Stalins And His Cult Of Personality History Essay

Stalin was an expert at reading and taking advantage of the given fortunes. After Lenin ‘s decease he rapidly formed a cult of personality around him. After Lenin ‘s worship had reached pathetic highs, Stalin began the procedure of making a cult of personality around himself while parallely feeding off Lenin ‘s cult and showing himself as Lenins natural Born replacement.

Hire a custom writer who has experience.
It's time for you to submit amazing papers!

order now

During the 1930s began the procedure of Stalinisation. Stalin began societal reforms harmonizing to how he saw tantrum. The Cultural Revolution was an illustration of what he deemed to be against socialist values. By assailing bourgeois civilization he removed all facets of non-socialist elements of society and led the manner to a socialist Utopia. Furthermore he projected an absolute image of himself by propaganda through the humanistic disciplines, music, movie and literature.

Propaganda manifested in several different ways. Stalin projected himself as the visible radiation of the people through: postings, pictures, sculptures, literature, music, movie.

Other signifiers of propaganda included absolute control of the mass media, by which he censored any failures under the Soviet brotherhood every bit good as foregrounding his successes as a human and a leader. Stalin ‘s cult of personality extended to the young person sector of society as good. He understood the importance of brainwashing the young person from an early age so as to transfuse the absolute impression of socialism in them. By rewriting text editions and history itself, he asserted himself as a epic figure, one of the likes of Peter the Great.

Despite his ruthless attempts to make this cult of personality, to be viewed as God by everyone, he was non wholly successful maintaining in head that until his decease, there were resistance groups bearing a lasting hatred for the government and Stalin himself.


Stalin was one of many dictators to hold created a cult of personality in his several government, in this instance the Soviet Union. The “ cult of personality ” is a term used when a state ‘s leader ( such as the one in inquiry ) efficaciously uses propaganda, through which pull stringsing mass media to advance an absolute and supreme image of himself. As General Secretary and leader of Russia ‘s communist party, he was able to lift up in the Black Marias and heads of his people and be looked at in the same visible radiation as God. A cult of personality may besides be described as general hero worship.

There were four indispensable factors that gave birth to Stalin ‘s personality cult. First, holding full control of the media, such as any broadcast medium webs and newspapers, he censored any ill-natured sentiments aimed at him. Stalin was really efficient in utilizing propaganda. There was an copiousness of postings and statues lauding him with uninterrupted congratulations. The principal of “ word of oral cavity ” , female parents taught their kids that Stalin was ‘the wisest adult male of the age ‘ . Finally, Stalin showed the range of his power by redacting exposure and rewriting history books so as to picture him as the hero of the Revolution. He besides obliterated purged names such as Trotsky.

Stalin ‘s cult of personality was created mostly through the usage of propaganda. Propaganda aimed at supplying a better clasp on power. Furthermore, it was implemented to set up his personal absolutism. To bolster and spread out the range of Soviet power. To take enemies. To command the people, create a feeling of brotherhood every bit good as commanding any information sing the events of the war and the forepart. Propaganda was spread through art, literature, movies, intelligence, instruction and young person groups.

Through this cult of personality Stalin was able to govern his personal absolutism unopposed and undisputed. If this “ cult ” was non plenty in acquiring people to follow him, the fright ( otherwise known as “ the Terror ” ) he struck in them was. Throughout his regulation any evident resistance was dealt with through a series of purgings, and anyone who opposed Stalin straight was killed.

Although in many eyes he was seen as a God, there were certain people who were brave adequate to show their malcontent, including several authors, poets, painters and certain belowground organisations. One would believe that even after his decease Stalin would still be thought of as a hero. However in 1956 at the 20th Party Congress, Khrushchev made a study in which he denounced Stalin ‘s government and knock his cult of personality. This unfavorable judgment in itself was portion of the procedure of destalinization.

1. Propaganda and the Cult

Stalin was the political donee and one who emerged as a political christ out of the 19th century. His power-seeking attitude was depicted and interpreted as the Jesus of the people and one who understood and redeemed their sorrow and agony. Without this fertile a

agricultural dirt of post-revolutionary Russia, the cult environing him would ne’er hold grown so huge[ 1 ]. All cults of personality are for the larger portion fiction. An overdone image of Stalin had to be created and was brought away. This is n’t to state that without his cult he would be a nonexistence. As shown during the period of his rise to power, Stalin possessed personal and political properties separate from the cult. As Richard Overy argues, the job Stalin faced was that he was non a sovereign, or a talented military commanding officer. Stalin was cognizant that whatever will and power he projected by himself would non do, and that his claim to supreme and entire power would be achieved by unnaturally imitating a sense of authorization.[ 2 ]

