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Question on Stalin and Culture

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

This question is about Stalin and Culture





What were the main features of Stalinist culture in the USSR?







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Unlike Lenin, STALIN made extensive use of Personality Cult to strengthen his control over Russia this became a key feature of Stalinist Culture. (Commissar Adolf Stevenson) He used this personality cult to show his image everywhere, these ranged from on coins, to medals and even woven into the patterns of some clothing. There was no escaping Stalin's presence in the USSR. (товарищ Mark) Stalin had twenty-four titles including Great Leader of the Soviet People and Greatest Genius of all Times and Peoples and had twenty-four cities (such as Stalingrad), two provinces, a tank (the Iosif Stalin tank) and a tractor named after him. (Aaron) Statues that portrayed Stalin were structured all across Russia and other Soviet states; they were placed in cities, town centres and even small villages. The statues of Stalin did not portray him in his entirety, for instance, they statues made the Soviet leader look much taller and look broader to illustrate his total power.(Soviet Chris - "would be yes") 


Stalin in the early 1930s supported (or claimed to support) Futurism in the arts - in other words, new, radical (avant-garde) methods of promoting the ideas of the Revolution.  The works of many Russian 19th Century composers were frowned on as "bourgeois". This was part of Stalins early inclination towards the Futurist Movement. However, the work of Prokofiev survived.(Comrade Brett 'Rasputin' Kirk). At first stalin seamed to support futursim. Mayakovsky was a futuristic poet who when died in 1930 stalin proclaimed that he was "the great poet of the revolution". (Kamerad legs Allen)


In 1934, Stalin tried to move away from all original and creative work, which was, "Socialist Realism."  He encouraged clear, and uncomplicated messages which glorified the Revolution.  He wanted to encourage simple messages because he himself could not understand complex ones, and he wanted to reach out to the illiterate. (Danielle D). Stalin found Shostakovich's work too complicated, and was always suspicious of anything he couldn't understand. Stalin personally condemned Lady Macbeth of Minsk in Pravda. (Rachel S).  In 1934 Stalin introduced a decree which officially promoted the idea of socialist realism. Socialist realism continued until the fall of the soviet union in 1991.(Matthew)


Personal intervention and censorshiop were important features of Stalinist culture.  For example, Stalin condemned Lady Macbeth of Minsk (Shostakovick's opera) as "muddle instead of music". (Naomi) Stalin forced philosophers to follow strictly Marxist lines of thought. In December 1930 he told philosophers that it was necessary to "rake up and dry all the manure" that had been spread on the issue. Historians were also told to study History along purely Stalinist lines. They were told to promote Stalins part in the Revolution and dismiss Trotsky's significant role. (Danny, General Secretary, F.L.Y.)  In 1932 Stalin introduced the decree of "on the reconstruction of Literary and Art Organisation." The Union of Soviet Writers was created to control the output of authors and their new policy was rubber stamped at the Congress of socialist Writers in 1934. (Natalie)


In the late 1920's a careful effort was made to portray Stalin as Lenin's logical successor- Lenin's loyal disciple and servant. The media represented him as the "Lenin of today". (Chris J)


Like Lenin, Stalin had very conservative tastes in the arts but was more likely to enforce these tastes than Lenin. In Cinema, Sergei Eisenstein produced films that glorified Stalin's five year plans and men whom Stalin modelled himself on e.g. Peter the Great (Steven).  Stalin was keen to use film as he saw it as a valuable way of instilling his views on the Russian nation, he expressed its potential impact in this way; "Cinema is the art of illusion, yet it dictates its laws to life itself." (Sarah C)  Stalin channeled writers, composers and artists into the Union of Soviet Writers and the Composers Union (which were government controlled). these unions would enforce more conservative tastes.(Gemma)


Stalin followed a policy of Russification.  In 1938, Russian became a required subject of study in every Soviet school.  In 1939, non-Russian languages were to be written donw in Cyrillic (Russian) script.


Stalin adopted an offical anti-religious policy in the USSR.  In line with Marxist theory , he successfully instilled an atheist culture, but couldn't stamp out religion altogether. (Gasur Philip Moutray) Stalin closed down a large amount of churches and deported proests. By the end of 1930's, only 7 bishops were active compared to 160 in 19.25. by 1931 there was only 1,300 mosques still open compared to 26,000 in 1913. (Neil)


Stalin also had a very male chauvinist view and disolved the womens section of the communsit party. (Ross)


Stalin introduced an anti-semitic culture into the Soviet Union which resulted in the shutting down of institutions that promoted Jewish culture (e.g. Jewish schools, theatres) and the removal of the Jewish Section of the Communist Party. (Danielle Carson)




Comments (4)

Anonymous said

at 2:15 pm on Dec 3, 2008

Be inspired, comrades!

Anonymous said

at 4:59 pm on Dec 10, 2008

Some great posts espicially from товарищ Hutton and Moutray

Anonymous said

at 2:22 pm on Dec 11, 2008

Nice comment товарищ Andi.Keep up the good work. :-)

Anonymous said

at 2:23 pm on Dec 11, 2008

Dont retire yet Sir, plenty of songs left in the old vocals. Please.

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