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The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia$
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Robert V. Daniels

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780300106497

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300106497.001.0001

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Stalin's Cultural Counterrevolution

Stalin's Cultural Counterrevolution

(p.227) Chapter 20 Stalin's Cultural Counterrevolution
The Rise and Fall of Communism in Russia

Robert Daniels

Yale University Press

Joseph Stalin helped Soviet society become a stable, albeit very tense, structure. Since Stalin rose to power, the Soviet system developed largely independent of Marxian sociology. Economic forces depended on the state as the prime mover of history, instead of shaping the basic form and development of society. The Stalin regime insisted that its new ideology was the only correct interpretation of Marxism and denounced all other versions as being representative of counterrevolutionary treachery. Until 1929, intellectuals in Soviet Russia enjoyed a remarkable degree of freedom. In social policy under the New Economic Policy, the Communist Party remained committed to the ideals of the revolution. However, Stalin's dictatorship and counterrevolution radically transformed Soviet cultural and intellectual life. The imposition of extreme Marxism had devastating effects on various fields, from literature and the arts to history, psychology, education, religion, and law. Stalin adopted a new official line for literature called Socialist Realism. Absolute economic determinism in part characterized the kind of historical thought imposed by Mikhail Pokrovsky in the name of the party.

Keywords:   revolution, Joseph Stalin, Marxism, Soviet Russia, Communist Party, dictatorship, counterrevolution, intellectual life, Socialist Realism, Mikhail Pokrovsky

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