Propaganda at its Finest


Police. Roman Catholic Priest. Tsar. Pope. Rabbi. Bourgeois, 1919

What is Revolutionary Culture?

Revolutionary culture is a tool used for shaping the views of the Russian citizens in favor of the Bolsheviks. This is from “Toward a World Commune” page. 29 “Mass Culture in Soviet Russia.”

This shaping of Russian views is done in a way that the average Russian reader sympathizes with the Bolsheviks.

One way it does this is by using phrases like: workers’ forced labor,” “the horror and moans of workers,” to get the reader’s sympathies on the proletariat.

Another way it accomplishes this is painting the bourgeoisie in an unending, unsympathetic light: “Gendarmes, the bodyguards of the bourgeoisie, exult and tear the hated red banner apart. The horror and moans of workers.” This shows that the bourgeoisie and its guards are non-emotional, unsympathetic people who do not care about the cries of the overworked and tired proletariat.

Another way that this “Toward a World Commune” accomplishes the goal of gaining the support of the Russian people is showing the struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie: “The workers patience is over. Revolution begins. Automobiles, bristling with bayonets, charge by flying red banners. The crowd swept away by revolutionary wrath, topples the Tsar, then stops dead in amazement.” This shows the pouring out of the hatred towards the Tsar and the bourgeoisie from the proletariat. “But the bourgeoisie does not want to accept the loss of its supremacy, and begins an embittered fight with the proletariat…..,” “….The commune is saved only by a great surge of heroism of the worker Red Guard. Foreign imperialists send the Russian White Guard and mercenaries into battle…” The excerpt goes on to graphically explain the struggle between the Proletariat and the Bourgeoisie with the Proletariat (Bolsheviks/ red army) winning the conflict. These quotes work to accomplish the goal of using the graphic explanation of the revolutions to gain greater support in the Russian People for the Bolsheviks.

In all “Toward the World Commune” from “Mass Culture in Soviet Culture” works and accomplishes the goal of building the support of the Bolsheviks. So, in this context revolutionary culture is another tool in the “toolbox” of the Bolsheviks to build support for themselves, and it does this hidden in an entertaining and engrossing story about the revolutions that the Proletariat went through to overthrow the Tsars, Capitalists, and Bourgeoisie.



12 thoughts on “Propaganda at its Finest

  1. Hi Connor! This is a really fascinating post. Propaganda is such a unique way to garner support for a cause that almost always targets an audience’s emotions rather than their intellectual grasp on issues. I’m curious though about the propaganda that spoke against what you have written about. What does the opposition art express? Is it a clear contrast or do they target a differing aspect of the issue? Great post!


  2. Hi! I found this post to be extremely interesting! Propaganda is very interesting to explore because of what it can tell us about the attitudes and beliefs of the time, often through playing on fears and hopes that the people already have instilled in them. I also found the specific language used in these propaganda works to be really indicative of the message the creators are trying to send. This is a great post!


  3. I find it really interesting that they are not only criticizing the Bourgeoisie, but also the priests as well. It makes me wonder how popular the church actually was among the average people.


  4. Remind me we need to talk about propaganda in class! I really like the way you got into the weeds of the script for the mass spectacle. Your analysis gives us a good sense of what exactly the Bolsheviks were promoting and who they were criticizing (and why). Don’t you wonder what one of these spectacles looked like? I think it would have been incredibly exciting to either witness or be in one.


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