Control of the people 1917-85


State control of mass media and propaganda

State control of media and propaganda big fetaure 

Lenin wanted to free working people of Russia from "Bourgeois ideas" and did this by restricting press freedom

censorship and propaganda remained an essential feature of Communist rule until 1985

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Lenin and the Press

The Decree on the press (Established in 1917 gave the government power to close any newspaper that supported "counter revolution")

The Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press (Established in 1918 gave state the power to censor the Press, journalists and edistors who commited "crimes against the people" could be punished by the Checka)

The All-Russia Telegraph Agency (ROSTA) (Established in 1918 gave state control of all avertising and all newspapers)

Glavlit (Established in 1922 employed proffesional censors to examine all books, old and new, for anti-communist ideas)

Lenin closed down all papers that supported the Tsar or provisianla government 

By mid-1918 had outlawed all opposition socialist papers 

By 1921 Communists had established control over scoial media throughout the Sovie Union 

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Propaganda under Lenin

Often experimental 

Klutsis used photomontage to creat posters advertising Lenin's electrification plan

Lissitzky designed the "Beat the whites with the red wedge", which used techniques from abstract art

ROSTA produced cartoon films to support the revolution

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Stalin's media

Censorship tightened 

Works of Trotsky, Burkheim and other of Stalin's rivals banned 

Lenin's work "edited"

From 1928, Glavlit controlled acvess to economic data 

Restrictions placed on news

Forbbiden from publishing stories about natural disasters, suicide, industrial accidents, or bad weather

Focused on idealised images of workers and peasents happily building socialism in modern factories and farms

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Media under Khrushchev

Popular magazines encouraged to publish readers letters

Allowed soviet citozens to express their own thoughts

Readers complained about male alcholism, inequalities in the home and domestic violence 

Soviet propaganda changed (Satirical cartoons allowed)

Censorship relaxed under Khrushchev during his cultural thaws 

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Media under Brezhnev

Media was very nostaligic (focusing on victory in WW2)

Soviet cinema made films set in Contempary Russia depicting a luxuriuos life (encouraging people to buy more consumer goods)

Khrushchev's cultural thaws not continued under Brezhnev 

Russian exposed to Western ideas through Western magazines available on black market

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The Cult of Lenin

From 1918 Lenin's image and saying's used in a lot of propaganda 

Was presented as a prophet guiding Soviet People to a better future

Described as saintly, as a man who was willing to suffer and sacrafice his life for his people

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Stalin's personality cult

Emphasised that Stalin was the legitamite leader of the USSR as he was the "Lenin of today"

Presented as a visionary

Required minipulation of histroy to suggest that Lenin and Stalin had led the revolution together

From early 1930's photographs were altered and Histories written stressing Stalin's importance 

Presneted as "Vozhd", the leader with ultimate authority

From 1941 Stalin wa also prented as the "Gernalissimo", emphasising his role as the military leadeand the vicory of WW2 

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Khrushchev's cult

Criticised Stalin's cult of personality 

From 1955 to 64 images of Stalin were largely dropped from the Soviet Media

His image was not used as widley as Stalin and Lenin

Khrushchev was: (A disciple of Lenin who was completing the journey, Responsible for the new success such as the soviet space programme and the rising harvests in the virgin lands, A respected statesman , A WW2 hero, An auhtority in litrature, art, science, industry and agriculture, The great refromer)

Problems with his reforms undermined all this

Soviet public never resected him as much as Lenin and Stalin 

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The cult of Brezhnev

Propaganda uder Brezhnve dropped refrences to Khrushchev and rearly reffered to Stalin

Lenin cult persisted 

Brezhnev was: (A great Leninist who would continue his work, A military heor< Dedicated to ensuring world peace through detente, A true man of the people who began his career in the steel industry)

The Brezhnve cult was counterproductive 

He was a privileged bureaucrat nt a revolutionary

Citizens laughed at these claims

Stalin had been respected and feared, Brezhnev's cult led to ridicule 

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Religion under Lenin

The 1917 Decree on Land (gave peasents the right to sieze land that beonged to the church)

The 1918 Decree Concerning Seperation of the Church and State (too away the traditional privilages of the Orthodox Church)

Used checka to terrorise Orthodox church

Nov 1917 (Archpriest Kochurov was murdered outside petrograd)

Jan 1918 (Metropolitant Vladimir was tortured and shot in Kiev)

Jan 1918 (Orthodox Priests in Mocow were massacred following a church decree excommunicating the Bolsheviks)

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The living church

 In 1921 Lenin astablished the living church

Rival to Orthodox Church

De-centralised structure 

These reforms would make it harder for the new Church to oppose the regime 

Living Church not prepeared to support the regime

Many Russians continued to follow Christiantiy throughout the 1920's

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Lenin and Islam

Backed attacks on property owned by Isamic institutions

This policy quicky reversed 

New government funded Isamic schools

Communists encouraged Musilims to join the party

Less agnostic towards Islam than Russian Orthodox Christiaity

No official link between Islam and Tsarism

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Religion under Stalin

Many churches closed and used to sell grain during collectivisation

Stalin's terror destroyed Islamic groups

During WW2 Salin made a pragmatic alliance with the Church

Asked church leaders to suport the governments war effoert and in return wold open up some churchs that had been closed and end censorship of church papers

414 churches re-opened during the war

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Religion under Khrushchev

Abandoned compramise 

Believed religion had no place in society

Anti-religious campgains began in 1958

Closed churches that re-opened dring WW2

Anti-reiligious propaganda introduced

Placing Orthdox convents under survelillence 

Refusing believers accsess to holy sites 

Used the space programme to attack religion 

Gagrain said that having travelled up to the heavens he had not found a God

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Religion 1964-85

Brezhnev eneded the anti-reiligus campagins

Hoped scienific education would be enough

Goverment started supporting anti-American Islamic groups in the Middle East

Established the Spiritual Board of Musilims of Central Asia and Kazakstan

Shift in policy led to a shift in Communism ideology

Previuos leaders descries isalm as "backward and barbarian" Brezhnev describes it as "progressive, anticolonal and revolutionary creed"

