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Soviet Culture 1924-53

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To what extent did Soviet culture perform a political role in the USSR in the years 1924-53?

Following the death of Lenin, Stalin's totalitarian regime relied heavily on fear, however it is undeniable that Soviet culture also played a large political role in the USSR throughout the years 1924-53. Stalin believed that culture and arts should perform a social and political role, and so it can be said that Soviet culture was as much a part of social control in the Soviet Union as the Great Terror was. In the early stages of Communist rule, the Soviet authorities tolerated a large amount of diversity in revolutionary art and culture. The 1920s in Russia was considered to be a period of experimentation within the disciplines of art, music and architecture. Russian art in the 1920s often celebrated modern industrial technology, therefore it promoted the revolutionary government. However, due to Stalin's expression of his discontent with Soviet art, the 1930s saw the deconstruction of this artistic and cultural diversity. Stalin claimed that revolutionary art, when fully understood, should not express individual creativity, but instead should showcase government views. Artistic experimentation ended under Stalin's leadership during the 1930s, culture now had to serve a political purpose and promote socialism, along with its achievements (particularly the achievements of the Five-Year Plans). 1932 saw the reorganisation of Soviet literature, when it was proposed that all Soviet writers who were genuinely behind the revolution should write in a certain style- a style described as 'Socialist Realism'. In 1934, the first All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers met and officially adopted Socialist Realism as the new Soviet style of writing. When it was first introduced, the definition of Socialist Realism was not entirely clear amongst the Russian people- however, as the style...

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