Furthermore, Overy speculates that the glorious being that Stalin presented, was nil like the adult male himself. He states that Stalin consulted members of the Moscow State Theater for lessons refering his dictatorial image. Rede given to him included, speaking easy, be a larger image than him and life itself, and utilizing his pipe as an image foil.[ 3 ]

1.1 Purpose of Propaganda

The Soviet Government utilized all available resources and a broad scope of agencies in the effort to pull strings public sentiment in its favor. Propaganda was carefully designed to act upon positions and public judgement. Through several schemes, the Soviet Government was able to beef up the coveted belief of the accomplishments of socialism and the illustriousness of itself. The gradual development of a cult of personality was cogent evidence in itself that propaganda was used to function the demands of the Soviet leading and non those of socialism. As western historiographers argue, any support for Stalin was the consequence of extreme usage of propaganda. The usage of propaganda was exceptionally favourable in dissembling the failures of the Five-Year Plans and advancing the successes of the authorities.

Lenin ‘s and Stalin ‘s Cult

During the period of the 1920s through the 1930s the Soviet Government created two cults of personality. One around Lenin and subsequently on around Stalin.

Lenin was strongly against the thought of epic worship every bit good as the embalming of the dead[ 4 ]. Be this as it may, Stalin was gifted in taking advantage of the given fortunes. Equally shortly as Lenin died, Stalin saw to it that he was worshiped as the hero of communism. Lenin appeared in newspapers and statues were built in his award. His image and ideals were used to drive the population towards copying his commitment to communism. The most revealing illustration of Lenin ‘s usage for political intents, was his embalming for show in the mausoleum in Red Square. Furthermore, Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in 1924. At the clip of his decease there was a moving ridge of support from which the Soviet authorities was able to construct on, as seen by the waiting lines constructing up to see his embalmed organic structure. This cult was really fruitful for Stalin who continuously projected himself as Lenin ‘s natural replacement.[ 5 ]

The 2nd cult of personality that emerged was that of Stalin ‘s. In 1923, a town once known as Tsaritsyn was renamed Stalingrad. Following Lenin ‘s decease, slogan phrases such as, “ Stalin is the Lenin of today ” , put in circulation by Barbusse, became widely popular within the rank and file members of the party[ 6 ]. Stalin ne’er let travel of the bond he had created to bind himself and Lenin ‘s bequest, which he used to shelter himself from unfavorable judgment[ 7 ]. Stalin fed on the cult of personality he developed around Lenin which he finally devoured by the terminal of the 1930s. The cult go arounding around Stalin had become more apparent and after the Second World War this cult had risen to pathetic highs.

The Cultural Revolution

After 1924, the authorities had realised the the significance of popular civilization and in the period of 1928-32 the authorities made a more co-ordinated effort in utilizing civilization for its ain benefit known as the Cultural Revolution. Stalin used popular civilization non merely to help the publicity of his image but besides to transfuse socialist values and his policies within people. Stalin used civilization to convey forth his cult of personality, it was apparent that popular civilization was used as tool of the party instead functioning the demands of socialism. The purposes of the Cultural Revolution were to take any kind of art signifiers directed to an sole, higher category audience, normally know as the “ Bourgeois civilization ” . To show a positive image of the success of the Soviet Union and besides to back up authorities policy. By the terminal of the 1930s it was used to unite the Russian people at the face of menace of war.[ 8 ]

The Cultural Revolution aimed to purge all facets of bourgeois civilization. The authorities made usage of immature Communists who were encouraged to assail bourgeois civilization. Performances were disrupted by whistling and shouting. In literature, an administration known as the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers ( RAPP ) was formed whose intent was to oversee all publications of books and do certain that they were written the “ right manner ” . This is to state that they promoted the values of socialism through their authorship. The RAPP favored the Hagiographas that stressed and highlighted the accomplishments of workers and husbandmans. This attitude was subsequently labeled as the “ the cult of the small adult male ” .[ 9 ]Stalin recognised the importance of authors naming them “ the applied scientists of human psyches ” , and this organic structure was to organize all authors in the effort to convey forth socialist pragmatism.[ 10 ]The Cultural Revolution besides aimed at advancing a perceptual experience of what socialist policy should be like. This led to the manifestation of a construct known as “ airy Utopianism ” , which was instead separate from realistic political relations. These visionaries enforced thoughts of future socialism in their plants.

