Soviet Propaganda

1891 Words8 Pages
Soviet Propaganda The soviet communist party, or the Bolsheviks, always new that strong propaganda was essential to increase the consciousness of the masses. As stated in the Encyclopedia of Propaganda, " propaganda was central to Marxist-Leninist ideology long before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917."(675) The power of persuasion and coercion were exercised with great force by Soviet leaders. The two leaders whom utilized propaganda to influence public opinion in the USSR were Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Both men used many different facets of the media to spread their propaganda. They also used the troubled social climate along with the ignorance of the masses to custom tailor a regime that lasted for over seven decades. The Russian Revolution was where the Bolsheviks proved that their propaganda machine worked. The Communists seized power over an empire that suffered from a progressive downfall. Russia at the time of the revolution was merely a broken down "barely functioning" version of its former self.(Encyclopedia of Propaganda, 675) A disastrous World war, a civil war, and foreign occupation opened the door for Lenin's propaganda. How did Lenin obtain power over the working class? "The working class was very suspicious of intellectuals." (Pipes 43) Lenin did not portray himself as an intellectual. Rather than preach politics as the intellectuals had done, Lenin opted to use agitation propaganda or "agitprop" to make the workers aware of the need for political action. He new that by showing how workers were being exploited by their employers he could gain their support. Lenin hoped that with this strategy he could ignite industrial strikes. Once these workers would strike they would surely see that the emp... ... middle of paper ... ...until the dissolution of the USSR, propaganda was frequently used. The art of persuasion and coercion is what anchored the rise and fall of the communist Regime. Bibliography: Works Cited Ellul, Jacques. Propaganda. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965. Encyclopedia of Propaganda. Volume III, Editor: Robert Cole. P 675-680. New York: Sharp Reference, 1998. Getty, J. Arch and Roberta T. Manning. Stalinist Terror: New Perspectives. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. Pipes, Richard. Revolutionary Russia. Cambridge: Harvard university Press, 1968. Shlapentokh, Dmitry and Vladimir Shlapentokh. Soviet Cinematography1918-1991. New York: Aldene De Gruyter, 1993. Treadgold, Donald W. Twentieth Century Russia. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981. Von Laue, Theodore H. Why Lenin? Why Stalin? Philadelphia: J.B. Lippingcott, 1964.
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