So much of communism is given over to building more and better widgets—collectively, of course, according to a centralized plan stretching over a number of years. Beyond the tractors and satellites, it’s worth noting that the communists were also building their people by exercising strict control over the national culture. Indeed, the real flavor of communism can more readily be experienced through its cultural expressions rather than its production schedules.
In this month’s highlights from Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS) Reports, 1957-1995, we’ll explore popular culture, religion, psychology and the communist approach to enforcing orthodoxy in all of the above.
Radio and Television—The Weapons of the Party
Kommunist (Communist), Moscow, No. 5, March 1960. 18 p.
Don’t look for independent journalism here, this is sled-dog journalism—no time for reactionary excursions, and everybody pulling in a line—the party line. And no child is left behind with youth programming about tractor operators, industrial brigades, and the series “Follow the Example of the Communists.” Consider the title of this report: a political elite wielding mass media—as a weapon against the heterodox members of its own social order.
Peculiarities of the Development of Literature in Socialist Countries
Kommunist (Communist), Moscow, No. 12, August 1959. 17 p.