Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Cult of Stalin and Propaganda; Notes By: Rudolf Kral

"Through the cult of personality Stalin was able to set up his personal dictatorship and run unopposed and unquestioned. Due to the small number of people who did oppose him he had no problem killing them.

There are 4 main ways Stalin’s cult of personality was created:

  • Censorship of anything that might reflect badly on Stalin
  • Propaganda everywhere - pictures, statues, continuous praise and applause, Places named after him
  • Word of mouth: Mothers taught their children that Stalin was ‘the wisest man of the age’
  • History books and photographs were changed to make him the hero of the Revolution, and obliterate the names of purged people (e.g. Trotsky).

    The main reason for propaganda was pretty much the same as that for the cult of personality, provided a better grip on power, but propaganda also had a wider range of uses:

  • To establish a personal dictatorship
  • To support, build and expand soviet power
  • To attack enemies
  • To control people
  • To increase the war effort
  • Create a feeling of unison

    There were 7 main ways in which propaganda was spread:

    1. Posters
    2. Art
    3. Literature
    4. Film
    5. News
    6. Education
    7. Youth groups

    The most effective form of propaganda was news reels:

  • propaganda was be easily disguised and broadcast as news
  • popularize and support the state and its decisions (ex. masked the failure of the 5 year plan)

    Stalin deemed education to be a vital part of c being a communist, because if children are taught to be communists the brain washing is more effective. Stalin reformed the education system when he came to power. This reform was good for the people and made education more effective and accessible but I also contained some reforms that could be called introducing propaganda into the school system:

  • Communism and Stalin were fused into most subjects
  • Some subjects were rewritten Ex. history, Stalin was given a greater part in the revolution
  • train young people for slots in the economic, social, political and cultural life of the state
  • Uniforms were introduced to create the feeling on unity

    Youth groups were another form of propaganda implemented on children:

  • Children were instructed to follow the party’s ideas
  • But also did fun activities
  • Shared a common uniform to once again create a feeling on unity
  • Youth groups were very popular
  • most famous Russian youth group was Communist League of Youth
  • over 9 million members
  • Children from youth groups were frequently photographed with Stalin

    The use of propaganda was vital for the creation of Stalin’s cult of personality and one of the more important parts if it was how Stalin associated himself with Lenin after his death:

  • Stalin embalmed Lenin against his wives wishes
  • Created a cult round Lenin's death despite Lenin's ideals
  • Associated him self with Lenin
  • Declared him self Lenin's natural successor

    Stalin did all this so that he could then transfer Lenin’s cult of personality onto him self. He was successful and this brought about the era of Stalinization:

  • Stalin was everywhere:
  • Every house hold had a picture of Lenin and Stalin
  • Constant parades were held in his honor
  • Streets were filled with huge posters
  • Stalin’s statues were raised everywhere

  • He was given titles such as "Coryphaeus of Science," "Father of Nations," "Brilliant Genius of Humanity," "Great Architect of Communism," "Gardener of Human Happiness,"
  • Soviet history rewritten to provide himself a more significant role in the revolution.
  • Stalin was even included in the national anthem

    To conclude:

  • The Russian people shouldn’t be blamed for the atrocities that were that were made possible through their support of the regime and Stalin
  • Continues propaganda effectively brain washed and clouded their judgment
  • They truly believed that Stalin was unaware of the crimes on humanity that became so banal during his rule and though he really worked for their interest

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