Music suffered every bit good from turning force per unit area. In 1935 after watching a public presentation of Shostakovich ‘s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtensk, Stalin was in a province of daze. His offense ballad in the sleeping room scene where trombones were used to underscore what was go oning. It was common cognition after that if one wished to maintain working in the country of the humanistic disciplines, it was in their best involvements to lodge with well-worn subjects than experiment. A similar oraganisation to that of the RAPP was formed refering the music industry. Stalin had formed this administration instill Soviet values within music, to advance his image ( which was done by including Stalin ‘s name in the national anthem ) and to filtrate out any hints of businessperson every bit good as western elements. The Proletarian Musicians called western popular music “ the vocal and dance of the period of the calamity of capitalist economy ” , the fox-trot “ the dance of slaves and the tango “ the music of impotents ” . The typical political orientation and attitude of proletarian composers was, differentiation of vocal over instrumental music, simple data format, clear harmoniousness and a basic hate of Western political orientation and importance of communism. Stalin condemned all signifiers of music, be it gypsy wind or classical. For Stalin “ foreign ” or broad signifiers of music was the tuneful equivalent of sabotage. In 1929, Stalin banned any private sheet music publication, every bit good as censoring itinerant music on the wireless. To foster the purgings on music, in 1928 the author Maxim Gorky related wind to subjects of homosexualism, drugs and businessperson erotism. On the other manus nevertheless, proletarian instrumentalists were non able to make desirable replacements. They were hapless composers of lowly endowment. Their music was stale with a march-like beat. In 1932, the Russian Association of Proletarian Musicians was abolished and Stalin suggested an emotional turbulence. As a consequence, all signifiers of music were re-introduced.[ 11 ]

Art was manipulated merely every bit good in the effort to project the ideal vision of life under the Five-year Plans. The thought behind Socialistic Realism concluded in the abolition of abstract art as postings. Stalin issued pictures and sculptures of provincials and industrial workers collaborating for the benefit of socialism and being rewarded for their attempts and work. Stalin continued to absorb Lenin ‘s cult by constructing huge statues next to those of Lenin. During the 1930s due to Stalin ‘s signifier of subject through legion purgings, people had fallen out of favor. In order to re-assert himself as the visible radiation in their eyes, pictures and exposures were re-edited so as to portray Stalin as Lenin ‘s closest comrade. Stalin besides used this method of re-editing art to extinguish resistance and personal challengers. Trotsky for illustration was cut out from images sitting beside Lenin and replaced with Stalin. This column behavior was evident even in group exposures, as one of 15 people could hold been reduced to seven.[ 12 ]By the terminal of the 1930s the humanistic disciplines were used to reenforce socialist values and Stalin ‘s cult. All signifiers of art were used to foreground his qualities and praise his really being. Stalin was portrayed as the hero of the civil war and the Jesus of the revolution. Protecting the party from Leftist and Rightist onslaughts. Artists painted Stalin as the “ large hero ” or Vozhd ( the foreman ) .[ 13 ]

3. Different Forms of Propaganda

Other signifiers of propaganda included pull stringsing mass media coverage, set uping young person administrations and brainwashing kids from an early age through instruction so as to raise them with socialist values instilled within them.

3.1 Media

The authorities ‘s influence ranged every bit far as the mass media including newspapers and the wireless. Pravda and Izvestiya were newspapers with a infinitesimal measure of existent information every bit good as a limited aggregation of expressed positions and sentiments. Pravda was the chief day-to-day newspaper of the USSR and the Communist Party ‘s official newspaper. Izvestiya was a national owned and popular day-to-day newspaper. These documents were most likely to describe on economic accomplishments, citing statistics to underscore the spheres of success every bit good as publication demands for harder labor. The imperativeness had fallen into the custodies of the authorities merely to be used for censoring and for propaganda intents.[ 14 ]

The use of mass media for propaganda became more dominant in 1941 when war was unleashed between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. At the clip, this war was known as the “ Patriotic ” War. A batch of accent prevarications in the word “ loyal ” . This was intentionally published by newspapers under Stalin ‘s orders so as to make a feeling of integrity, comrades contending against the enemy. During this period of war old ages, Stalin used these resources to distribute the thought and to remind the people that, “ Stalin will take Russia to triumph ” and that by following his orders they could get the better of all adversities as good vouching a comfortable hereafter.[ 15 ]In the spirit of supporting the fatherland and back uping fellow companions at the forepart, Pravda stated in an column,

“ ‘Art in the Service of the Red Army ‘ : Let dramatists, composers, poets, novelists and creative persons glorify the epic consequence of the Red Army and the full Soviet people, because, in these yearss of the Patriotic War, their work for the Red Army will assist convey close our triumph over the enemy.

