Stalin and Propaganda

Essay by lynnieHigh School, 10th gradeA+, January 2005

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The powers of persuasion are so strong that it allows certain individuals to influence, and therefore, control even millions of people and bind them together in search of one common cause. This tactic of persuasion is also called propaganda. Propaganda is the spreading of information in order to influence public opinion and to manipulate other people's beliefs. The message of propaganda is primarily intended to serve the interests of the messenger, thereby increasing his power. All propaganda is a systematic effort to persuade. The propagandist gives a one-sided message, accentuating the good points of one side and the bad points of the other position. Propaganda can be widely distributed through posters.

Joseph Stalin, a leading Soviet revolutionary, realized the value of propaganda to indoctrinate educated people. He employed another tactic toward the uneducated, called agitation. This process involved the use of slogans, stories, half-truths, and even outright lies in order to avoid the need for complex arguments.

He stirred fears of communism to the businessmen, and preached the values of socialism to factory workers. Terror played an important role in the authoritarian system he established. However, fear was demonstrated with his actions and most directly the actions of those working for him. His posters and such were never directly threatening; his intentions were to exaggerate, maybe lie about, the good to an extreme. Through propaganda, he successfully made himself the reputation of being a hero, not an evil man of terror. Propaganda helped much in gaining support and enthusiasm from the Russian people.

Various themes presented to the people by means of propaganda were over the Five-Year-Plan's goals, industrialization, love of Stalin and Lenin, and the military. In James and my poster, we tried to portray unquestioning reasons to join the Red Army. By joining the Bolsheviks...