"Slogan factory". 1917-1920s.

12 May–23 Nov 2017All exhibitions

For politicians, slogans have always been, and still remain, a powerful tool of influence on the consciousness of the masses, an effective agitation resource in confrontation with political forces. Generally speaking, the formulation of the emotional perception of a political slogan figuratively depicts the important ideological attitudes of a time, verbally determining the leading ideas, objectives, and requirements of the current moment. Every historical time period had its slogans. The exhibition of the State Museum of Political History of Russia offers the audience an opportunity to see genuine Bolshevik leaflet-slogans of the first Soviet years that promote communist ideology.

The right slogan is half the battle. The slogans of peace and land skillfully borrowed by the Bolsheviks from the SRs, the Constitutional Democratic Party and other revolutionary parties were proposed before the October Revolution and strongly agitated the workers, peasants and soldiers. This assured the triumph of the revolution in Russia. After achieving power, the Bolsheviks considered mass-political work as a key element of retaining this power, and slogans had an important role to play. In the context of the unfolding Civil War, when the relationship to the new power was extremely unstable, there was a need to put forward simple and understandable slogan-appeals to the illiterate population. These slogans should be capable of firmly strengthening in the minds of the people the thought that only the Communist Party can protect, feed, and bring the country to a bright, socialist future. Bolshevik propaganda during the Civil War affected the interests of almost everyone: it was superior in both scale and efficiency to anti-Bolshevik propaganda, and influenced the outcome of the fight by fully discrediting and gradually forcing out all other parties from the political area. It appealed to those demographics that strongly supported the new government, especially workers and peasants. Frequent repetition of the slogans turned them into ideological clichés, and with the help of simple linguistic tool, the slogans were imprinted onto people’s minds. A slogan—sharp, often populist and utopian in nature—became an effective tool of manipulations of people’s consciousness.

In a speech dedicated to advocacy work at the 10th Congress of the Communist Party in March 1921, prominent Bolshevik and Bolshevik economist Yevgeni Alekseyevich Preobrazhensky denoted the leading function of the party as: “Slogan Factory.” Vladimir Ilych Lenin thought that the main objective of propaganda was to re-educated the working masses: “... in order to train a generation that is fully capable of building communism ... we must re-educate the masses; they can be re-educated only by agitation and propaganda.” Peasant uprisings, worker protests and the Kronstadt Rebellion of sailors developing in the country in 1921 showed that the revolutionary euphoria of the people already greatly declined. In this situation, it required all of the power of the Department for Agitation and Propaganda of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Glavpolitprosvet (Central Committee of the Republic for Political Education), established in 1920-2921, to be used on “the organization of state communist propaganda.” Under their ideological leadership, the slogan became an internal and essential element of printed propaganda. The slogan blended seamlessly into various forms of communist agitation. It became part of lectures and debates, theater performances and documentaries, orals newspapers, demonstrations, protests and processions and monumental propaganda.

Bolshevik slogans were aimed at the low level political culture of the workers, and natural intolerance and class hatred of the enemy. The basis slogan emphases clearly defined their political priorities: appeals for the world revolution, confrontation of the old world and the new world and the historical doom of the past, fighting illiteracy and anti-religious propaganda, development of a Communist party cult and a cult of personality of its leader.

Over a historically short period of time, the Bolshevik party, relying on massive state propaganda and violence, managed to gain support of the majority of the population and made slogans of the party, slogans of the people, for the long term.

Leaflet-slogans at the exhibition represent a small portion of the large collection of the State Museum of Revolutions (SMPHR’s predecessor) that was established in 1919. The new government printed millions of these leaflet-slogans: the Museum received them from Gosizdat and Proletkult, from army political departments and numerous regional printing houses, from revolutionaries and party officials of different levels. The texts of the slogans that are placed in the atrium area are also reproductions of genuine slogans from the Museum’s collection.


Публикация от: 02.03.2017 13:04:07