Let them animate the people and out Red Army to go on the grim battle against the enemy, so that our warriors should travel into conflict with a menacing and cheerful vocal, boy that from every image, from every frame in a movie, from every page in a newspaper the creative person, the poet, the author should fire a well-aimed shooting at the enemy. ”

Furthermore, Stalin used the mass media to command information being sent in and out. This is to state that he performed day-to-day reviews of newspaper articles so as to wipe out any ill-natured sentiments directed towards him. During war-time old ages, he ordered everyone to manus in their ain wirelesss in exchange for authorities issue. This was a safeguard taken by Stalin, to vouch their ignorance and his wellbeing. He could non afford the population having information from foreign beginnings like the BBC or any German broadcast medium webs. As stated antecedently, he masked the failures of the Five-Year Plans, and holding full control of the media, he merely reported of the successes, if any. As a consequence, general perceptual experience of socialism was reinforced every bit good as his position as a strategically smart commanding officer and a valorous leader.[ 16 ]

Alternatively of following the profit-maximizing attitude of supplying what the spectator wants, in the Soviet Union the media existed in conformity to the dominant political orientation of the Communist Party. The impression of Social Realism extended into the mass media supplying firm support for the current political line. Suppressing contrasting political sentiments, every bit good as portraying the worst possible life style under capitalist economy. Varied sentiments refering the USSR, every bit good as societal insufficiencies in the Soviet brotherhood were purely out subjects. Through the mass media, Stalin created a black-and-white universe. Anything communist or Soviet related was favourable, a positive facet of life, and anything capitalistic imperialistic or American related was bad.[ 17 ]

3.2 Youth Organisations and Education.

Stalin recognised the importance of determining the heads of the immature from an early age. The agencies used to this terminal were certain youth administrations established and controlled under the Communist Party and the instruction system. The two chief young person administrations were the Pioneers, for persons under the age of 14 and Komsomol for the age scope from 14 to 28. Komsomol played a important function during the period of the Cultural Revolution. Komsomol members were ordered to assail all elements of bourgeois civilization and category enemies. Komsomol ‘s success is demonstrated by its figures. In 1929 there were 2.3 million members making the tallness of 10.2 million members in 1940.[ 18 ]

Komsomol provided immature Communists a intent. The Cultural Revolution was seen as a more effectual measure towards the creative activity of the socialist Utopia that many of these immature Communists lived up to. One facet of society that was influenced by the invasion of Komsomol was that of instruction. As a consequence of the onslaughts on bourgeois civilization, many instructors were removed from their instruction places every bit good as the prostration of educational establishments. Komsomol ‘s actions were acquiring out of manus, so the authorities was forced to reconstruct order. Discipline and a stricter course of study were established under The Educational Law of 1935.

Stalin noticed that the Cultural Revolution had led to the break and debasement of the educational system. From 1935, a series of steps were set away designed to enforce stableness. Lone authorities approved text editions were allowed and formal scrutinies were reintroduced. In order to fire his excellence into their heads, Stalin introduced the instruction of communist political orientation. Stalin rewrote chapters in some text editions himself, rewriting history to portray himself as the hero of the Revolution, and associating himself with historical icons like Peter the Great.[ 19 ]


Stalin ‘s hunt for power was absolute. His methods to accomplish it were ruthless. There is a distinct connexion between method and consequence in his policies and behavior. Stalin was both merciless in his chase for power and efficient in his usage of it. Stalin was successful in making a cult of personality, determining what the people thought of him and finally achieving a god-like position. He created a totalitarian province, more effectual than that of his contemporaries- Hitler and Mussolini. Stalin promoted his personal qualities through entire control of internal developments and working all available chances, such as the naivete of the population every bit good as sharing Lenin ‘s popularity. He reached the top by immediately extinguishing any evident challengers and resistances through purgings. He changed the people ‘s cultural, societal and political political orientations with those of his ain.

By presenting the Cultural Revolution and the Great Terror, Stalin granted himself an absolute degree of control as the exclusive supplier of cognition, and as the supreme illustration of what people should draw a bead on to be. Nevertheless non all sectors of the population were willing to accept Stalin taking them blindly down the way of his choosing. Certain sectors of the rural population expressed their ill will to the government. They harbored a lasting hatred for the authorities after holding endured the horrors of the collectivization procedure, whose failure was neatly masked by Stalin ‘s propaganda. Although Stalin ‘s god-like power was thought to be unflawed and far-reaching, that did non halt sub-cultures and revolutionary groups from shooting. The bead of government-controlled music limitations issued at the terminal of the 1930s was cogent evidence of the fact that Stalin ‘s power was non absolute and could non command all facets of society. Although for the most portion of the population he was seen as the brightest visible radiation, certain members of the population were non drawn in by his sweet-talk and illusory actions. Underground street packs and the gulag showed their opposition by developing their ain gags and vocals.