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Control and Opposition 1917-28

Lenin introduced Check in 1917 to target Supporters of the Tsar, trade unions demanding hher pay for workers, socialists in rival political parties

Before 1921 the Checka's activities included requisitioning grain during Civil War, closing down opposition newspapers, torturing and executing opponents of the regime , executing desserters of the Red Army

During NEP checka targeted people they believed to be taking advantage of free trade, trades who became rich, women who wore Western clothes and makeup and young people who danced to Western music like Jazz

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The roles of Beria, Yagoda and Yezhov

Yogoda became head of the secret police in 1934 and played an important role in the Geat terror

Under Yogoda, secret police tended to treat CP officials with respect and so purges ocured slowly 

Yezhov was responsible for the massive escilation of the great terror as he appointed new officials who were willing to use tourture more widley 

Responsible for the worst yars of the Great Terror (1936-38), around 1.5 million people were arrested, 635,000 of these deported and 680,000 people executed

Beria took over the secret police in 1938

Organised mass deportations and executions of ethinc groups 

Bria wa later put in chrge of Soviet efforts to build a nuclear bomb

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Andropov's suppression of dissidents 1967-82

Was a coservative ans so suspicious of Khrshchev's liberalisation

Rejected use of mass terror and wanted to minismise violence

Wanted to use secret police to target inidviduals known as disidents 

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Andropov's stragergies

Allowed dissidents in emmigrate (around 100,000 potential troublemakers allowed to leave Soviet Union)

Sent oponents of the regime to menatl asylums to be "treated"

Invested in survillence and put pressure on those who could be potentially dangerouse (Around 70,000 recieved a secret police warning in the 70's)

Organised the demotion and sacking of dissidents (many ittlelctuals worked as cleaners in the 70's as punishment) 

Used intimidation tactics

Failed to stampout opposition 

Networkes of dssidents published illegal material 

Forced to move cautiously against dissident known in the West. 

Pressure from Western Goernments meant that dissidents remained free

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Popular discontent

He remiand head of secret police 

Informed that the Soviet Citizens were anxious about the slow improvments in living standars, dissatisfied with the quaity and availability of food and consumer goods, resentful of the priviladgs and corruption of party members 

This led to an increase in alcoholism, poor labour discipline, increased black market trade, avoidence of military services, demand of Western goods, Sympathy of strikes taking place in Poland, increased Church attendence and fall in birth rates 

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Dealing with discontent 1982-85

Anti-Corruption Campgain (investigated senior oficials who used soviet resources to make themselves rich)

Anti-Alcholo Campagin (arrested workers who were drunk)

Operation Trawl (an anti-alcohol and absenteeism campagin)

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Lunaharsky established Prolekult which was a proletarian culture movment to help nurture artistic talent amongst the working people

By 1920, 300 studios had been set up across Russia

Showcased the work of proletarian artists

Lenin was critical of this and argued that the best culture was universal and niether bourgeoise nor proletarian but reflecting human spirit

Believed the work that was produced was too advant grande

Proletkult was independant of the party which worried Lenin

In october 1920 it lost its independence

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The advant-grade

Advant-garde artists experimented with a variety of influences such as chance, gemoertric shapes, technology and the influence of dreams

Mayakovsky made simple graphic posters during Civil War

Rodchenko most famous advant-garde photographer who made posters celebrating revolution

Vertov was an experimental film maker who produced films called Kino-Pravada (film-truth)

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Socialist Realism

Stalin had strong views on art and was suspicious of advant-garde

He believed that art should be traditional

In 1930'3 this approach became known as "Socialist Realism"

Paintings had to be realistic (paintings of factory, construction or workers producing raw materials)

Books had to have a plot that working people could follow

Lenin and Stalin also became the foucus of paintings and other forms of art

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Soviet art 1917-53

Between 1917 and 1953 transformed from free experimental art to art controled by the government

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The State and Cultural change 1950's to 1985

Khrushchev wanted to allow more cultrual freedom

Initiated a series of cultural thaws

There were also freeze periods when the government would initiate tight control

Brezhnve was much more traditional and so fought with other artists who refused to confrom

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Thaw and nonconformity 1954-64

In 1953-54 after Stalin's death the government allowed the publication of new litrature

1956-57 following the secret speech there was another period of cultural liberalisation, even work critical of the party under Stalin was published

1961-62 following the removal of Stalin's body from the red square, a number of books were published that were critical of aspects of Stalin's rule

However, during each thaw artists wen tfurther than authorities would tolerate

Under Khrushchev. alcholics and lazy government officials were examples of nonconformity that he wanted to challenge

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Nonconformity of the 1950's

Khrushchev refused to accept widespread nonconoformity

He began a poster campign encouraging citizens to challenge nonconforming behaviour

Known as "popular oversight"

Particularly critical of nonconforming women

Started a campgain against women who wore Western fashion

Assumed that fashionable clothes implied sexual promiscuity

Official cmapgins against western fashion and "loose women" in the late 1950's and early 1960's

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Clashes between artists and the government to 1985

Brezhnev abandoned cultural liberalisation

The Sinyvasky-Daniel Trial took place in 1966 which was a show trial of writers who had rise to fame under Khrushchev were sent to labour camps

Many artists took part in secret shows

Some events raided by the police others carried out without official intervention

Soviet authorities remained suspicious of any group that championed freedom of expression

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