sounding Congress for Cultural Freedom as a front for their meddling with the art world. Through it, CIA spooks infiltrated each and every aspect of modern culture, from film to music to, yes, modern art. The CIA loved themselves some squiggly lines, and sank millions of public dollars through front companies to promote it. In fact, the Congress for Cultural Freedom directly sponsored artists such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell and Willem de Kooning, who in essence got to showcase their mind-bending talents for the U.S.A. thanks largely to the Company. ibiblio That seizure you're having is just your mind being expanded. Also the carbon monoxide. Yes, the CIA made Jackson Pollock's career to undermine communism. It makes a strange kind of sense when you think about it, doesn't it? No. No, it doesn't. How It Worked: It was an ideas fight all along. The CIA knew modern art showed the world that America didn't play by anyone's rules. The underlying message was this: "We're not squares like those commies. We can just vomit paint at a canvas like we don't care and call it art, and there's not a thing you can do about it." Despite this apparently ridiculous line of thinking, the CIA's plan worked like a dream. Modern abstract art made big leaps forward while the communists' socialist realism style was pushed back. russia-ukraine-travel The only way this would be realism is if Stalin were smacking them around a little. Shows in Europe began to feature abstract American art and deemphasize communist artists with their boring pictures that people could actually understand. Even communist artists themselves started to surreptitiously rebel by sneaking abstract elements into their paintings. Wikipedia Down with capitalism! And well-defined jaw lines! But surely this was just some minor slice of insanity, one of many the CIA was toying with? Nope. As one of the head honchos of the art operation has said: "I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War." Keep that in mind the next time someone drags you to an art gallery. Those blots and squiggles? They're blots and squiggles of freedom.