Stalin's Social Policy and Impact
1. Control of the media
- The mass media (radio, films, television) were all controlled by the state and were only allowed to promote the Stalinist message.
- Large portions of Soviet history was written to discredit his rivals as counter-revolutionaries
- Photographs were edited to remove the appearance of his rivals and to glorify his significance
- Stalin would not tolerate individual creativity that did not conform to the views of the state.
- Soviet newspapers and radio broadcasts glorified the achievements of commu- nism, Stalin, and his economic programs.Under Stalin, the arts also were used for propaganda
2. Education and indoctrination
- Under Stalin, the government controlled all education from nursery schools through the universities
- Education was compulsory and every child was entitled to 9 years of free education.
- Schoolchildren learned the virtues of the Communist Party
- College professors and students who questioned the Communist Party’s interpretations of history or science risked losing their jobs or faced imprisonment
- They were taught technical subjects that helped with industrialisation
- Party leaders in the Soviet Union lectured workers and peasants on the ideals of communism. They also stressed the importance of sacrifice and hard work to build the Communist state. State-supported youth groups trained future party members.
3. Women Rights
- Women were given more rights such as encouraging them to work and also to be a housewife.
- Women's rights, such as allowing them to work in factories, benefited the economy because of the influx of new workers, and the economy was one of Stalin's main focuses
4. Totalitarian control of society
- Fall in standard of living (Poor living, working conditions and wages)
- Famine (Due to collectivisation)
- Lack of consumer goods due to the first two year of the five year plans focusing on industrial and agricultural targets.
- Fear and suspicion in the air (Informers and secret police)
5. Suppression of Minority Rights
- Many minority republics of the former Russian empire under the Tsar, lost their autonomy under USSR.
- They were now controlled by the Communist Party in Moscow.
i) Improved literacy rates due to compulsory education
ii) Arts and culture scene was affected
iii) Women have more rights ( Right to work)
v) Poor standard of living