Ideology and Soviet Politics
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Instead, judging by what we have seen to date, it will be used to legitimise and stabilise the regime.
Communist Ideology and Soviet Foreign Policy | Foreign Affairs
That is to say the statement that [the war] was unleashed by communists i. While constantly insisting that the falsification of history is unacceptable, the authorities themselves actively contribute to the myth-making process. This story of a group of heroic guardsmen who supposedly saved Moscow in the winter of was exposed as inaccurate back in by the Chief Military Office of the public prosecutor of the USSR.
Today it is once again being jealously protected — lest it be debunked — and deliberately sacralised. Image: Pavel Kazachkov , Flickr. Alongside implementing the cultural policy imposed by the state, the RVIO is also involved in raising monuments, establishing museums and publishing books including a history of Crimea and of Novorossiya. It also finances and produces films on historical and patriotic themes e. In addition to using propaganda and administrative resources to advance official policy on the uses of memory, the Russian authorities systematically block the opening of archives and the publication of information about the Soviet era.
For example, in mid-December , the historian Yurii Dmitriev was arrested in Petrozavodsk under extraordinarily bizarre circumstances. He is threatened with up to 15 years imprisonment. It is worth noting that in the context of this ideological turnabout, the figure of Stalin has become increasingly prominent both in the official politics of memory, and in Russian public consciousness.
For the present, the authorities are not glorifying Stalin openly, but their policies and rhetoric contribute to the growth of the Stalinist myth. In —16, Ukraine was taking down monuments to Lenin and other Soviet leaders.
Meanwhile in Russia, where thousands of Soviet statues of Lenin remain standing, dozens of additional, new monuments to Stalin have also been raised. Although most of these were erected by communists with the connivance or support of local authorities, some were unveiled in the presence of officials of the highest rank. This remains the cornerstone of collective memory, and a major source of national pride in Russia. The Kremlin also skilfully exploits the rhetoric, language and symbols of the Second World War in the new wars it is waging in Ukraine and Syria.
Stalin is useful to the Russian regime because, as a figurehead, he shrouds ideas about a world power, imperial expansion and a great nation, as well as notions of the uncontrollability of the authorities and their unaccountability to the public. It legitimises the use of violence for the achievement of these objectives and the need for sacrificial victims if a final victory over enemies is to be achieved. The verdicts in the Bolotnaya case two to three years imprisonment demonstrated the increasing degree to which fear was being used by the Kremlin as a tool of internal policy.
In this context, it proves indispensable when any moral opposition to the present regime needs to be suppressed. Although sociologists noted the increasingly positive attitudes to Stalin back in the early s, Russian intervention in Crimea brought about a qualitative change in public perceptions of his historical role.
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Between and , the proportion of Russians who felt that great aims justified the number of Soviet people victimised during the Stalin era, rose almost twofold — from 25 per cent to 45 per cent. The annexation of Crimea and military aggression in the Donbass region has provoked a confrontation between the Russian state and the global community. He introduced two sets of policies he hoped would reform the political system and help the USSR become a more prosperous, productive nation.
These policies were called glasnost and perestroika. It addressed personal restrictions of the Soviet people. Glasnost eliminated remaining traces of Stalinist repression, such as the banning of books and the much-loathed secret police. Newspapers could criticize the government, and parties other than the Communist Party could participate in elections. Under perestroika, the Soviet Union began to move toward a hybrid communist-capitalist system, much like modern China.
The policy-making committee of the Communist Party, called the Politburo, would still control the direction of the economy. Yet the government would allow market forces to dictate some production and development decisions. During the s and s, the Communist Party elite rapidly gained wealth and power while millions of average Soviet citizens faced starvation. Bread lines were common throughout the s and s.
Soviet citizens often did not have access to basic needs, such as clothing or shoes. The divide between the extreme wealth of the Politburo and the poverty of Soviet citizens created a backlash from younger people who refused to adopt Communist Party ideology as their parents had.
In the s, the United States under President Ronald Reagan isolated the Soviet economy from the rest of the world and helped drive oil prices to their lowest levels in decades. A loosening of controls over the Soviet people emboldened independence movements in the Soviet satellites of Eastern Europe. Political revolution in Poland in sparked other, mostly peaceful revolutions across Eastern European states and led to the toppling of the Berlin Wall.
By the end of , the USSR had come apart at the seams. The Soviet Union ceased to exist on December 31, Guns or butter problems of the Cold War.
CIA Library. Revelations from the Russian Archives. Library of Congress. Sputnik, Department of State Office of the Historian.
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But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. After more than 40 years of the world seeming to teeter on the What went wrong? Front Matter Pages i-viii. Pages What is to Count as Ideology in Soviet Politics? Ideology and Soviet Economic Policy. Soviet Ideology and Female Roles.