Propaganda in Russia Essay
How it works
Politically, Russia today is still trying to recover from the changes it undergone in the past century. It had to build itself from scratch after the collapse of Communism, which impacted Russia’s current policies. In the 1990s, Russia belonged to the Soviet Union that was controlled by communists who did not grant the people to voice their opinions in any matter.
However, Today Russia is rather more democratic as they broke free from the Soviet Union. For instance, in 1990, the Russians got to cast their votes, approve of a new constitution, and got to choose members of a legislature as their representatives.
Moreover, the government has lesser control over Russia. Russians have currently gained the right to write and express their ideologies. However, blooming into fully democratic state, Russia has faced multiple difficulties due to its overpowering president; Vladimir Putin enforces laws without the need of an approval from the chosen legislatures, whom the Russians voted for as representatives. Nonetheless, Russia’s drastic political change greatly helped improve other branches such the economy and military compared to the past.
Russia’s current political progress provides democracy did not happen overnight, it was under the control of the totalitarian strains of communism whose parties were built under tactics that promoted the conscious use of propaganda, repression of individual freedoms, state-sponsored murder– which caused horrifying mass killings of anti-communists that were against the government and regarded as threats. A prominent figure who tackled the horrifying communist control and federalist Russia is George Orwell.
Known for his works about Soviet Russia, the English novelist, George Orwell had a major role-play in tackling communist Russia prior to its independence from the Soviet Union. His most famous works about Russia are; Animal Farm and 1984; in 1984. Orwell portrays Russia as a dystopian state whereas citizens are under constant surveillance by orders from the ‘Big Brother’—whose identity is not clear, if it is a single person or a political party as a whole controlling the state.
Orwell highlights the federalist background of Russia through ‘Big Brother’ who uses children as spies against their parents and prohibits any kind of relationships including filial and romantic ones. One can conclude that the people, depicted in the novel, were being oppressed and much dissociated. This deprivation of social life reflects the conditions of the Russians who are deprived of basic citizen rights. Orwell himself wrote, in 1946 that “Revolutions only effect a radical improvement when the masses are alert.” The previous statement highlights the fact that if the society is aware of the strategies of the government, they will overpower them.
In Russia, propaganda was quite an essential tactic in manipulating the masses. For instance, the ROSTA posters are intentionally made to be simple, short, sharp, and send clear messages. Orwell parodies the propaganda usage of the Russian government that seem to deceive people according to both the accounts of 1984 and Animal Farm, through the false signs that are hung to ingrain thoughts into mindless victims as a means of brainwash. For example, 1984’s Big Brother places slogans such as “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” everywhere. Similarly, Animal Farm’s Major’s slogan was “All men are enemies. All animals are comrades.” Another manipulation tactic is displayed through Napoleon: he takes advantage of the density of the other animals by randomly using sophisticated language to make himself appear as trustworthy.